When I was doing my research on trekking poles, I noticed that there seemed to be a bit of confusion over the use of hiking and trekking terminology. It's understandable as, initially at least, the two words meant very much the same thing: walking along a path or trail enjoying the outdoors. But are they really the same thing?
When it comes to outdoor adventure, there are endless possibilities and over time the two terms began to be used to describe particular types of outdoor adventure.
In this blog post, we'll discuss the key differences so that you can choose the right activity for your next adventure.
Hiking is generally considered to be a less strenuous activity than trekking, as it usually takes place on well-marked trails with gentle elevation changes. Hiking is a relatively easy and low-commitment way to enjoy time outdoors. All you need is a good pair of shoes and some basic gear, like a map and water bottle, and you're good to go. Most hikes can be completed in a day or less, making them a great option for busy people, short on time, who still want to get out and explore nature. Plus, there are hikes of all different difficulty levels, so you can find one that's perfect for your fitness level.
Trekking is similar to hiking, often takes place off the beaten path, which can make it more challenging both physically and mentally.
It generally refers to multi-day trips that require overnight camping. Treks can last for days or even weeks. This means you'll need to carry all of your gear with you on your back, which can make trekking more challenging than hiking. But don't let that deter you—trekking is an incredibly rewarding experience that allows you to really immerse yourself in nature. Plus, there's nothing quite like pitching your tent at the end of a long day of walking and falling asleep under the stars.
Your choice of equipment needed for each activity also differs. For hikes, a sturdy backpack, good shoes, and sufficient food and water are essential. Optional gear like binoculars and insect repellent are also useful.
However, for longer treks, you'll need additional gear like a hiking backpack, trekking poles, a hiking flashlight and overnight camping gear (like sleeping bags and camping knives). You'll also need to know the route well and be prepared for any emergencies that may arise.
What's Best For You?
So, what's the verdict? Is hiking or trekking right for you? If you're looking for a relatively easy way to enjoy time outdoors that can be done in a relatively short period of time, then hiking is probably your best bet. But if you're up for a little more adventure, have the time to commit and don't mind carrying more gear on your back, then trekking is definitely the way to go.
Whichever one you choose, get out there and explore—you won't regret it!