What is the difference between Hiking and Trekking

What is the difference between hiking and trekking? You might visit a relative or colleague living in the woods. Since the distance might  benot be too far apart, you might decide to go without a vehicle. On getting to the destination, you might question if you take a hike or trek. So you might want to know the difference between hiking and trekking.
Some individuals today find it difficult to differentiate such activities. They are not able without being able to strike a clear-cut difference between themselves. Sometimes it isn’t easy to distinguish when you go on a hike and when you trek.
Have you ever wondered for a second what the difference is between Hiking and Trekking? Have you ever thought about why some people say they go hiking? And others say they are going on a trek. Both sound similar but are they the same?
what is the difference between hiking and trekking

What is the difference between hiking and trekking

Maybe you ever contemplate embarking on any of these activities. But you don’t know which you want to do, to go trekking or to go hiking. Or have you you ever thought about getting an opportunity to understand the difference between hiking and trekking entirely? Then this article is for you.
This article explains what the difference between hiking and trekking is. It also explores some of the benefits of participating in both walking activities. As an example, the equipment and items needed to take with you.
what is the difference between hiking and trekking
Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will know everything about the difference between hiking and trekking. Hence, you need to be able to distinguish between the two.
Furthermore, you will be able to answer what is the difference between hiking and trekking. And be sure you are making the right decision – hiking or trekking.

Difference between hiking and trekking

Often, people tend to get befuddled by the actual contrast between both activities. Although, in physical movement, you could hardly differentiate both events. 
Hiking and trekking happen to be quite similar activities. That is because both involve physically moving the body to a particular destination. Both hiking and trekking also happen to be outdoor activities. Also, undertaken by individuals at some point for several reasons by foot.
You can use both hiking and trekking interchangeably. But there is a significant difference between both activities. Moreover, it would be best if you comprehefully comprehend the differenceen hiking and trekking fully, you need to understand the underlying definition of both events.
what is the difference between hiking and trekking

Hiking and Trekking definitions

According to the Oxford Dictionary of English, trekking is: “a long, hard walk lasting several days or weeks, especially in the mountains.” While hiking is: “a long walk in the country.”

In the same vein, Dictionary.com defines hiking as: “the act of walking or marching a long distance through rural areas which are for pleasure, exercise or military training.”

Understanding Hiking

Hiking is mainly for recreational purposes. A leisure-like activity to enjoy nature and scenic attractiveness. It involves primarily a slow walk that requires less physical exertion for relatively short distances and periods.
Consequently, enjoying the fascinating beauty of nature and relishing the cool breeze. Also, usually a walk in an already known terrain or a trailed road. Moreover, you can use human-made signposts to serve as a guide to hikers.
what is the difference between hiking and trekking
In addition to the growing popularity of hiking amongst tourists, it could also be an exercise to several benefits. For example, shed weight, reduce blood pressure, and regulate blood glucose levels. Also, strengthen specific muscles and hamstring.
Hiking as an exercise also lowers the risk of cancer, decreases bone density, and ensures the body absorbs the right doses of some vitamins such as vitamin D.

Tips on what is the difference between hiking and trekking

The following points show some of the differences between hiking and trekking.

  • When going on hiking, hikers usually go with their hiking shoes, hiking pole, compass, water, medicine, backpack, headlamps, fire-starting tool, kits for survival such as rain boot and raincoat.
  • When embarking on either hiking closed-toe shoes, you have to wear sneakers preferably.
  • High heeled shoes happen to be a terrible idea when going on a hike.
  • You probably don’t want a shoe that will slow you down or drag you behind your hiking mates.
  • You should wear light and comfortable shirt instead of heavy traditional attires that may inconvenience the hiker.
  • Insect repellants often come in handy when going on an outing.
  • This feature is to help keep away insects or repel them from certain surfaces of hiking clothes.
  • Depending on the term of the hike, the hiker may also go with a meal, a water bottle or snack pack.

After a hike, you do not only feel the physical and mental significance of the exercise. Also, the added emotional benefits of having spent time with friends, family and immersing yourself in nature. This fact improves the mood of an individual and gets them closer to life.

Understanding Trekking

On the other hand, trekking is a form of walking in an area of the relatively unexplored scenery of difficulty. Trekking is more of an arduous task which can last for more extended periods.
For example, trekking ranges from two days to a month or as long as you can carry on. Several factors are depending on the ability of the individual involved, the terrain and the location.
In trekking, you require much physical exertion concerning hiking. It poses more significant risks which are apparent threats to personal safety. This fact includes but not limited to hazardous terrain as most of these locations are void of signposts. And few if any case they exist.

Trekkers also stand a risk of dehydration. Especially when walking through heights, sunburn, sprains as a result of very long walks or possibly broken bones.

Trekking particularities

Harsh weather conditions could also pose a significant danger to trekkers. You can become lost as a result of the lack of a tour guide. Or out of negligence, attacks by dangerous animals such as snakes, bears, and scorpions are also dangers to consider while trekking.

  • Trekking, as a rule, is far more challenging and intense than hiking.
  • Most times, it is a test for physical fitness, mental doggedness, and perseverance.
  • Sometimes trekking can also denote a lack of option or means of conveying oneself to a particular destination by walking.
  • Out of necessity when it happens to be the only option in the absence of other transportation.
  • Since trekking often takes place in challenging mountainous areas, trekkers usually go with some trekking equipment such as first aid kit, water filter, sun protection, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, map, compass, fire starter, food, and a tent.

Trekking, therefore, could be regarded as more of a rigorous and more intense exercise. Moreover, could also possess excellent health benefits. Such as cardiovascular fitness and strengthening of muscles.
It happens to be more expensive about a hike. This fact is because trekkers have to make arrangements for their strenuous walk carefully through a variety of environments and terrains.
You can spend more money on meals, backpacking tent, headlamp, supplements such as magnesium, etc.

Tips to consider

Don’t wake up from sleep one day and decide to embark on a walk without considering the following tips! Else, you might be caught up in the same dilemma as Alisha.

  • When embarking on either hiking or trekking, it is always advisable to wear trail shoes rather than athletic shoes. This fact is because they tend to provide traction and stability for the feet.
  • You should also consider the financial implications before embarking on either hiking or trekking.
  • Trekking is more expensive than hiking.
  • Your level of physical strength and mental endurance has to be put in endurance as trekking involves a much more extended walk which requires patience.
  • As a tourist, a useful tour guide with good knowledge of the terrain and culture of the locals is good.
  • A tourist would help to direct you in territories where there are no trails or signposts.
  • An excellent tour guide could also help you understand better the cultural heritage of the location.
  • Don’t forget to go with a high-quality camera like DSLRs. You can lose moments, but pictures always bring back good memories.
  • Before embarking on either activity ensure you go with a camera as this would come in handy in capturing breathtaking.
  • Shoot enthralling moments which probably you can’t recollect.

Hiking vs. Trekking

What is the difference between hiking and trekking? The main difference between the two is that hiking is mostly a relaxation movement. The movement finishes by strolling on well-made trails and human-made streets.
However, trekking is more rigorous, a more challenging activity and an additionally tricky action. It tests one’s physical capability, endurance, and even mental and psychological limit and capacity.
Maybe you are going on a multi-day outing. Then you are on trekking and if any less time than that means you are on a hiking expedition.

Many people use hiking and trekking synonymously. But there are distinctions between both activities.
Hiking and trekking are similar in that both events seek to explore the beautiful panoramas or sceneries.
Both activities also tend to bring individuals closer to nature, culture, tradition, and religion of a particular location of interest.
There are seemingly endless similarities between these two activities.

Fundamental differences between Hiking and Trekking

However, significant differences do exist between them such as the intensity, the duration, terrain, etc.

  • Trekking involves walking in remote and difficult terrains which often are without trails.
  • Hiking, on the other hand, is a more recreational activity.
  • Hiking is usually partaken on an individual basis or with family and friends.
  • Of both activities, hiking is a casual way to get exercise and be immersed in nature while trekking is an adventurous and mental toughness test.
  • Hiking in some cases can be dangerous due to the isolative nature of some areas.
  • Also, lack of adequate preparation and fatigue.
  • Hiking in itself involves a lesser degree of risk as compared to trekking.
  • Hiking can, therefore, be the first step of difficulty when engaging in walks.
  • Moreover, it involves walking in well-marked trails with relatively moderate difficulty.

Raymond Inmon previously said “If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk“. Although both activities are entirely different, they provide similar benefits which we will discuss briefly below.

Exploring the Open

When individuals, mainly tourists engage in either hiking or trekking, they examine the great scenes of natures, the mountains, the woods, the fresh cool breeze, and others thus providing an enthralling experience of serenity.
Availing oneself of the privilege to see plants and animals live peacefully in their natural habitat. Nature becomes much closer to them as the many splendors, and facets of character unravel before them as they walk.

Closer Relationship with Loved Ones

Either hiking or trekking can be embarked on by an individual, but it can also be done along with friends and family thereby creating a much more significant bond of affection amongst them.
It affords individuals the much-needed quality time to be spent with their dear and loved ones. All in all, hiking and trekking both improve your emotional health.

Health Benefits

Individuals can undertake hiking and trekking as a means of exercise. This point helps reduce stress, and you can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
As discussed earlier in this article, both hiking and trekking play pivotal roles in the keeping the body fit and free from certain conditions.

Life Long Memories

Ever dreamt of coming across those magnificent, immovable mountains, plains, rivers, sun rays of dusk, beautiful waterfalls, the cold caress of the snow scented breeze, all these dreams could be made a reality when you embark on an adventure.
Hiking and trekking, both, bring lifelong memories of our splendid encounter with nature, friends and loved ones.

New Cultural Acquaintance

Hiking or trekking through a relatively unknown location or terrain gives one the rare opportunity to more about the culture and tradition of that particular area.
They get to share experiences with others in their desired location of hike or trek thereby gaining more insight into the constitutional norms and religion of that particular people.
what is the difference between hiking and trekking
So, having known the differences between both activities, one might also ask, which is better for hiking and trekking? What is the difference between hiking and trekking? Did Alisha trek or hiked?


Finally, I believe you must now have been in an excellent position to help Alisha. She can fully understand the particular recreational activity she partook in. As a journey of a thousand mile begins with one step, so whether you trek or you hike, it all depends on you as an individual to decide.
Either way, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks” – John Muir.
Now probably you understand better what is the difference between hiking and trekking.