Looking for love, but don't know where to find it? Want to feel it in your fingers, feel it in your toes, and finally understand the true meaning of Wet Wet Wet's 'Love Is All Around' song?
Maybe you've dated a string of no-hopers? Maybe you're thinking about giving up entirely on this whole business of romance? Don't despair. The action sports and adventure website Mpora are here to point you in the right direction, and tell you who you should be dating.
Hikers might not seem like the most obvious target for an arrow from Cupid but, before you slam the door in our face, hear us out. People who like walking on a regular basis, when you scratch away the surface and really break it down, are probably the ultimate people to "go out" with.
1) They Have Great Stamina
Easy there, Tiger Tim. Put a blanket on that fire. We're not just talking about stamina in the cheeky-cheeky sense of the word here. Come on. Get your mind out the gutter, for goodness sake. When we talk about high stamina levels, we're also referring to how nice it is to be with someone who will alway have bags and bags of energy.
Hikers are usually up, about, and walking to the summit of big hills before you've even got out of bed in the morning and consumed your first big bowl of Coco-Pops. They'll walk here, walk there, walk everywhere; all with a smile on their face, because they really love to walk.
Hook up with a hiker, and you'll never have to drag yourself off the sofa to grab some milk from the corner-shop again. Ask your hiker boyfriend/girlfriend if they wouldn't mind popping to Spar for some groceries, and they'll have their boots laced on their feet before you can remind them about picking up some bread.
2) They're Practical
We were just going to post a picture of some multi-pocket hiking trousers here, and be done with it. But then we figured that was maybe a bit too spicy for an Mpora article, so have decided to mumble something about why practicality is a really important characteristic to look for in a partner instead.
Imagine. It's the middle of the winter, and the heating has stopped working. What do you do? Freeze to death? Nope. Not if you're dating a hiker, at least. Hikers are practical creatures, and will have most likely whipped up a fire and be toasting marshmallows on it in the time it's taken you to check the fusebox.
Not convinced? OK. Picture the scene. Your water-pipes have stopped working, the phone lines are down; your car has stopped functioning, and the nearest shop is at least 23 miles away (you live somewhere really remote). What do you do? Panic? Nope. You're romantically involved with a hiker and not only do they have water leftover in their CamelBak, they also have one of those straws that can filter the muddy water in puddles and make it drinkable. Result.
3) They're Ambitious
Do you want to be with someone who aims for the sky, and regularly touches the clouds? Or, alternatively, do you want to be with someone who sits on the sofa all day in their Wotsit-stained white vest and t-shirt combination, burping out their indescribably horrible smells, and stubbornly refusing to challenge themselves because it all sounds a bit too much like "hard work."
Hikers have got a great work ethic. And heck, isn't that what you want in life? To be with someone who plays hard, sure, but also works hard when they have to. People who work hard tend to get better results and hikers, whether they're hiking up a hill or just generally doing life-stuff, are usually pretty successful. #Ambition #Success
4) They're Stylish As F*ck
If you don't think hikers are stylish, you haven't been paying attention. Checkered shirts, practical trousers, thermal fleeces, waterproof jackets, well-worn t-shirts, jumpers with holes in, thick socks, Gore-Tex boots; you might not see this gear at London Fashion Week anytime soon, but then isn't that the point?
London Fashion Week, it's fair to say, is a complete mess from start to finish. Nobody has ever looked stylish at London Fashion Week. The outfits at London Fashion Week don't make people look cool. They make people look stupid. Dresses made of cling-film, hats made of tin-foil, tuxedos made of expired train tickets...it's bullshit.
Hikers wear proper clothes. They were things you can wear all-year round, in any manner of condition, in the majority of social situations (except, arguably, your wedding day). If you want someone who wears a microwave as an astronaut's helmet, by all means go out with someone who pays attention to London Fashion Week. If you want a stylish partner, who's lack of care for what's cool is precisely what makes them cool, bag yourself a hiker.
By the way, we honestly have no idea what's happening in the flowery-bearded photo (see above). The flowers in the beard thing is a bad look. We do not think it looks cool, and do not think it is reflective of the inherent style on show in hiking. We posted it because we think it's a funny picture. You're welcome.
5) They're Down-To-Earth
We reckon down-to-earth people are the best kind of people. They're not highly-strung, they don't get on your case for no god damn reason, and they're not about making a drama where there isn't one to be made. Sounds like the ideal romantic partner...am-I-right?!
We're not sure how scientifically accurate this statement is, but we believe that hikers have some sort of special down-to-earth gene in their biological make-up. How else can one explain their seriously chilled and no-nonsense attitude to life?
Over to you, scientists. Prove why hikers are down-to-earth and thus underline our point that people who like walking are the best people to get "jiggy" with/date on a short-term basis/date on a long-term basis/get married to/have kids with and/or retire to the south of France with.
6) They're Wise
THEORY TIME. Hikers have a far greater understanding of the world than the average Joe No-Hike because they're regularly walking about in it. Hikers are wiser than a big box of owls. Hikers see things. They know things, and can tell you loads of useful stuff about what's actually happening on this that planet we call home.
Wisdom is a virtue, and hikers have got it by the bucket loads. You'll never in your life meet a stupid hiker. They don't exist. Stupid hikers are born, of course, but they usually walk off a ravine the first time they go hiking and are never seen again.
Want some wisdom in your life? Date a hiker.
7) They'll Love Going For Nice Walks With You
Heard the one about the couple who broke up because the boyfriend/girlfriend didn't like going for walks, and just sat around playing Playstation 4 all weekend? Of course you have. It's a story as old as time itself.
If you want your relationship to go-the-distance and generally don't like the idea of it ending with the most clichéd break-up story in the book of love (the one that goes on and about them not being interested in "nice walks"), find a hiker and tie them down. Not literally, of course. Don't literally tie a hiker down. Just ask them if they'd like to be a thing with you. A romantic thing.
8) They've Got A Great Sense Of Direction
Heard the one about the couple who broke up because they got lost on a car journey and had a blazing row by the side of the road? You know how it goes. They shouted and shouted at each other, while jabbing their furious fingers at the map, and refuse to admit that they've made a mistake in regards to navigation. It's a break-up story as old, and as clichéd, as the one about not going for "nice walks" (see above).
The good thing about hikers is that they never get lost. OK, they probably do get lost from time to time but we're of the opinion that it happens less frequently than it does with people who go hiking with all the time. Why is this useful? It's useful because dating a hiker means you're also dating their excellent sense of direction and this, in turn, minimises the risk of you getting lost and having a big argument about getting lost.
9) They're At One With Nature
Hikers are at peace with nature, and the world around them. They feel the rhythms of the planet, and let it flow through them and influence their actions. Hikers champion the environment, and care about the Earth we share. They're kind to animals and, quite rightly, believe that cutting down the Amazon Rainforest is a bad thing.
Surely you'd much rather go out with someone like this than someone who drives a Hummer, believes Global Warming is a conspiracy concocted by lizards, and thinks recycling is a waste of time? Hikers are basically eco-loving green machines and, in an increasingly environmentally-unstable world, they're precisely the type of person you should be introducing your parents to.
10) They've Seen Things
Hikers have travelled. They've seen beautiful sunrises, stunning sunsets, and had more epic adventures than you've had warm baths. Hikers have got stories to tell, stories to entertain you with. They've lived a #YOLO life and, guess what, you could be the next exciting chapter on their rollercoaster journey.
Alternatively, you could date a Darren/Davina/Graham/Grahamastasia character and hear the same "Magaluf 2009" stories every other night for the rest of your existence. No! That would be rubbish. If you want to be with someone who's got something to say, someone who's genuinely interesting and has witnessed properly interesting stuff, hit your dating app of choice and find yourself a hiker. You won't regret it.