What is the difference between hiking and trekking?

Discussion in 'Long Distance Walks (Hiking and Trekking)' started by Macron, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Macron

    Macron Member

    Just wondering what the difference is between hiking and trekking?

    I always thought they were pretty much the same thing, with Americans calling it trekking and the British calling it hiking - basically backpacking on rough trails?

    And do either of them have an association with backpacking?
  2. Tribble

    Tribble Regular Member

    I always thought of it in these terms:
    • Walking - a leisurely, gentle, low-level pursuit on well established paths for a few hours that anyone could undertake without much need for specialist equipment and something people of all ages and abilities can enjoy.

    • Hiking - full-day, more intensive walks on pre-charted paths or trails with specific goals / distance in mind, and sometimes for multiple days with overnight camping / hostel / B&B stopovers.

    • Trekking - more rugged than hiking, walking / climbing / scrambling through areas that are not charted or previously walked along, or are in very remote places, and often for days or weeks on end.
    I expect they've been put together in this forum section because they are somewhat similar, unlike walking, scrambling and climbing which are all markedly different.
  3. LeeDonny

    LeeDonny New Member

    That's not a bad description Tribble, although I've always thought along similar lines to Macron with the UK and US thing.
  4. Shaun

    Shaun Active Member Staff Member

    Yes, I was thinking along similar lines to @Tribble. I think we've got most things covered by other sub-forums so it seemed a more natural fit to put hiking and trekking together due to their similarity. We can always change it later on as the site grows.
  5. Gravity Aided

    Gravity Aided New Member

    I think it depends on your location in America. We always referred to hiking in the British context, generally. Trekking sounds more mountainous.
    Macron and Shaun like this.
  6. Paulsb

    Paulsb Regular Member

    Chorley Lancashire
    I agree with @Tribble but also think Americans use the word hiking to describe backpacking for several days in the way we use trekking.
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