Trekking vs Hiking: Know Which is Better for You 2021

Last Updated on: 5th Jan 2021

Commonly trekking and hiking are used interchangeably, but actually, both are different. Hiking and trekking are different from each other on the factors

  • Equipment required
  • Location
  • Physical Fitness
  • Time
  • Safety

Let’s have look on Hiking vs Trekking


Hiking is basically two to eight hours of a walking trip through the mountains or rural areas and can range from easy flat jaunts to impressive scrambles on narrow ledges.

The main aim of such a journey is to travel at a modest pace and observe nature and beautiful scenic surroundings.

It mostly doesn’t require much of planning as it is mostly a day of leisure walk through forests, mountains, hills or any other beautiful natural environment.

Moreover, most of these locations have a hiking trail that makes your experience even more pleasurable and enjoyable.

Hiking is like a pleasurable light exercise which is also a great way to clear your mind while surrounded by nature and chirping sounds of birds.

Hiking doesn’t need a high level of fitness, it could be done by anyone who wants to enjoy the natural surroundings and can walk for a few hours.


Trekking refers to a multi-day hiking trip through a variety of terrains and not limited to nature.

A long trek may take you through roads, mountains or even remote unmarked terrain.

Trekking is mostly less structured than other forms of travel as it is mostly influenced by weather conditions and topography.

A traveller moves on foot and often enjoying the incredible scenery up close.

It is a good way to test your mental and physical limits and it is a challenge that cannot be taken by everybody.

Apart from the intensity of the trip, It is an excellent way to explore nature up close and explore the unmarked terrain.

To be able to conquer a long-distance trek you need to have certain skills and proper gear to survive.

Without the proper survival skills and proper camping material, attempting a trek could be dangerous.

Comparison between Trekking Vs Hiking

Things and Equipment Needed

For Hiking

As hiking is mostly limited to a few hours of walking. You should have the following on your hiking day.

  • Weather appropriate clothing

You would need clothes that are moisture-wicking or the one with multiple layers that can be used appropriately depending on the weather.

  • Hiking Shoes

You should get that would be suitable for the terrain you are going to hike on.

  • Hiking backpack

You would need a hiking backpack with essential survival tools that you would need in case of an emergency that included First Aid Kit and knife or multi-tools.

  • Plenty of Water and Food

To be able to survive the whole day of walking.

For Trekking

As mentioned above Trekking is a multi-day affair through a variety of terrains.

You would need many survival equipment and the skills to use them.

Here are the things and equipment you would need when going for trekking.

  • Map and Compass

You would need a Map of trekking area and a compass with the necessary skills to Navigate properly through the trekking area and avoid getting lost.

  • Tent

You would also need a backpacking tent to spend the night and take some rest before continuing.

  • Trekking Gear

Other trekking gears that you would need for your endeavor are the Sunglasses and Snow Glasses, and Headlamp or small torch,

  • Weather Appropriate clothing

You should carry Warm jackets, water, and windproof jacket, Multi-layered clothing for adjusting with changing temperature during the day.

You should also carry comfortable hiking trousers and 2-3 T-shirts.

  • Running Shoes and Flip Flops

You should carry high-quality shoes that are suitable for trekking and a pair of flip flops that could come in handy on your long trekking trip.

  • Other Miscellaneous items

You might need these miscellaneous items that include First Aid Kit, Toiletries, Quick drying towels, Soap, Sun Screen, Earplugs, Insect and Toilet paper.

  • Food and water

You would need to carry enough water bottles and food with you on your journey.


For Hiking

As hiking is mostly a day trip and it takes place on an established trail that can be natural or a man made.

It can involve a trail that takes you to the top of the mountain or it is a simple trail that goes along the river or creek.

The trails can vary from a simple flat one to steep slopes that seems to go up and up forever.

For Trekking

Trekking is usually a walking trip for getting from one place to another that can involve passing through multiple terrains.

A trek can involve moving through mountains, roads, forests or remote unmarked areas.

It is mostly about exploring the new areas while not just limiting to the natural areas.


For Hiking

Hiking is mostly a planned trip, there is always an expected amount of time planned for completion.

It could be an overnight trip or a half day one.

Most of the trips are limited to 7-8 hours of walking through natural terrains.

For Trekking

Trek is usually more than an overnight trip. It is usually a trip that is in days or more.

These are mostly slow-paced trips that could be because of multiple reasons like unexpected terrains or time could be spent on frequently checking the maps to check whether you are going into the right direction or not.

Physical Fitness

For Hiking

Depending on the kind of trek you choose it could be anywhere from mildly difficult to relatively exhausting.

It could be done by anyone who can walk for several hours.

For Trekking

A trek can have different types of terrains so it could be easy to walk at one moment and very difficult at the very next moment.

So, You are required to have strong leg muscles and excellent overall fitness to be able to enjoy the trek to the fullest.


For Hiking

Hiking is mostly done on the established trail so they are quite safe as in case of emergency medical help can reach you quickly and it is easy to find someone who has lost the track as the area is limited and the journey is on the pre-decided path.

For Trekking

Trekking is a mostly less structured way of traveling through different trails and it could be proved dangerous for someone who is not experienced or don’t know how to navigate using maps and compass.

In case of emergency, it is most difficult for a medical assistant to find you and provide help.


You should go for a hike if you just want to unwind yourself and spend a morning surrounded by the sound of nature then hiking is a perfect choice to recharge your batteries and clear your mind.

It is a kind of activity that is suitable and beneficial for everyone who can walk.

However, if you want to do something challenging to test your physical and mental strength then trekking is the way to go.

Even a short trek could be a tough task to complete.

Moreover, you would need to learn many survival skills before going for a trek.

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