A Guide to Hiking vs Trekking

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Written by: Soby Negi
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Exploring the outdoors for fun often involves choosing between hiking and trekking. While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably online, it’s essential to recognize their differences. Hiking offers a relaxed outdoor walk on clear paths, allowing one to enjoy nature leisurely. On the other hand, trekking involves more intense and longer journeys through challenging terrains, often requiring greater endurance, especially in remote or mountainous areas.

In this guide, let’s delve into the distinctions between hiking and trekking, helping you decide which adventure suits you best.

What sets hiking and trekking apart?


● An active walk in nature, typically following trails or paths.

● Ideal for day or overnight adventures exploring the outdoors.


● Involves long, energetic walks in the wild, often spanning several days.

● May go off regular paths, providing an exciting journey in nature.

Distinguishing Hiking from Trekking

  • Time:

Hiking: Quick and nearby, usually lasting a few hours.

Trekking: Takes days to months, covering extensive distances in remote locations.

  • Cost:

Hiking: More affordable, requiring basics like shoes, snacks, and water.

Trekking: Costs more due to additional gear such as tents, survival tools, and extra food.

  • Skills:

Hiking: Generally easy for most, requiring knowledge of trail manners and basic outdoor rules.

Trekking: More challenging, necessitating skills in camping, survival, first aid, and navigation in the wild.


  • Day Hike Essentials:
  1.  Comfy hiking shoes
  2.  Weather-appropriate clothes
  3.  Hat and sunscreen
  4.  Small backpack with water and snacks
  5.  Trail map and basic first aid kit
  • Overnight Hike or Trek Additions:
  1. Backpack, tent, and sleeping bag
  2. Fire tools (flint or matches)
  3. More food and water
  4. Water purifier
  5. Flashlight and insect repellent
  6. Trekking pole for challenging treks
Credit: Adventures.com via Pinterest

Types of hiking and trekking

There are so many types of hiking, but the following four are the most trending:

1. Day hiking

Day hiking is the easiest and most common type of hiking. You go for a hike and come back in one day. You can walk in a quiet forest, follow a long trail, or climb a rocky top. It might take a few hours or the whole day from sunrise to sunset. But here’s the cool part – you don’t need to camp out, so no heavy backpack with a tent or a sleeping bag. It’s just a fun day adventure!

2. Backpacking

Backpacking is like a hike where you spend the night camping. You might walk a few hours, set up camp, and continue the next day. It could be a short trip or a more extended adventure. You need more gear, like a tent and meals. You’ll learn skills like making a campfire and hanging a bear bag. Sometimes, you even need a permit to set up your tent. It’s an excellent way to escape and camp under the stars!

3. Section hiking

Section hiking is like hiking part of a long trail. There are trails all over that are super long, so instead of doing the whole thing, people do sections. A section can be a few miles or hundreds. You might spend a day, a weekend, or even weeks on it. It’s a way to experience the big trail without a huge commitment. The gear and preparation depend on how far you’re going. It’s like taking a little piece of a big adventure!

4. Thru-hiking

Thru-hiking is like the big boss of hiking. You walk the entire long trail in one go. It’s like doing the whole adventure at once. The trail could be 100 miles or a crazy 3,000 miles! It takes a lot of gear and a significant commitment of time, energy, and stuff. Sometimes, you need special permits, too. It’s like a mega, super long-distance adventure!

There are two types of trekking

  1. Camping trekking

Camping trekking is like the usual trekking. You walk during the day and set up a camp at night. Most people carry their stuff in a backpack. Some like having guides who bring supplies and help with camping. It’s a more adventurous way to trek!

  1. Teahouse trekking

Teahouse trekking means sleeping in lodges along the way. Some have food, and others are just places to rest. It’s like trekking with comfy stops! Nepal is famous for Teahouse trekking whereas in India we follow Camping trekking.

In conclusion, understanding the difference between hiking and trekking is crucial for selecting the adventure that aligns with your preferences and abilities. Whether opting for a casual hike or a challenging trek, both activities provide unique opportunities to connect with nature. Share your choices or ask any questions to continue the conversation. Happy exploring!

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Soby Negi

Soby Negi

Soby Negi is an outdoor enthusiast and a nature-loving wanderer. He has been tirelessly working to contribute to the growth of Himalayan Dream Treks. His dream has always been to showcase the beauty of the Himalayas. He has successfully completed both the Basic and Advanced Mountaineering courses from ABVIMAS and NIMAS, respectively.

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A Guide to Hiking vs Trekking