Hiking and trekking have many similarities and are often used interchangeably. When you think back to trekking, you might imagine people with equipment climbing Everest. In reality, however, trekking does not require climbing the world’s highest mountain, and what is a hike for one person may be a trek for another.
Regardless of whether you are hiking or trekking, a specific understanding of the characteristics of the mountain you plan to climb will help you be well-prepared for any potential eventuality. This article will summarize the key differences.
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Hiking vs. Trekking
Hiking generally involves walking on trails that have been prepared for hikers or that have been formed by hikers frequenting the area. The action tends to be shorter than trekking. The paths are open, so walking and checking the route is easy. Hiking may be a day trip or span several days.
On the other hand, treks tend to be more pristine. This includes unpleasant weather conditions and extreme natural environments such as senior high school elevations and infuse slopes. It is longer than hiking and involves walking all day and tenting at night to get through. This is continued until the destination is reached.
Description: Hikes on trails in refreshingly beautiful natural settings. It may seem difficult, but there are trails of variable trouble in different areas.
Duration: 2–7 hours per day, either as a day hike or over several days.
Distance: Choose from trails of varying difficulty, ranging from 3 to 50 km.
What to bring:
For day hikes, pack a day pack with water, food, and a few snacks.
For overnight camping or longer, bring a large pack with extra clothing, food, water, a tent, and a sleeping bag. If you are going on a day hike from your campsite, you may want to choose a backpack that comes with a daypack. That way, you can submit only what you require without having to carry all your gear.
For day hikes, a backpack that is lightweight (15–20 liters) and can hold a lot of gear would be appropriate.
When it comes to an overnight hike, choose a 25–35-liter backpack with good ventilation, a cushioned hip belt, and support.
For a multi-day hike, a 40–50-liter backpack with room for camping gear and preparation utensils is a good choice. Refer to our backpack selection guide to find the right pack for your trip.
Grand Canyon National Park in the United States is famous for its hiking trails that wind through beautiful but hard landscapes. The Bright Saint Trail is one of the park’s tramp routes and offers spectacular views of the Canyon and Colorado Rivers. The trail is more or less 13 km (8 miles) long, and visitors can stay overnight at campgrounds along the way.
Tips for hiking with children:
Hiking trips may still be thought-provoking for young children, but by choosing simpler, shorter hiking trails, you can enjoy easy day hikes with your children. You may also want to buy a stroller that can handle rough terrain if your child gets tired. These strollers have suspension, so your kid will be safe and comfortable, even if they rattle around on rocks or grass.
Summary: Challenging dirt roads, inclement weather, steep inclines, and low-oxygen conditions at high altitudes. Unlike typical hiking, trekking often takes you through wilderness areas rather than on predetermined paths and may require prior training.
Duration: Treks may last from one to several weeks. Along the way, camps are made and the destination is reached (of course, if conditions deteriorate, the trek may be cut short).
Distance: The trek can range from 50 to 1,000 kilometers. For example, a round-trip trek to Everest Base Camp in Nepal would take 14 days over a distance of approximately 130 km. Some treks may involve walking up to 10 km per day.
What to bring: To venture into the wilderness, equip yourself with gear appropriate to the location and conditions. If it snows, you will need ice axes; in the desert, you will need hydration. Water, food, cooking utensils, tents, sleeping bags, clothing, medicine, trekking poles, compass, and satellite communication device will be essential for most treks.
Backpack size: A 60-85 liter backpack will give you enough room for your cooker, tent, and sleeping bag, in addition to the food and clothing you will need. It should be lightweight, breathable, and have padded hip belts to prevent back strain. Our guide to choosing a backpack will help you choose the right backpack for your trek.
Trekking clothing is based on three layers
Trekking clothes are basically made up of three layers that are easy to put on and take off regardless of the season: the first layer is the base layer, the second layer is the middle layer, and the third layer is the outer layer, etc. The following is an explanation of the functions of each layer and how to select them.
Here we will explain the functions of each of these layers and how to select the right one.
Base layers are inner wear such as “underwear” and “underwear” that directly touch the skin. For trekking wear, we recommend a material with high “water absorbency,” which quickly absorbs sweat, and “quick-drying,” which dries quickly after getting wet. Cotton T-shirts and the like are fine, but there are many high-performance inner wear products on the market these days, so it may be a good idea to choose from among them.
The middle layer is a shirt, fleece, inner down, etc., worn over inner wear. In trekking wear, materials that combine “warmth retention” and “quick-drying” or “breathability” are appropriate. We also recommend front-openings such as zips or buttons on the front part to make it easier to adjust body temperature by taking on and off or opening and closing the neck.
Outer layers are trekking wear such as mountain jackets and windbreakers worn on top. It is an ironclad rule to choose trekking wear made of windproof and waterproof/breathable materials in consideration of the effects of weather conditions such as rain and wind. It is also convenient to select pocketable (foldable for storage) and lightweight clothing for carrying.
Whether hiking or trekking, it is important to plan well and equip yourself appropriately to have a safe and enjoyable climbing experience. If you want to enjoy the beauty of nature to the fullest, mountain climbing on your own is the best activity for you!