How Not to Be a Creep on the Trail

These gentlemen are fine examples of hikers who are not creepy.

These gentlemen are fine examples of hikers who are not creepy.

My recent article for Appalachian Trials, How to Avoid Creeps on the Trail, was such a success that I’ve decided to write a part 2. This article is for the guys in the hiker community. Let me make it clear first, that I think the vast majority of hiker guys are nice and not creepy in any way. However, you will meet the occasional creep on your journey North.

Without further ado, here are my tips for…

How Not to Be a Creep on the Appalachian Trail: 

  • Don’t touch a girl while she is sleeping (unless she’s your girlfriend and you guys like to cuddle). No girl wants to wake up to a strange man in the shelter stroking her back or hair.
  • Don’t shove your camera in the face of a girl you just met to show her a photo of yourself, completely naked except for a sock on your penis. Bonus points if you do not tell her that the tube sock is “extremely form-fitting” when it hangs down to your knee. Let’s face it, that sock is not form-fitting.
  • Don’t hike behind a girl you don’t know and stare at her ass the whole time, then refuse to pass her when she offers, even though you can clearly hike faster than her.
  • Don’t expect a girl to hook up with you just because you gave her a Honey Bun. The company of her and her vagina is not equal to the value of a 50 cent pastry.
  • Do not think that you are entitled to gape at a woman’s butt (or boobs) because she is wearing spandex.
  • Don’t follow a girl around for days when you sense that she does not enjoy your company. Especially when your objective is to get in her pants. You would know if she was interested in you.

Gentlemen, if you find that you have a healthy and respectful view of women, and you do not think of yourself as superior to women, then you are probably not a creep.

Like I said before, most hiker guys are very nice and not creepy in the least bit. On the trail, you’ll find that you get along with most everyone.

Just be sure to keep that pepper spray in your hip belt.

Have you had a total creeper experience while hiking? Share it in the comments!

18 thoughts on “How Not to Be a Creep on the Trail

  1. Great advice. On the JMT my hiking partner(also a woman) and I found ourselves leapfrogging a guy all day. We weren’t sure what to make of him and that evening as we were setting up camp, he came over and asked politely if he could camp in the same place. Not the same site, mind you, just within fifty yards or so. It was so thoughtful and the best trail etiquette I have ever seen. We became friends over dinner and hiked together for several days after. Really, not being a creep is just about being considerate.

  2. i met a creep on the trail who lived close by to it. he followed me all the way up a steep trail and to the next shelter, which i was planning on staying at that night. while we were hiking up the hill, well, i was hiking, he was walking with jeans and a t shirt, he was talking about very odd things. how he was grounded and not allowed on the trail, how he could really use a cigarette or some liquor, how he hated his dad, how his dad was afraid he was going to kill someone. at which point i turned around, hand on my knife, and looked directly into his eyes, and asked if he was going to kill me. he nervously replied no, not unless i bother him. when we got to the trail, another male hiker was there, who i hadn’t met before. he was rolling his own smokes and creeper went and bummed one. then another male thru hiker that i was familiar with and friendly towards came to the shelter. he could totally sense my nervousness. he told me we better leave now if we were going to make it to the next shelter. i was a solo hiker and he totally made it seem like we were together. i left right then with him and left creeper in the dust (he started back down the trail when i got up to leave). thru hikers stick up for each other and i am totally indebted to what “Wall Street” did for me that day.
    ps- i never did see wall street again on the trail

  3. Will older ladies like myself (60 years perfected) also have the creepy guy experiences or is most of this directed to the younger hikers out there? What situations would warrant dialing 911 to report (he said he had been kicked off trail….dad thought he might kill someone…as relayed above)? Or is there some other trail reporting source to help keep other hikers safe after such an encounter? My knife is an inch long so not much of deterrent but my hiking pole could be thrust through a gut if need be. Better buy pepper spray.

    • Well, you’ll find creeps of all ages. I have never met anyone who I felt was a danger to my safety. Mainly just people who made me uncomfortable. There’s lots of hikers around the trail, so if someone makes you uncomfortable, try to tagalong with a different hiker for the day. If a person comes off as dangerous, maybe let the local authorities know. But remember, there are ALWAYS nice hikers around who will look out for you.

  4. Nice list! Very insightful and enlightening. (Sorry if this type of reply is inappropriate, but seems the simplest for clarity)

    Don’t touch a girl while she is sleeping (unless she’s your girlfriend and you guys like to cuddle). No girl wants to wake up to a strange man in the shelter stroking her back or hair.

    —This is totallly inappropriate and disgusting and vial and such a violation of a person’s space. It’s ok to smack the crap out of guy who is caught doing this type of molestation- scream, yell, and cuss. Get the hell out of there…yuk!—

    Don’t shove your camera in the face of a girl you just met to show her a photo of yourself, completely naked except for a sock on your penis. Bonus points if you do not tell her that the tube sock is “extremely form-fitting” when it hangs down to your knee. Let’s face it, that sock is not form-fitting.

    —This is verbal/ visual sexual abuse and is so inappropriate. This behavior shows such a low-level of couth. Definetly creepy —

    Don’t hike behind a girl you don’t know and stare at her ass the whole time, then refuse to pass her when she offers, even though you can clearly hike faster than her.

    —Hiking behind a girl w/ a good ass can be very motivational for a guy. Refusing to pass when offered is lame. A true thru hiker gentleman would need to pass politely and move on. That way the girl will be able to check out his ass for a while. By the way, overall, having a nice ass is a good thing. Unfortunately for guys, seeing a nice ass on a thru hike is such a treat- kind of hard to pass it up (no pun intended)—

    Don’t expect a girl to hook up with you just because you gave her a Honey Bun. The company of her and her vagina is not equal to the value of a 50 cent pastry.

    —ok, a guy can get a bit desperate in the woods, but, yes expecting sexual favors for a 50 cent pastry is a bit “expecting too much”. Maybe not creepy, just unrealistic.—

    Don’t talk to a girl about other hiker girls you met who were “sluts” and “whores.” You might think you’re insinuating that you don’t think she is a “slut” or a “whore”, but really she is just unimpressed by your skewed view of women.

    —Nice observation, a true thru hiker gentleman would never disparage a female in front of another female, totally classless, even if it’s in the middle of a wilderness area w/ nothing but streams, trees, birds, and bees, and sunsets, and flowers, and fresh air, and warm glowing campfires…for miles and miles—

    Do not think that you are entitled to gape at a woman’s butt (or boobs) because she is wearing spandex.

    —Wearing Spandex might be very comfortable. But, hey, yoga pants are the best thing since sliced bread. Actually, I’m not too sure why they are so popular for girls; other than, that is how they can get looks (just kidding). Wearing Spandex seems kind of minimal and vulnerable to me. And, I would say, yes, a guy is entitled to gape. It’s just not gentlemanly to get caught—

    Don’t follow a girl around for days when you sense that she does not enjoy your company. Especially when your objective is to get in her pants. You would know if she was interested in you.

    —Just to let you know- guys can be very unresponsive to behaviors that seem, oh, so obvious to girls, Some advice- a girl should do those things she thinks are obvious and double it- then a guy might actually get what she is trying to convey, hopefully—

    Don’t say degrading things to or about women who have turned down your advances.

    —Why not? Let the guy salvage at least a little bit of dignity. It will pass quickly enough when the next girl shows some interest—

    • Just so you know, the thing with the spandex pants and ladies is that they are comfortable. I’ve become aware that men do not have the same bunching and weird riding up, wedgie kind of action that ladies get in almost all our pants whether they are made bu hiking companies or not. Spandex doesn’t do any of those things and are pretty much the only pants we can hike in comfortably.

  5. On a flipflop thruhike (to avoid crowds, etc), do you think a woman hiking alone would be able to find “nice hikers” in a creeper situation?

    • Ah, just clicked to the first article, and possibly found my answer in the opening paragraph!

      “Don’t worry though, most of the creeps disappear after the Smokies.”

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