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You won’t find much difference except for a few aspects when comparing trekking vs hiking. Both outdoor activities are fun and good for health, along with plenty of other benefits. Trekking is a rigorous outdoor activity where you take on a multi-day challenging journey by foot. Hiking is a long-distance walking either in the woods or across the countryside.
Although both activities sound kind of similar except for the duration, there are a few other dissimilarities when you compare between trekking vs hiking. People often interchange the terms and both these activities involve going outside and taking a walk in nature but there are small disparities that cannot be ignored.
Let’s delve into a hiking vs trekking comparison and their advantages:
Hiking is basically a day-trip, with no or little planning and organization. You just walk on hiking trails in the middle of a gentle prairie, along a river, or to the top of a mountain. It does not require a high fitness level or surviving skills.
Some of the world-famous places for day hikes are the Plain of Six Glaciers near Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada; the Ben Nevis Mountain in Scotland; Faulhorn Mountain in Switzerland; the Grouse Grind hiking area in North Vancouver, Canada; and many more.
You can hike for more than one day but then it becomes backpacking. It always involves overnight and you have to carry your food, sleeping bag, tent, and other necessary stuff.
The Benefits – Hiking is an outdoor activity that involves light to medium level of physical exercises. Anyone who is capable of walking for a few hours can take this challenge. Regular hiking will increase your body resistance, tone your muscles, and help you shed a few pounds.
It is also good for your mental health as the proximity to nature refreshes the mind and recharges the energy level. It could be a great family pastime for the weekend.
By comparison between trekking vs hiking, the first one is more challenging that can last from days to months. It is basically hiking for a longer distance and tends to be more organized and commercial in nature. All the trekking paths and zones have proper infrastructure including wide trails, food stops, lodgings, and even porter facility for carrying the gear and camping kit of the trekkers.
To cover a long-distance trek, you will need to have the physical fitness and mental aptitude along with having knowledge about plenty of surviving skills and gear. Every trail is different and you will need different types of items and skillsets to survive there. Never attempt a long trek without having the essential camping gear, medical kit, and other necessary items. If you are a noob, there are plenty of trails that are beginner-friendly.
The Benefits – Trekking is a high-intensity activity that helps to grow your physical and mental strength. It also teaches you the uses of plenty of surviving gears and how to survive in hostile conditions.
|Length of the Activity||Takes a few hours or a day.||Involves a few days.|
|Required Fitness Level||Anyone can do it unless suffering from any illness.||Requires a mid-level of physical fitness as it requires walking in upland or rocky areas for a couple of days.|
|Locations||Beautiful natural or man-made trails through reserve forests, hills, or parks. They are usually not far from the locality.||Trekking trails are also beautiful but they are located in remote areas where there is no easy access to transportation.|
|Equipment||It depends on the weather, the time of the day, and the area where you are going to hike. Shoes proper for the hiking terrain, water bottles, compass, and medicine are the most necessary items.
Food and a few survival kits will come handy if the trip is going to last more than a few hours or a whole day.
|You will need to carry camping gear, boots, survival kits, enough food, medicine, a compass, and clothes according to the weather condition.|
|Popularity||It is a popular leisure activity in North America, Europe, New Zealand, Hawaii, and many other places.||The popular trekking spots where people from all over the world go are the Himalayan foothills, the Andes in South America, and many other places.|
From the differences between trekking vs hiking, it’s clear that hiking is a kind of leisurely walking activity where you walk on well-maintained trails (either man-made or natural). Compared to other outdoor activities and sports, it is less rigorous and done mainly for enjoying the natural beauty and discovering a new area.
By comparison, mountaineering is challenging, more challenging than trekking. It is a more nuanced and technical variation of trekking where you take trips to higher, more arduous peaks.
You will need a higher level of fitness, more technical knowledge, and proper climbing equipment. The types of challenges could vary depending on the altitude, weather conditions, temperatures, level of oxygen in the air, and many other variables. For example, you will need proper climbing gear, ice axe, helmet, warm suits, and other things for conquering the Everest, the highest mountain in the world.
>> Read more interesting and helpful tips about Camping here <<
Dennis Taylor - Owner of Outdoor Fact - is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.