The zodiac, your horoscope, tea leaves...people have been trying to make sense of human attributes since the dawn of dirt. Corporations pay big money to navigate these muddied waters and will train employees to better understand personality types to harness them for productivity. I recently revisited one such matrix, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which hypothesizes that it’s possible to distill human characteristics into 16 personality types. David Keirsey later mapped these types into four general temperaments: the Artisan, Rational, Guardian and Idealist.
I jokingly wondered if these metrics have ever been applied to an expedition setting; exhaustion, hunger, and cold, wet conditions can quickly strip insulate layers of city life, exposing our reptilian ids. What may seems like "character" over coffee can reveal itself in spades below the crux. I began to contemplate my past adventures and consider what I could glean from temperament theory to apply toward my own trips. Here’s what I found. Keep reading for discussions with ultrahiker Andrew Skurka, mountain biker Rebecca Rusch, and veteran adventure racer Michael Tobin about their "types."