Hiking Buddy Application

Note:  This is not actually meant to be a method of  judging people to be fit or unfit as hiking partners, it is just a slightly tongue-in-cheek idea I had after some conversations about What Makes a Good Hiking Buddy (an undefinable concept).  It might be a good way to get to know people before you hike with them though?

I put my answers at the bottom for fun.  Also if any of this seems oddly specific, it’s definitely in honor of one of my favorite hiking partners 🙂

  1.  Do you hike a lot?
    A. I don’t remember the last time I went a whole week without hiking.
    B. I hike when other people invite me or I am traveling.
    C. I guess I’ll look at the Grand Canyon or something.
    D. Ew, exercise?
  2.  How important is keeping up a quick pace to you?
    A. I love to time myself and try to beat my best time.
    B. I like to be able to hike fast enough to go farther and finish ambitious hikes.
    C. I love me some extended breaks.
    D. I literally couldn’t care less about speed.
    E. I gotta take my time and “my time” is a lot of it.
  3. Do you like bagels?
    A. Yes
    B. I can’t eat gluten or a bagel killed my family
    C. Why does there need to be another option?
  4. How do you feel about hiking in the rain?
    A. I love rain, especially on certain types of hikes.
    B. Maybe on occasion I’d choose to hike knowing it would rain.
    C. I can deal with it, but I won’t be happy.
    D. Why would you ever make me go outside in the rain?
  5. How prepared are you for cold?
    A. I know myself and own several warm layers.
    B. I can make it work for a day.
    C. I kind of hate the cold.
    D. I might die if you take me somewhere it is snowing.
  6. What happens if we end up hiking in the dark?
    A. I love night hiking sometimes, even on purpose, as long as the terrain isn’t terrible.
    B. Sounds like a scary but fun adventure.
    C. Uh… I’d rather not.
    D. I am legitimately terrified of the dark.
  7. What kind of snacks do you like (select all that apply)?
    A. Dark chocolate
    B. Clif bars
    C. Bread and cheese
    D. GORP
    E. Fruits (fresh or dried)
    F. Jerky
    G. Elaborate homemade meals
    H. I can carry cupcakes in my pack without smushing the icing
    I. I exist entirely on performance foods for runners
  8. How many hours can you hike in a day and still have fun?
    A. 0-4
    B. 4-8
    C. 8-10
    D. 10+
    E. What is a day?  I really like to challenge how long I can go without sleep.
  9. How much do you like to plan your hikes?
    A. I’m awful at planning.
    B. I’ll plan whatever is necessary for reasonable levels of safety.
    C. I like to do a lot of research, even about things where there is little danger.
    D. I will be pulling out some excel spreadsheets and maybe a powerpoint.
  10. What do you do if you feel something is unsafe?
    A. Macho man through it and say nothing
    B. Have a conversation with my partner and try to change strategy
    C. Let my partner carry on without me and go back
    D. Complain and never hike with the person again
  11. Which of the following skills do you bring to the table (select all that apply)?
    A. Recognizing and treating hypothermia and heat exhaustion
    B. Wilderness first aid
    C. Basic navigation
    D. Evaluating avalanche safety
    E. Communicating with European tourists (or locals when you are a tourist) using an elaborate system of hand signals
    F. Being self-sufficient on a backpacking trip
    G. Cooking things at camp that taste good even when you haven’t walked 20+ miles
    H. Actual mountaineering skills
    I. Taming chipmunks
  12. Do you like multi-day trips?
    A. Let me live in the woods for months.
    B. For a couple/few days.
    C. I’ll camp by my car.
    D. I like beds.
  13. How do you feel about singing while hiking?
    A. Bring on the sing-a-longs!
    B. There’s a time and a place.
    C. Ugh, shut up!
  14. What kind of nature knowledge do you have?
    A. I carry a magnifying glass so I can study moss.
    B. I know the names of all the birds and flowers.
    C. I can tell the difference between a false morel and a morel.
    D. I can find a few edible plants and recognize poison ivy…?
    E. What’s a squirrel?
  15. How do you feel about dogs?
    A. I only ever hike with my dog and my dog is perfect.
    B. I like to bring a dog that gets me tangled in trees constantly.
    C. I don’t have a dog, but BRING YOUR DOG I LOVE DOGS.
    D. I’ll be happy for the company if it can keep up.
    E. Kind of not that into dogs.
    F. I am terrified of dogs.
  16. What’s your biggest pet peeve in a hiking partner?  ___________________________________________________

My answers are: 1. A  2. B  3. A  4. A  5. A  6. A  7. A,B,C,E  8. D  9. B  10. B  11. A,C,D,F,I (definitely not G)  12. A  13. A  14. D  15. D  16. People who can’t handle unexpected problems, tied with the smell of tuna

I’m super interested to see your answers, if you want to post them below!!

6 thoughts on “Hiking Buddy Application

Add yours

  1. Ha, this is great, though I’m more of a city-walker than a hiker (as my answers will probably make apparent).
    1. B, 2. B, 3. A, 4. B, 5. A, 6. C, 7. A + C + D + E, 8. D, 9. B, 10. B, 11. C, 12. D (and showers and indoor plumbing), 13. A, 14. D, 15. C, 16. I’ve really only ever done partner hikes with a few people I know/like/had no issues with. I was pretty annoyed when I was on a group hike with a leader who was mansplaining to me about my backpack (which, um, I know how to adjust so it’s comfortable, thanks, and also it’s not like this was a super-strenous hike with lots of scrambling, where maybe a reminder to get things comfortable at the start would not have been out of line – it also was just a day hike so it’s not like my pack was big/heavy!).


    1. Agreed about people who give unnecessary instructions… on the AT I got a lot of people telling me I was carrying the wrong backpack but I was having no problems…it was obnoxious!


  2. Ha ha, brilliant. Some of my answers are ‘none of the above’, though 😉
    1. depends what you mean by hiking, routine five milers or planned expeditions? The former every week. 2. D. My pace is annoyingly variable. 3. Bagels aren’t really a thing in England. 4. Hiking without rain isn’t really a thing in England. 5. A. make that ‘many layers’. 6. A, although all terrain is terrible at night. 7. That would be instant noodles and Snickers. Half those things are not things in England, in fact I don’t even know what they are. 8. C. Fun is relative. 9. B. Reasonable is relative. 10. B, and the conversation comprises ‘we’re both/all going back right now, get over it’. 11. All except D, H or I, as I never mountaineer and I am European. 12. A, but make that weeks not months. 13. B, depending on companions’ tolerance of tuneless profanity. 14. I have a PhD in ecology, so E. (actually B, except ‘many of’ instead of ‘all of’) 15. C as long as you do the warm stinky stuff into a bag thing and I don’t have to watch. 16. continuous loud, pointless vocalisation.
    This is why I don’t do well in job applications 😉


  3. C as long as you do the ardent stinky stuff and nonsense into a base thing and I don’t have to lookout man. D (and showers and indoor(a) plumbing), 13.


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