Even on the Pacific Crest Trail which stretches from Canada to Mexico you will find a wide variety of personalities and styles. It added a little interest to my recent hundred mile walk on the trail to observe trail styles.
There are 4 categories of hikers on the trail:
- Section hikers
Their gear and outfits tell a lot about them.
Throughers are attempting the whole trail either north or southbound. You can usually tell them by their stick thin yet muscular figures (eating enough calories to walk 20-40 miles a day is a tough job) and smaller packs. Most of these folks wear low hikers, running shoes or (hard for me to believe) sandals. Attire and personal hygiene varies greatly. There are the folks who embrace the trail and leave behind the razors and combs (which is my personal trail style). This year I saw a fair number of long hair and long bearded men and one woman who had chosen to leave the razor behind – she had the most bold style with a lovely shade of purple hair and long leg hair that had a marvelous striped pattern.
Then there are the people who are nattily attired in their lightweight camping shirts, hats and pants that screen them from the sun and bugs. Most carry a packable down coat for the times when it is cold. And they can probably leave their bug juice and sunscreen home. I admire these people and may even try out their style one year. When I see them they look freshly laundered and groomed no matter how deep in the woods they are.
Section hikers (like myself) and lashers (long ass section hikers) tend to dress like the throughers only the beards and hair are shorter.
There is a catergory in the section hikers who are brand new hikers. You can tell them because none of their equipment is dirty or worn yet and they may be traveling slower than I am! There were a lot of these folks doing the timber ridge trail this year. Welcome! May your packs get a lot of use!
Dayhikers also have varied attire. There are the spandex suited running crowd carrying no packs and timing themselves on their 50 plus mile runs. (I will never be in this group).
There are more camp shirts and pants and there is the general tourist crowd wearing cotton shirts and jogging shoes.As they are Freshly showered and shaved and have a cold beer waiting for them at the end, I envy them.
Here is what I saw that was different on the trail:
- Neon sleeping bags – I only saw two and that may be because they had chosen to sleep under the stars and were quite noticeable in the meadow as we hiked by. I can see this would be a big advantage in a snowstorm or other weather event. It would be much easier to find you and your bag. I found some similar bags here at Moosejaw. Neon green sleeping bags
- Purple hiking boots
I found these at hiking boots .com purple hiking boots
- Retro style – back to the camp shirts and zip off cargo pants for hiking. This long sleeved women’s shirt with pockets also has built in sun shade to protect you from the sun.
I found it here at REI.com sunscreen camp shirts and found some zip off cargo pants with insect repellent built in here cargo pants with insect repellant
Last bit of eye catching trail style was the mother of the bride dress we saw while inadvertently semi crashing a bridal reception at Timber Line Lodge.
It was similar to this dress
only sleeveless and with silver instead of black detail worn by an elegant woman with a glorious head of silver hair. image from https://www.ebay.com/i/273013350286?chn=ps
What is your trail style?