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> Hiking vs trekking – what is the difference?

Hiking vs trekking – what is the difference?

Publish date 03.04.2023

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Hiking vs trekking – what is the difference?

Running is not everything. Even runners know this. Sometimes you certainly get the urge to take a simple hike. Surely you have heard of trekking or hiking before. However, what is the difference between these two physical activities? 

Many people who very often go for a “walk” in the mountains or other places do not know the difference between hiking and trekking. I can assure you that It is worth knowing them. After all, that’s what you’re here for, isn’t it? Ok, so here we go!

Hiking vs trekking – what is hiking? 

Hiking is nothing more than a simple walk in the mountains. It’s a kind of recreational excursion, where your main focus is on taking easy trails. It is a time when you can admire nature, and enjoy beautiful weather and clean air. 

A hiking trip does not last more than 1 day. This means, for example, that you go out into the mountains in the morning, spend practically the whole day there and before it gets dark you return from the trail to your accommodation. 

This form of recreational sport is suitable for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional athlete or have nothing to do with sports. Hiking is ideal to start your adventure in hiking not only in the mountains – you’re supposed to enjoy getting out and admiring the views. This is a time for you. 

Hiking is an ideal sport for families. There is nothing better than hiking together. After all, you can spend the whole day together. It’s certainly a much better form of leisure than another weekend spent in front of the TV or computer. 

Choose easy trails that won’t cause difficulties. You’ll find many trails where you don’t even have to walk over rocks or watch out for protruding branches. Some forest and mountain paths are paved with asphalt. This is a big convenience.

Hiking vs trekking - hiking
Hiking with your family = good time spend together.

Trekking vs hiking – what is trekking? 

Trekking is a form of physical activity that is just more advanced that a simple walk. You don’t take easy paths and trails but challenge yourself. This means that the trails are more difficult, and the expedition can take up to several days. 

To go on such an expedition, you need to plan everything. Develop a plan for your trip beforehand, see what the route is like, and think about what you will need, so that you can safely and comfortably walk the entire route. 

To go hiking, you need to keep in mind that you should already be in good shape. This is a hike with a backpack full of essentials through terrain where anything can happen. You need to be prepared for sudden weather changes or close encounters with wildlife. 

Remember never to go out trekking right away. Try hiking first and gain experience. Only then set out on your first multi-day expedition. This will not be a light walk. Here you have to expect to fight your weaknesses, fatigue, sore muscles and even nature. Trekking may wear you out a bit, but you will surely return home happy, with the thought that you have accomplished something.

What are the advantages of hiking and trekking?

You already know the differences between training and hiking. However, these two physical activities have their unique advantages. In this case, they can be combined. Here are some of them: 

  • release of endorphins – thanks to sports, happy hormones are secreted. Thanks to them, your mood improves, and sensitivity to stress and pain decreases. 
  • spend time outdoors – we live in an era where we spend most of our time at home in front of the TV. Take a trip to the mountains to enjoy nature, get some fresh air, and see what Mother Nature has to offer. 
  • you will improve your fitness – by choosing such mountain tours you will improve your fitness. Regardless of what age you are. Even if it is recreational hiking. 
  • you will burn calories – while hiking and trekking you will burn fat, which can lead to weight reduction. After all, you have to put in the energy and strength to traverse forest and mountain paths. This kind of physical activity can be compared to endurance training. 
  • you will strengthen your muscles – long hikes will make you strengthen your muscles. Especially your leg, which will have to work constantly.

Remember, however, that the main advantage of hiking and trekking is first and foremost the joy of spending time outdoors with friends or family and enjoying the beautiful scenery. Strengthening muscles or burning fat is an additional benefit in this case.

Differences between hiking and trekking
Feel like the king of the world!

Hiking vs trekking – backpacking equipment 

Since this kind of expedition means that you need to take the most necessary things with you. What is the difference between trekking and hiking when it comes to packing a backpack? 

  • Hiking – is a day trip therefore you don’t need to pack many items. Focus on the most necessary things. Remember provisions and take plenty of water. Moreover, a charged phone (+ power bank just in case) will be important. Put a raincoat in your backpack just in case – anything can happen on the route – even if there is no rain in the weather forecast. Throw in a few bandages and sticking plasters. Put on some comfortable shoes and clothes and you’re good to go. 
  • Trekking – in this case, you need to choose a larger backpack in which you can fit all your essentials. First of all, take a change of clothes – remember to take something warmer with you, too, in case the weather suddenly changes. Also pack a first aid kit, flashlight, and pocket knife. This is a multi-day expedition, so you need a tent. I advise you to try to set it up yourself before the expedition, so you won’t have problems later. Also, remember provisions and water. Choose comfortable trekking shoes and clothes so you can complete the challenge without too much trouble. In addition, if you are going on a very demanding route, bring trekking poles.

Check the weather before you go out hiking or trekking 

Check what the weather will be like before you decide to go on a hike. If it’s still raining or a storm is approaching, let it go and move your expedition to another day. Also, let go the day after it rains – the paths can be wet and dangerous. 

Best hiking spots in the USA and UK 

Best hiking sports USA:

  • The Grand Canyon National Park, 
  • Eagle Mountain, 
  • Grand Portage State Park,
  • The Bright Angel, 
  • Zion National Park, 
  • Yosemite National Park. 

Best hiking sports UK: 

  • Old Harry Rocks, 
  • Yorkshire Three Peaks, 
  • Hadrian’s Wall Path, 
  • Cleveland,
  • The Quiraing, 
  • Snowdonia National Park, 
  • The Jurassic Coast,
  • Wester Ross.
Best hiking and trekking sports - USA and UK
Nature, fresh air, no one around, peace – what more you need?

Best trekking sports in the USA and UK

Best trekking sports in USA:

  • Grand Canyon Rim to Rim,
  • Montana Glacier National Park,
  • Pacific Northwest Trail,
  • California and South West.

Best trekking spots in UK:

  • Cairngorms,
  • West Highland Way
  • Gower Peninsula Walk,
  • Lake District,
  • Dingle Way.

Backpacking – what is it?

If you are interested in trekking and hiking then you are bound to encounter (or have already encountered) the term backpacking. It’s a lifestyle where you pack everything you need into a backpack and go on an adventure. You explore cities – you traverse the world with a backpack on your back. It’s certainly an interesting way to visit different parts of the world.

Difference between trekking and hiking? Now you know them all. I hope that with this article you have learned the most important things about these two physical activities. Do you see that the weather is going to be nice during the weekend? Pack a backpack and take your family hiking. Or do you prefer a more extreme hike? If so, choose trekking and for a few days cut yourself off from the world and lose yourself in nature, beautiful landscapes, and freedom.

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