Hiking Vs Trekking: The Key Differences

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The Difference Between Hiking Vs Trekking

Let’s begin with the definitions for hiking vs trekking. According to merriam-webster.com:

hikea long walk especially for pleasure or exercise

trek: a trip or movement especially when involving difficulties or complex organization : an arduous journey

The definition of hike as a “walk” implies less difficulty and more pleasure.

Trek’s definition implies more difficulty and planning for an arduous (hard) “journey” covering a longer distance.

Hiking vs trekking both offer many healthy benefits.

Differences: Hiking Vs Trekking


1. How long does a hike take?

Hiking takes less time than trekking. Hiking takes hours to days.

A hike usually covers at most 12 – 14 miles in a day or a couple of days and usually less distance.

2. What kind of land do you cover when you hike?

Hikers use marked trails in forests, valleys, or mountains. Trails use “blazes” to mark the trail.

3. How hard is a hike?

Most people consider hiking a fun activity. Even if you do not think of yourself as a hiker, you can still go hiking.

You choose your hike’s difficulty. You hike on trails marked with trail blazes.

4. What kind of gear do you take when you hike?

If you want a comfortable hike, you need a few things. You want some hiking boots to take care of your feet.

You want the right clothes since the weather often changes on the trail. Include a rain jacket for the surprise rain storms.

I always bring my hiking poles too!

5. Where do you stay on a hike?

Often hikers take day hikes and do not need a place to stay. Hikers frequently set up a base camp too if they hike for days.

They take different hikes on different days and return to the base camp each day.


1. How long does a trek take?

Trekking takes longer than hiking. A trek can take weeks or months covering hundreds of miles.

Since you often have to map your trek, trekking takes longer too.

2. What kind of land do you cover when you trek?

Treks often cover wildlands without markers. You might even trek in the jungle or across a desert.

3. How hard is a trek?

Not everyone goes trekking. Why? Trekking is harder than hiking. Trekking requires training.

You might trek off trail with no blazes. You have more organization you need to handle when you trek.

4. What kind of gear do you take when you trek?

When you trek, you need more gear. Since you often trek off trail, you want a map, compass, or GPS.

Also, bring a sleeping bag and mat.

You need the right clothes that include rain gear, boots, etc. You need food and cooking gear too.

Remember your hiking poles!

5. Where do you stay on a trek?

When you trek, you stay in more than one place during your journey. You might stay in a hostel, lodge, hotel, or just camp out.

Hiking Vs Trekking (The Key Differences)
Hiking Vs Trekking
(Credit pixaby.com)

7 Reasons For Both Hikes and Treks

Both hiking and trekking offer many positive health benefits.

They both give you a great workout, strengthening your muscles. Each has positive benefits for your blood too.

The fresh air and the beautiful scenery improves your mood. You also have a sense of accomplishment when you complete a hike or trek.

Hiking and Trekking benefits include:

  1. Weight control
  2. Lower blood sugar and blood pressure
  3. Strengthens your hips, lower legs, glutes, ham strings, and quadriceps
  4. Better balance
  5. Stronger core
  6. Stronger bones
  7. Better mood

Summary – Hiking Vs Trekking

Several differences separate hiking vs trekking.

Hikes are shorter, treks longer. Hikes have marked trails, treks might not. Usually, you choose your hike’s difficulty. You might not control your trek’s level of difficulty.

Hiking Vs Trekking (The Key Differences)
Hiking Vs Trekking
(Credit pixaby.com)

Take less gear when you hike and more gear when you trek. When you trek you do no stay in one location until the end of your trek. You often do stay in one location when you hike.

Always be safe when you hike! These are basic safety tips:

Be safe on the Hiking Trail!

  • Know your trail or the map for your trek.
  • Go with a friend or friends.
  • Check the weather.
  • Wear the right clothes.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you should return.

Whether you hike or trek, enjoy the outdoors!

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