4 Types Of Backpackers And How To Deal With Them

Backpacking is great isn’t it? All that freedom, no pressure to wash and an excuse for avoiding work that society accepts. It liberates you from the daily drudgery, the routine-bound monotonous life that makes you feel depressed and miserable. This is the reason why so many people are leaving the comfort of their day job and taking a career sabotage just to backpack around the world.

Yep, there’s no downside to backpacking.

Except, maybe, that one moment. You know… when you’re in the hostel bar, getting to know your room mates and you realise that you’ve drawn the short straw.

That fate has dealt you a bad hand and forced you to room with one of them. You know, those types that you’ve met before.

Now, for most people it’s a case of just moving on. Packing up their bags and getting back to the sweet solitude of the open road.

But for me, that is admitting defeat!

Instead, when I spot one of these types I like to have a bit of fun with them. Wind them up a bit and inflict a day’s worth of pain on them that in some way repays months’ worth of pain they’ve inflicted on others.

It’s not big, it’s not clever but I find it oh so satisfying. So, if you’re as petty as me then read on and find out how to restore the balance.

The 4 Worst Types Of Backpackers

The Story Topper

We’ve all met that person. The one who asks you what you’ve done, only so they can tell you how much bigger and better it was when they did it. That person who’s had more out of body, life changing experiences than a hippy who’s spent the last 30 years on LSD.

Their life is great. And they will tell you that every opportunity. The problem with that is, they’ve made a rod for their own back. Now, they’re under pressure to go bigger and better.

So, when I meet a Story Topper in a hostel, I like to weave a web of lies so rich they will spend the next 7 days questioning whether they are in fact dullards. These stories have ranged from working a summer as a concierge in a brothel to competing in the Indian version of Big Brother and everything in between.

Now try topping that!

The Professional Sex Pest

We’re not talking about your harmless hostel sex pest, who will follow you around a bit when drunk – looking longingly in your direction.

No, I’m talking about your seasoned, maniacal sex pest. The type who will book a room in a shared dorm whilst also booking a single room for himself as well. Why would someone do that you ask?

Well, to meet girls, to get drunk with girls and then if he can somehow manage to convince them his desperate demeanor is somehow charming – have somewhere private they can go to you know…

It’s shameless, devious and (although it’s sad to say) effective tactic. That is unless he finds the other guy who’s staying in his dorm sleeping in the room. The guy he’s decided to brag to also has a penchant for napping in other people’s beds.  In the process throwing salt on his so called “game”.

The Heart To Heart Guy AKA Captain Sensitive

Travelling is about escapism. It is running away to have a bit of fun and do things that you probably wouldn’t do back home like kayaking, bungee jumping or taking part in any other form of adventure sports.

It is not a place to have deep and meaningful conversations. At least not every night. And definitely not when you first meet someone. Yet, there’s always one guy who seems hell bent on trying to assist your personal growth with a chat.

As if, the 1000 Trisha episodes he watched growing up weren’t enough and he now longs to put them into practice. Not realising that he’s overstepping every personal boundary known to man in the process.

When I meet this guy and get cornered in a bar with him, I use one simple tactic. I think of an awful story, then as I tell it I start to well up. As I do this, I say these exact words “Why! Why would you bring that up! It’s personal! It’s like you didn’t even consider I might react like this!”

This worst possible outcome of this, is that you may have a little chat the next day where he apologies and promises never to bring something like that up again. That’s a small price to pay for avoiding 3 to 4 nights of heart to hearts.

The Uber Lad

That guy who comes through your dorm like a vodka and red bull powered whirlwind. He’s loud, brash and actually quite a bit of fun – in small doses.

The problem is, this guy doesn’t do small doses. Instead, he only does fun by the ounce. All those hopes of the odd quiet night in recuperating no longer exist. They’ve been replaced by his dreams of debauchery and shots.

In order to save my liver and keep my genitals STI free, I use one simple but effective tactic…

As soon as he starts the peer pressure “to get on it”, I go along with it. I drink. I drink heavily. Then at an opportune moment I mention that I was previously a recovering alcoholic but now I’ve seen the errors of my way. He’s now shown me that I can drink in moderation.

One tactical sick and a monstrous hangover and he’s no longer fun time Charlie or whatever banterous name he calls himself by. He’s know the worse kind of enabler.

It’s not so much fun to drink now is it? Anyway, I didn’t say any of these tactics were mature. And they are definitely not morally sound either. Actually, on second thoughts I’m just as bad as them. Maybe I should go on this list…

Stephen Leo is a passionate paddler and he has made his hobby a career and is extremely happy about it. He is also a fitness fanatic and he loves whitewater kayaking. When he is not paddling, he likes to contribute to popular kayak journals like – Kayak Manual.