What’s difference between hiking and trekking?

Both hiking and trekking are the same right? They involve going for long walks that both include carrying a backpack.

So what’s the difference between the two? Is trekking and hiking the same? Well, let me explain.

The main difference between the two is that Hiking involves a long energetic leisurely walk through the countryside on trails or footpath for a day or possibly overnight. Trekking is a multi-day walk, which is a physically demanding journey by foot through the wilderness. It tests one’s physical ability, endurance, and even their mental or psychological capacity

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between trekking and hiking, why some people prefer one over the other.

What is trekking?

Trekking is a multi-day walk through the wilderness with the specific purpose of enjoying nature’s surroundings.

It is typically an arduous and physically demanding journey by foot through the wilderness

The definition of trekking is going on a long demanding journey, typically by foot.

This is a more rigorous outdoor experience that is meant to test your ability and sanity.

Why do people trek?

One reason is the challenge of walking up and down hills, admiring nature whilst your heart is pumping, providing a fantastic cardio workout.

Thereby, reducing blood pressure and heart disease.

Trekking is a physical low impact workout that strengthens glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs.

Trekking also burns many calories which are great for losing or managing weight.

Trekking also strengthens your muscles and improves your balance and agility.

Walking around in nature breathing fresh acts as a form of mindfulness, reducing stress and anxiety.

What are the different types of trekking?

Trekking is demanding on foot exercise that can be defined by three types

Easy Trekking

Easy trekking is typically performed over a few days over gentle terrain that does not involve major ascents up mountains.

An easy trek involves a short distance, a few hours walking.

A distance of something like 4 kilometres/2.5 miles per day. Performed over a few days.

Moderate Trekking

Moderate trekking involves crossing difficult terrain, requiring physical conditioning and stamina.

For most, moderate trekking will be a challenge.

Depending on the terrain a moderate trek involves a distance up to 30 kilometres/18 miles or 5-7 hours of trekking.

Hard Trekking

A hard trek is a stretch of walking long hours per day through difficult terrain.

Involves high walking up and down mountains over steep and challenging terrain.

A hard trek requires physical and mental conditioning. The hard trek will test even the most experienced conditioned trekker.


An example of a hard trek is trekking around the Himalayas.

These treks can be for periods of 10-25 days.

Is trekking difficult? How fit do I need to be?

Walking with a backpack is not difficult but does require a certain level of physical fitness.

Trekking can be easy or difficult depending on the grade of the hike and the duration.

The difficulty is determined by how difficult the terrain is to walk on, trail incline, and possibly altitude (if you’re trekking up in the mountains).

Weather conditions can also play a part in determining how difficult trekking can be.

What are the benefits of trekking?

Trekking is beneficial for both the mind and body.

Spending many hours on the trail, climbing hills improves your cardio fitness, strengthens your muscles, balance, and agility.

Trekking lowers your blood pressure, reduces heart disease.

It also improves bone density and reduces your chances of having osteoarthritis.

Walking around in nature breathing fresh acts as a form of mindfulness, reducing stress and anxiety.

What gear do I need for trekking?

Below is a summary of what you should take hiking

What is hiking?

Hiking is walking through the countryside on trails or footpaths which are likely to be man-made for a day or overnight.

Why do people hike?

Hiking is an energetic, low impact physical activity that improves your cardio and physical ability.

Hiking also helps to clear the mind, reducing stress and anxiety.

As a result, making us feel more positive and happier about life.

Is hiking difficult? How fit do I need to be?

Walking with a backpack is not difficult but does require a certain level of physical fitness.

Hiking can be easy or difficult depending on the grade of hiking and the duration.

What are the benefits of hiking?

Hiking being a low impact exercise increases heart rate, improving blood flow whilst reducing blood pressure.

A cardio workout that burns many calories which is great for losing or managing weight.

Hiking also strengthens your muscles and improves your balance and agility.

Getting out exercising whilst enjoying the countryside admiring nature breathing fresh acts as a form of mindfulness, reducing stress and anxiety.

What gear do I need for hiking?

Below is a summary of what you should take hiking

How long is hiking?

Hiking is normally performed for a day or overnight. The distance covered will be determined by the difficulty of the terrain and also how far you want to walk.

Should I hike or trek every day?

There’s no reason why you can’t hike or trek every day.

Being a low impact exercise that can be modified to be more or less strenuous.

It is worth listening to your body if you feel worn out and need time to recover.

There are likely to be days when your body requires “time off” for recovery.

Final Thoughts

Hiking and Trekking involve the use of feet and legs to transport oneself.

The only real difference is hiking is a shorter, less strenuous version than trekking.

I hope this article answers your question relating to the difference between trekking and hiking.

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