Is hiking and trekking the same? How do they differ? This article will ultimately conclude, at the risk of sounding like a high school essay, that hiking and trekking are basically the same things. Each term, however, has a different connotation. The difference between hiking and trekking will also be covered, so you’ll never be confused again (about that. Maybe you’ll still be unsure about something else).
Hiking Vs Trekking What’s The Difference
Here’s the Cambridge Dictionary’s definition of walking, hiking, and trekking to help put things into perspective.
Hiking: “The act of taking long walks in the countryside.”
Trekking: “The long-distance activity of walking on foot for pleasure.”
Hiking, on the other hand, involves being in nature on rough terrain and unpaved trails, often longer than two miles, but with short trips within 6-8 hours.
Whenever I think of hiking, I envision one-day excursions with daypacks and little equipment.
Also, I see it as a journey into the wilderness with plenty of time to observe nature, animals, trees, and birds, as well as a way to push yourself and feel the rush of accelerated walking.
It requires mental effort to keep going and believe that the journey is worthwhile when the terrain is uneven.
It’s not as intense as back-to-back hiking, but it’s still a total body workout that lowers your risk of heart disease, improves blood pressure and blood sugar levels, boosts bone density, and most importantly, lifts your spirits!
Trekking can be defined as any activity involving a multi-day trek through forests, mountains, and nature, which is far harder and more demanding than hiking.
In thru-hiking, the trail is particularly long and often a mix of backpacking and trekking.
There are no one-day treks in the Himalayas because of the sheer nature of the mountains there, much like Cheryl Strayed’s PCT in Wild.
When you learn technical skills, trekking is a step above hiking and not too far from mountaineering.
In addition to sleeping bags and down jackets, a trek also demands you carry a tent! It’s all part of the adventure of being out in the wild.
Your sleep in a tent will be comfortable, and you’ll wake up to rolling landscapes.
Multi-day treks are available in the Tien Shan Mountains of Central Asia, the Indian Himalayas in India, the Greater Himalayan Adventure in Nepal, and Mount Rinjani volcano trekking.
You can also enjoy some great treks in Europe that are scenic and great for your senses!
What Is The Best Way To Decide If You Want To Trek Or Hike?
Assess your level of exertion
If you want to get some quick air, walking is effortless, easy, and just a great way to move your body!
The next level would be how much energy are you burning, which would determine whether you hike or trek.
Because it is only a day trek, you may have to push yourself and put all your effort into it, but trekking is all about pacing and ensuring your body gets the proper nutrition as you trek through muddy paths and scramble through rocks and roots.
What Scenarios Can You Trek or Hike
Hiking & Trekking
- Trails through the woods
- Streams and rocks in an uneven terrain
- Interesting routes
- The flora and fauna are abundant
- Understanding nature and animals
Equipment for Hiking and Trekking
This equipment list will help you pack the best sleeping pads for a day hike, as well as the best backpacking tent for a backpacking trip.
In order to avoid mosquitoes and ticks, hikers should bring mosquito repellent when hiking on the trails.
It may be a good idea to plan in advance for additional hiking gear for your kids if you plan on hiking with your family.
Hiking Equipment List
- Bringing a daypack
- The water
- The compass/map
- Using a headlamp
- Utility Knife
- First aid kit for hiking
- Water filter
Trekking Equipment List
- Hiking Shoes
- First aid kit for hiking
- Water filter
- Backpacking Tent
- Insulated water bottle
- Emergency thermal blankets
- Duct Tape
- Sleeping Pad
- Lightweight Sleeping Bag
Regardless of whether your adventure is called a trek or a hike, your equipment shouldn’t depend on it. A multi-day hike in the wild requires special gear, which varies depending on the terrain, the availability of shelters, the amount of sustenance you require, the weather conditions, and your physical needs.
There’s no difference between a trek and a hike, in essence, when it comes to what you’re going to need to take. What matters is what you’re going to do and where you’re going.
Frequently asked questions
Is trekking more difficult than hiking?
While hiking is defined as a “walk”, which is generally seen as pleasant, easy, and jovial, trekking is defined as a “journey”, which is typically more challenging, requires more effort, and usually takes more than one day.
Is trekking or hiking longer?
The typical duration of trekking is at least two days, but often much longer. Trekkers typically have a destination in mind when they go trekking. In order to reach this destination, they can walk thousands of kilometers each way. In contrast, hikes last shorter than treks.
What are the similarities between hiking and trekking?
Trekking and hiking are usually used interchangeably in everyday speech.
Hiking and trekking have many similarities
- There is a long distance to walk in both cases.
- They are beneficial to health in many ways.
- Trekking is actually a long hike.
What kind of activity is trekking?
Trekking consists of walking. However, the word has come to mean the kind of walking where you wind along trails that go up, down, over, and around mountains.
How many types of trekking are there?
A trek can be divided into four types: 1 Easy Trekking: This type of activity is suitable for beginners and mainly involves a view of colorful horizons and the sight of beautiful nature. 2 Moderate Trekking: This type of hiking is more challenging than easy trekking. It involves hiking at a medium to slightly higher altitude.