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Are You An Outdoors Snob?


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Emlynne Hackney



Welcome to the world of adventure! Whether you’re an avid hiker, a thrill-seeking rock climber, or a nature enthusiast, the great outdoors offers a plethora of opportunities for exploration and discovery. However, amidst the beauty and excitement of outdoor adventures, there is a subculture that often goes unnoticed – the world of outdoors snobs.


Outdoors snobs are individuals who take pride in their outdoor pursuits and possess a certain sense of superiority when it comes to adventure. They may judge others for not being as knowledgeable, experienced, or well-equipped as they are. In their eyes, only those who adhere to a strict set of outdoor principles and possess a certain level of expertise are worthy of being called true adventurers.


But is this sense of superiority justified? Should we really be separating ourselves into camps based on our level of outdoor expertise? In this article, we will delve into the world of outdoors snobbery, exploring its definition, the signs of being an outdoors snob, the impact it has on others, and how we can overcome it to foster a more inclusive and welcoming outdoor community.


Definition of an Outdoors Snob

An outdoors snob is an individual who exhibits a sense of superiority and judgment towards others in the outdoor adventure community. They believe that their level of knowledge, skills, and equipment sets them apart from those they perceive as less experienced or unprepared. Outdoors snobs often have a narrow-minded view of what it means to be a true adventurer, enforcing a set of rigid rules and standards that others must adhere to in order to be considered worthy.


These snobs often engage in activities such as hiking, climbing, camping, or any other outdoor pursuit, using their expertise and experience to validate their status as outdoor enthusiasts. They take pride in being well-prepared, physically fit, and self-reliant, and they don”t hesitate to openly express their opinions about others who don”t meet their standards.


It is important to note that not everyone who is passionate about outdoor activities is an outdoor snob. There is a fine line between being passionate and knowledgeable about adventure and being condescending towards others who may not have the same level of expertise or access to resources. Those who are genuinely passionate about the outdoors often seek to share their knowledge and encourage others to embrace and appreciate nature.


An outdoors snob, on the other hand, uses their knowledge and expertise as a means to elevate themselves above others, creating an exclusionary environment within the outdoor community. Their snobbish attitude can discourage newcomers from exploring outdoor activities and can even dampen the enjoyment of those who are less experienced but equally enthusiastic about adventure.


Signs of Being an Outdoors Snob

Identifying whether you, or someone you know, may be an outdoors snob can be helpful in understanding the behaviors and mindset that contribute to this mentality. While it’s important to remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and preferences, here are some signs that may indicate someone is an outdoors snob:

  1. Judgmental Attitude: Outdoors snobs tend to look down upon those who don’t meet their standards of outdoor knowledge, skills, or equipment. They may criticize others for having less experience or not conforming to their particular set of rules and guidelines.
  2. Gatekeeping Behavior: Snobs may make it difficult for newcomers or less experienced individuals to feel welcome in the outdoor community. They may create an atmosphere where only those who meet their criteria are considered genuine adventurers.
  3. Excessive Focus on Equipment: Outdoors snobs often place a strong emphasis on having the latest and most advanced gear, believing that it is a prerequisite for true adventure. They may judge others based on the quality or brand of equipment they possess.
  4. Dismissing Alternative Approaches: Snobs tend to believe that their method of outdoor exploration is the only correct way. They may belittle or dismiss alternative approaches or activities, failing to recognize the value and enjoyment others find in different outdoor pursuits.
  5. Constant Need to Prove Superiority: Outdoors snobs may feel the need to constantly prove their expertise and superiority over others. They often engage in one-upmanship, sharing stories of their most extreme adventures or belittling the achievements of others.

It’s important to note that these signs may not be present in every outdoors enthusiast. It’s possible to be knowledgeable and passionate about outdoor activities without displaying snobbish behavior. However, if you find yourself exhibiting these signs, it may be worth reflecting on your attitude towards others and considering whether you are being inclusive and supportive within the outdoor community.


The Impact of Outdoor Snobbery

The prevalence of outdoor snobbery within the adventure community can have significant negative effects on individuals and the outdoor community as a whole. Here are a few key impacts of outdoor snobbery:

  1. Exclusion of Newcomers: Outdoor snobbery can create a hostile environment for newcomers to the outdoor activities. It can discourage individuals from exploring and enjoying nature, as they may feel intimidated or unwelcome due to their lack of experience or resources.
  2. Undermining Confidence: Snobby attitudes can undermine the confidence of individuals who are new to outdoor pursuits. The fear of judgment and criticism may lead to self-doubt and prevent people from fully embracing their outdoor journey and developing their skills.
  3. Promotion of Elitism: The snobbish mentality perpetuates a sense of elitism within the outdoor community. It creates a divide between those who are considered “real” adventurers and those who are deemed less worthy, based on their knowledge, skills, or equipment.
  4. Deterioration of Outdoor Community: Outdoor snobbery can erode the sense of community and camaraderie that should exist within the adventure realm. It discourages collaboration and support among enthusiasts, creating a competitive atmosphere instead.
  5. Limitation of Perspectives: Snobbish attitudes often result in a limited perspective on outdoor pursuits. Emphasizing a strict set of rules and standards excludes alternative approaches and limits the diversity of experiences and perspectives within the adventure community.

Overall, the impact of outdoor snobbery goes beyond individual interactions. It affects the overall inclusivity, growth, and enjoyment of the outdoor community. To foster a welcoming and supportive environment, it is crucial to recognize and address any snobbish tendencies within ourselves and work towards building a more inclusive and accepting outdoor culture.


Overcoming Outdoors Snobbery

Overcoming outdoors snobbery requires a collective effort from the adventure community to shift attitudes and promote inclusivity. Here are some steps we can take to overcome this issue:

  1. Self-Reflection: Take a moment to reflect on your own attitudes and behaviors. Recognize any tendencies towards snobbery and be open to challenging and changing those beliefs. Embrace the idea that everyone’s outdoor journey is unique and valid, regardless of their knowledge, skills, or equipment.
  2. Education and Empathy: Seek to understand the perspectives and experiences of others. Engage in conversations and learn from individuals with different outdoor backgrounds and interests. Foster empathy towards newcomers and less-experienced adventurers, and be supportive in helping them develop their skills and knowledge.
  3. Encourage Inclusivity: Make a conscious effort to create an inclusive environment within the adventure community. Celebrate diversity in outdoor pursuits and appreciate the value that each individual brings to the table. Encourage collaboration, shared experiences, and mutual support among fellow adventurers.
  4. Focus on Sharing, Not Showing Off: Instead of trying to prove your superiority, focus on sharing your knowledge and experiences to inspire others. Be humble and approachable, offering guidance and tips to those who seek it. Remember that the joy of adventure comes not from surpassing others, but from personal growth and the love of nature.
  5. Lead by Example: Be a role model for inclusivity, respect, and support in the outdoor community. By embodying these values in your own actions and interactions, you can influence others to do the same. Encourage positive behavior and discourage snobbish attitudes whenever you encounter them.

By taking these steps, we can collectively overcome outdoors snobbery and create a more welcoming and supportive adventure community. Embracing diversity, fostering inclusivity, and encouraging others to explore and enjoy the outdoors will enrich our own experiences and ensure that everyone can find their place in the world of adventure.



Outdoors snobbery is a prevalent issue within the adventure community that can hinder the growth, inclusivity, and enjoyment of outdoor pursuits. While it is natural to be passionate about our hobbies and take pride in our knowledge and skills, it is important to recognize the negative impact of snobbish attitudes on individuals and the outdoor community as a whole.


By understanding the signs of being an outdoors snob and acknowledging its impact, we can work towards overcoming this mentality. Cultivating a mindset of inclusivity, empathy, and support will create a more welcoming environment for newcomers and less-experienced adventurers. It is our responsibility to break down barriers, promote diversity, and appreciate the value that each individual brings to the outdoor community.


Through self-reflection, education, and leading by example, we have the power to shift the narrative and foster a culture where everyone can feel accepted and encouraged in their outdoor journey. Let us strive towards a future where the adventure community embraces and celebrates the diversity of experiences and perspectives that make outdoor exploration so enriching and rewarding.


So, let’s leave behind the snobbish mentality and embrace the true spirit of adventure – one that is inclusive, supportive, and accessible to all. Together, we can create a thriving outdoor community that embraces diversity, encourages exploration, and cherishes the wonders of nature.