What is the difference between hiking and trekking?


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?


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.


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.
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