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Are you a hiker?

I hope you are ready because there is no way back now. By clicking the link and reading this you have started something, and you can't stop until you reached the end.

This is the unofficial and non scientifically proven test to determine if you should be labeled a 'hiker'. In case you find out that you are, do not fear. There are ways to deal with your newfound self-diagnosis. Also, if you have already proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you are indeed a hiker, this article might offer fresh insights into how to deal with it with a smile on your face.

Herder Stef has taken off his boots to enjoy the fresh air and sun in the scottisch highlands.

Taking the test

Read every question with care and use the button below each question to keep track of your test results (the results are not stored or shared). Whatever happens, good luck & we are there for you.

Do you like to take a deep breath after a good downpour to take in the fresh air, and closing your eyes to feel the morning sun on your face?
Does life sometimes feel too fast to you, would you like to slow down every now and then?
Does nature amaze you, do you crave a deeper connection?
Would you like to grow old and stay healthy?

Right now you might be skeptical and I hear you thinking "none of these questions are about hiking?" and "wait a second, I see what you are doing here!". You will just have to trust us for now, let's look at the results.

The results and what to do

If you have answered yes to one or more of these questions, there is no doubt about it. You are a genuine hiker. Welcome to our group! There is an abundance of information and advice to be won on how to continue your journey from here, hiking is highly personal. One thing is for sure though, to really tackle this problem you should talk to someone sooner rather than later.

Finding buddies or a sponsor

As with most challenges, it's best to talk about them with someone you trust. There are plenty of avid hikers all over the world. We believe there is also a large group of people who are not in contact with their inner hiker yet, maybe you are one of them. The crucial step to get going is people to share it with:

  • Is there someone you know that goes out hiking (or used to)? You should contact this person and ask them if they could be your hiking sponsor.

  • Are there people you know that might also test positive on the test? Share the test and talk about how you are going to follow up with your hiking buddies.

  • There are alternatives ways to get rolling if the above does not work for you. Just contact us and we will get you on your way.

Plan your first

Don't be afraid to go on your first hike. It can seem to be a daunting task; there are checklists, gear reviews, and opinions on how things should be done all over the web. The reality is that you need nothing you don't already have or are able to do (comfortable shoes and something to carry water and a snack).

We advise you to start searching for a one or two-day hike. Don't try to cover too much distance, the addition of an overnight stay can enrich your experience (you can stay anywhere ranging from a mountain cabin to a hotel, B&B, or camping). Google can be your friend to find something close to home, but here are some resources that could help: Wandelnet is a dutch example, Traildino and Outdooractive are global alternatives.

This picture shows Stef & Kees on the final day of the West Highland Way in scotland. The laughter is there because Kees almost tripped to make the picture happen. Hiking buddies.

The sponsor

Did someone just contact you asking you to become their hiking sponsor? No clue on what to do next? We are sorry to not have informed you about this important role, but you now have a great responsibility... It's a responsibility you can handle. Think back on your first few hikes and how little you knew, share ideas for a first trip, or even invite your friend on a trip!

Jokes aside

Okay, the tone of this whole post is joyful and maybe edging on silly. We are serious about this though and want to emphasize that there is science behind the benefits of hiking: physical, mental, and spiritual.

There are loads of studies. Just to give you an idea: recently there have been studies in Japan on the concept of Forest Bathing. Comparable positive physical and mental effects were found by Harvard Health sometime before that. Then thirdly, the spiritual effects of Wilderness hiking and the Relation between setting and modes of hiking (urban, suburban natural area, and wildland // goal-directed, nature observation, and meditative) are also being studied.

Besides the science, we genuinely believe that hiking can make your life more enjoyable and give your friendships/relationships an extra layer of depth. It's not only based on our own experiences. There are others who have written about this idea, for example, look at this nice article out of the Friendship files by the Atlantic.

Thanks for reading 🙏.

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