What is the difference between hiking and trekking?

What is the difference between hiking and trekking?
What is the difference between hiking and trekking?

When it comes to the outdoor activities and exploring the nature two major things come in mind, Hiking and Trekking. Many people don’t understand the difference between these two outdoor activities and often consider it one thing having different names, but this is not the case. Hiking and trekking are two different outdoor activities, but the common thing about them is they both involve breathtaking scenery, walking and outdoors while enjoying the better views and nature’s scene.


Hiking is a simple outdoor walking which is usually done in the daytime and require little organization and planning and involve walking on the trails. The location can be any outdoor place like following the trail of the top of the mountain or creek, river or any natural place like hills, plains or slopes.

The difference between hiking and trekking is hiking is a short time outdoor activity which consists of a few hours or even for a few days in which a person or group carries their backpack along with them. They can follow any trails they like and use their hands and feet to adjust in different areas and places.

Day hiking also includes the places with moderate temperature and atmosphere suitable for humans while staying in nature.

Another terminology which is used in place of hiking is backpacking in which people carry backpacks for outdoor activities, but it is not as popular as day hiking. Backpacking is hiking for multiple days in which you have to carry various necessities along with you like your sleeping bag, food, tents, and water.

Usually, backpacking is carried out for two or more days involving the nights which are spent outside in tents or guesthouses. Other difference between the backpacking and trekking is that the individuals or groups are allowed to take and carry the gears with them as well.


Trekking is also related to the long-distance walking, but unlike hiking, it consists of multiple days. Also, the treks have the substantial infrastructure of food stops, guest houses, and extensive trails. The hiking and backpacking consist of experience of wilderness, but as per trekking it is defined and prolonged by the infrastructure on the trail. That is why trekking is much more commercial activity. Many companies and groups arrange the trekking activities that don’t require you to carry all the life necessities with you and you can stop for snacks and other things which make your life little less strenuous. But trekking also includes many famous high altitude points which make it more physically demanding and interesting for people to take part in it.

Also, trekker also has porters, or they can buy the necessary supplies as they move or travel. When compared to hiking, trekking is less self-sufficient which includes all types of natural sceneries and locations but not fully immersed in the wilderness experience. That is why trekking companies make fully organized programs where you can take part according to your desired destinations.

Nature and asserted trekking:

There are two types of trekking, one is nature trekking which consists of infrastructure consists of larger trails which are better maintained. Also, these are busy routes and safer trails, and very rarely they get far away from villages and towns. All the supplies, food and water are generally restocked frequently and have good options for porters as well. Also, this type of trekking also includes lodges which keep the trails less risky with more friendly for professionals as well as the beginner. That is why you don’t have to carry your food and gears along with you, the frequent food stops and shops will avoid the backpacking at all and makes easier for the people to enjoy the trip and focus on the challenges of traveling.

Hiking and trekking, is there a difference?

Hiking is quite a broad term which means you need to walk in natural environments if you are doing so; it means that you are hiking. On the other hand, the trek is more specific and means “pull, travel.”

However you cannot say that trekking is entirely leisure bases like hiking, it all depends on the length of any hike. Some hikes can be long and challenging and cannot be said to be leisurely. Sometimes trekking doesn’t involve any form of road or trail, and you have to follow your path and may involve navigating to go stile terrain and isolated places as well. Although hikers don’t usually expose to these situations as the amount of certainty involved in hiking.

Also, the equipment you need for trekking is quite different from the hiking. Hikers usually require a simple compass, a walking pole to support them at sloping places, a good pair of shoes and possibly a tent too in case they want to stay overnight outside.

However, the trekkers carry the more of the camping gears, boots, clothes, medicines and survival kits that also have necessities in it.

If the hikers are going for an overnight trip, they might need more stuff and things to survive but not as much as the trekking. Trekking can extend for more than just a couple of days and in that case may require more fuel, money, things, food, water, and clothes than it is estimated.

Which one to pick from hiking and trekking?

If you are looking for short-term adventure and trips at outdoors, hiking is just the right choice for you, but if you are looking for something for quite more days, trekking will be a better choice. But keep in mind that the trekking requires difficult walking, uncertain conditions as well as endurance and discovering the new environment and world.

About the author

Maria Zahid

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