What is the Difference Between Hiking and Trekking

The main difference between hiking and trekking is that trekking involves a longer distance than hiking and takes many days.

In general parlance, we usually use the two words hiking and trekking interchangeably. This is not exactly wrong. Hiking refers to going on a long walk, especially for pleasure or exercise. But, we usually use the trekking to refer to a multi-day hike far from home, on the other side of the world.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Hiking 
     – Definition, Features
2. What is Trekking
     – Definition, Features
3. Similarities Between Hiking and Trekking
     – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Hiking and Trekking
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Hiking, TrekkingDifference Between Hiking and Trekking - Comparison Summary

What is Hiking

Hiking refers to going on a long walk, especially for pleasure or exercise. It involves a long energetic walk in nature on hiking trails or footpaths for a day or overnight. Hiking is usually done on pre-made trails or roads. When compared to trekking, hiking involves a shorter distance and a shorter amount of time. You can even call a 1-mile walk a hike. Therefore, hiking is not as strenuous or arduous as trekking.

Main Difference - Hiking vs Trekking

Hiking has many health benefits. It lowers the risk of strokes and heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. It also improves cardio-respiratory fitness and increases muscle fitness. Moreover, hiking can strengthen your core, improving balance and posture. It can also help you to burn fat and lose weight. In addition to this, hiking also has some mental and emotional benefits. Being in nature can help to reduce the risk of depression and improve your mood.

Since hiking involves spending time in the outdoors for a considerable long time, you’ll need to take some equipment with you. These include good hiking boots, a rucksack, waterproof gear, walking pole and water.

What is Trekking

Trekking refers to making a long journey across a difficult country on foot, usually for pleasure. Unlike hiking, trekking involves several days – not just a few hours. In other words, they are multi-day expeditions that cover a lot of distance. Trekkers tend to go locations that are less accessible than hikers. They may involve all sorts of terrains. This is why they are more strenuous than hiking. Trekking also provides opportunities to visit remote local areas, creating a cultural experience, as well as natural.

Difference Between Hiking and Trekking

Trekking has the same health benefits as hiking. But if you are not familiar with going on long walks at all – you should start with hiking, not trekking. Once you get used to hiking, you can start trekking.  Moreover, trekking needs more equipment than hiking; in addition to essentials like rucksacks, good shoes, etc. you will also need sleeping bags, tents, and other gear that will help you to live in the wild for many days.

Similarities Between Hiking and Trekking

  • Both involve walking a long distance.
  • They have many health benefits.
  • A trek is actually a type of long hike.

Difference Between Hiking and Trekking

Definition

Hiking refers to going on a long walk, especially for pleasure or exercise while trekking refers to making a long journey across a difficult country on foot, usually for pleasure.

Days

While hiking involves a half-day or a full day, trekking involves many days.

Terrain

Hiking usually involves pre-made trails and roads while trekking involves a wide range of terrains.

Nature

Trekking is more strenuous than hiking.

Equipment

Furthermore, hiking does not involve many necessities, while trekking requires many pieces of equipment, including tents and sleeping bags.

For Beginners

Hiking is great for beginners while trekking is a step up in difficulty from hiking.

Conclusion

Hiking refers to going on a long walk, especially for pleasure or exercise while trekking refers to making a long journey across a difficult country on foot, usually for pleasure. The main difference between hiking and trekking is that trekking involves a longer distance than hiking and takes many days.

Image Courtesy:

1. “455338” (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “Trekking in Chaltén – Argentina” By Chreownl – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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