Mileage is one difference between hiking from trekking. Hiking is everything that can be done in one day or overnight. The distance when you hike ranges anywhere from 2.5mi (4km) to 30mi (50km). Trekking is all about using up those hiking boots. Starting at 30 mi, it can go up to week-long expeditions or months on some of the more renowned trails that stretch for thousands of miles, such as the Appalachian trail.
Hiking is often synonymous with maintained trails and safety. It takes place on marked trails that are well taken care of, so there is no danger of getting lost or hurting yourself. In general, hiking does require moderate physical preparation, but can be practiced by pretty much anyone. Trekking takes it up a notch. When you trek, you tackle that which lies off the beaten path, literally. Crumbling mountain trails, slippery rocks and wild vegetation are only a few of the challenges you will encounter while trekking, and that can get strenuous.
This is a crucial distinction when it comes to the difference between hiking and trekking. If you ask an experienced mountaineer “What is hiking?”, they will most likely suggest that it’s a pleasant activity done to connect with nature. On the other hand, they will describe trekking as a challenge or a journey. It is all related to the mindset. Hiking is done in small distances, so while it is a wonderful getaway from urban noise, it does not require a change in one’s mindset. Trekking, on the other hand, requires mental strength and preparation. Being out in the wilderness for an extended period of time takes a physical toll on a person, but it is also an incredible mental challenge a person needs to be ready for.