The terms appear to be used interchangeably on many websites and travel books. It becomes even more complicated when some companies sell their boots as ‘trekking boots’ after which proceed to state that they can be utilized on lengthy hikes. And when is a walk a trek and when is it a hike? It turns into even more confusing when the word trekking is used to consult with the ascent of a mountain, like Island Peak or Mera Peak in Nepal, each over 6000m and both requiring using technical climbing gear. How can they be called ‘trekking peaks?’
The time period ‘hiking’ is usually used to confer with day walks in natural surroundings, on clearly marked paths. It’s undertaken for leisure, recreation and the purpose of exercise. A small day pack is used to carry water, light weight fleece and snacks. In places comparable to Canada and New Zealand, the term is often used interchangeably with rambling, hill walking or tramping.
‘Trekking’, by contrast is considered to be more strenuous, covers better distances throughout various terrains, and requires camping over night and carrying heavy packs with food, sleeping bags and gear. The term is definitely derived from the Afrikaans work, trek, which comes from the Dutch word, trecken, referring to a prolonged and arduous journey over vast distances and infrequently, unchartered ground. It’s typically related to the migration of individuals across land from one area to another.
Does this mean then that if a day hike is tough, over rough ground and through thick forest with no paths, that it’s a trek? In Australia, they might call this bushwhacking, and in different places they call it stamping. Whenever you go to the Mountain Gorilla in Rwanda or Uganda, it’s a sooner or later hike, however via dense forest, over very uneven and difficult terrain. No wonder there is so much confusion.
But let us not end the confusion there. Anyone who has tried to take out journey insurance to cover their ‘trekking’ or ‘hiking’ journey, could have discovered that these actions are sometimes listed as ‘hazardous pursuits’. In fact, some insurance corporations even lump terms like hiking and mountaineering together as via they can be used interchangeably or are synonymous The there are other corporations who classify any hikes over an altitude of 2000m as mountaineering. Sorry Scotland, however it signifies that your famous peak, Ben Nevis (1352m), is just not a mountain after all however merely a trekking peak?
Perhaps the best way to look at it’s that a trek is mostly accomplished over a number of days made up of hiking, hill walking, tramping and bushwhacking.
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