Hiking Vs Trekking

Learn The Difference Between Hiking And Trekking

|September 4, 2020
Vita has hiked glaciers in Alaska, climbed fourteeners in Colorado and is all about sharing her stories and promoting responsible tourism. These days she is often wandering the streets of Vilnius with a film camera in her hand or reading.

Trekking and hiking are oftentimes used as synonyms, but is that correct? If you can’t answer with certainty, continue reading. Learn about hiking vs trekking and back up your enthusiasm for the outdoors with knowledge of the terms.


Hiking Vs Trekking

The Distance

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. 

Trekking Hiking Laugavegur Landmannalaugar in Iceland

The Difficulty

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.

Walking Hiking Group Landmannalaugar Skaftafell in Iceland

The Mindset

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.

Happy Hiking Group People Sunset

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