The phrases appear to be used interchangeably on many websites and journey books. It becomes even more confusing when some firms sell their boots as ‘trekking boots’ after which proceed to state that they can be utilized on long hikes. And when is a walk a trek and when is it a hike? It becomes even more confusing when the word trekking is used to check with the ascent of a mountain, like Island Peak or Mera Peak in Nepal, both over 6000m and both requiring the use of technical climbing gear. How can they be called ‘trekking peaks?’
The time period ‘hiking’ is often used to check with day walks in natural surroundings, on clearly marked paths. It’s undertaken for leisure, recreation and the aim of exercise. A small day pack is used to carry water, light weight fleece and snacks. In places corresponding to Canada and New Zealand, the term is often used interchangeably with rambling, hill walking or tramping.
‘Trekking’, against this is considered to be more strenuous, covers larger distances across varying terrains, and requires camping over night and carrying heavy packs with food, sleeping bags and gear. The time period is actually derived from the Afrikaans work, trek, which comes from the Dutch word, trecken, referring to a lengthy and arduous journey over vast distances and sometimes, unchartered ground. It is typically related to the migration of people throughout land from one space to another.
Does this imply then that if a day hike is troublesome, over tough ground and through thick forest with no paths, that it is a trek? In Australia, they would call this bushwhacking, and in different places they call it stamping. If you go to the Mountain Gorilla in Rwanda or Uganda, it is a someday hike, but via dense forest, over very uneven and troublesome terrain. No wonder there is so much confusion.
But allow us to not finish the confusion there. Anyone who has tried to take out journey insurance to cover their ‘trekking’ or ‘hiking’ journey, will have discovered that these actions are often listed as ‘hazardous pursuits’. In reality, 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, but it implies that your famous peak, Ben Nevis (1352m), will not be a mountain in spite of everything however simply a trekking peak?
Maybe the perfect way to have a look at it’s that a trek is mostly completed over several days made up of hiking, hill strolling, tramping and bushwhacking.
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