5 kinds of people organizers totally regret having on the trail
Don’t be that person!
- The sloth — He was clearly informed of the difficulty of the trek well in advance, just like everyone else. He read all the instructions sent by the organizers. He made sure to make payment on time. He even packed each and every item the organizers asked him to. He just forgot to train well! Does this story sound familiar to you? Well, if it does, then you’re not alone. Many a trekker have participated in treks where the entire group has been slowed down by someone lagging behind. Sometimes it’s just a single person. Sometimes, it’s a group of people. These people slow down the entire group, and jeopardize its safety by not allowing them to reach the campsite on time, which invariably forces them to trek in the dark. This is something that organizers try their very best to avoid.
Don’t be the sloth in your group. Gain as much information as you can regarding the difficulty of the trek, and train accordingly.
- The care-for-all — This character makes itself known almost instantly, the moment you get on the trail. He/she moves rocks out of the way of other trekkers, gives a helping hand where none is required, and creates clear paths by laying rocks or breaking branches, where absolutely no intervention was needed. He makes sure that his vocal cord abilities are known to the entire gang by announcing his presence at every rest point, as he waits for the trialing end of the group to catch up. Even when the organizers themselves are silent, and are in absolutely no hurry to know about the state of the trekkers trailing behind (since that is the job of the sweeper), the care-for-all ensures to scream, yell and hurry anyone leaving a gap, or lagging behind. Basically, he is an organizer wannabe.
- The party animal — No, I’m not talking about the ones who party the right way, which is at the campsite after all the trekking for the day is done. I’m referring to the ones who turn the entire trail into a discotheque. They play loud music on portable speakers or headphones, hurls rocks off the edges of cliffs, just for the sheer thrill of it (never mind that it may hit and wound any human or animal passing below), interacts and socializes with everyone to be the life of the “party”, and sings all the songs out loud. This seriously distracts the organizers, not to mention the rest of the group, and also reduces the chance of spotting any wildlife, something that many participants would have been eagerly looking forward to. I have even come across instances where fellow trekkers have literally changed places with someone else in the line, as they couldn’t stand the non-stop chatter and jumpy nature of the party animal. So the next time you go on a trek, leave your party animal back at home.
- The cribber — some of the most commonly heard phrases from the cribber are “how much farther” , or, “are we there yet”, or “ How much longer to the campsite” , or even “at what time will be reach the rest point”. No matter how genuine and general these concerns may seem, trekkers have to understand that they are coming from a place of discomfort. It’s not the real you asking these questions, but an exhausted and tired version of you that is. Something trekkers seriously need to understand, is that organizers are not there to answer these questions, but to guide them towards the completion of the trek. For all those who ask “how much further to the campsite”, my standard reply is “the trek is the destination, you have already arrived”.
- The overpacker — As the name implies, this person packs a 70 liter backpack to a 2 day trek. Sometimes this is the very same person who turns out to be the lagger of the group.
Trying to keep up with the group while hauling all that excess weight? I mean what could go wrong?
This why it’s a good idea for organizers to check the weight of trekkers’ backpacks right at the beginning of every trek. The problem with heavy backpacks is that they not only affect the person carrying it, but the rest of the group as well. As most trekkers know, we come across many sections in the forest which are tricky to navigate, and there will be many places that can only be crossed by leaving your bag behind with the group, and jumping across. The most lightweight backpacks are a blessing on these sections, as they’d have to be passed via a human chain. So whether it’s getting across from one side of a stream to another, or crossing a pool, a light backpack is extremely easy to pass around. There’s a lesser chance of it falling into the water, and it makes the job of ferrying much more easier for the group that volunteered to do the job.
So that’s it for my list of annoying people on a trek. Are you a trek organizer? Do let me know about some things that annoy you on a trek in the comments below.