What's the Difference Between Hiking, trekking & Mountaineering?
We are so zen right? Our generation, we are like so chill, so down with nature etc. Okay, maybe not, we care more about having more than 80% battery when getting on public transport and getting 8 hours sleep but its still healthy and important for us all to get out in nature and try awesome activities like hiking, trekking or mountaineering. Maybe you have tried them? Maybe you think you have tried them but lingo like this is confusing so what exactly are the differences between hiking, trekking and mountaineering. How do you actually wade through the lingo and get to the meaning in the language. Discovering how wonderful it is to get out in nature and being a smart and sustainable traveler!
Some people use the words mountaineering, trekking, and hiking as though they are synonyms but in fact, they are not. While they are all outdoor activities that get your blood pumping, exploring and enjoying nature, there are some differences between them. We hope after reading this article, you will have a clear understanding of the Difference Between Hiking, Trekking, and Mountaineering, what you’d need when you participate in any of them and finally, list the pros and cons of each one of them. So lets dive in and find out what the Difference is Between Hiking, Trekking, and Mountaineering.
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What is Hiking?
Hiking is by far the most leisurely activity of the three. Get started here and work up, grab your boots, your fave podcast or a buddy! It involves walking on marked trails of easy or moderate difficulty. Usually, hikes can last from anywhere from half an hour, a half day or one day. Some of the most popular hiking spots in the World include the German Alps, which is as incredibly stunning in terms of the visuals as it is varied in the terrain. Instagrammable!
Although hiking is more accessible than mountaineering and trekking, it can still prove to be a challenge to some people. Usually, hikes start and end in the same place. But some have different starting and ending points. In most cases, a hike can last anywhere between 2 and 8 hours, but you can hike for as long as you please.
What is Trekking?
Trekking is right between mountaineering and hiking with regards to difficulty. If you are a Swede, lets say this is the “Lagom” choice of activity, right down the middle, the goldie locks porrige that’s just right! However, it’s a little more similar to hiking than mountaineering. The difference between hiking and trekking is that treks tend to be longer than hikes as they can last a couple of days longer.
As such, you will have to camp or make plans to stay in mountain huts or small lodges along the trekking trail. Treks start and end in different places, and the distance can range from 40 to several hundred kilometres.
What is Mountaineering?
Mountaineering is by far the most difficult and challenging of the three activities as it is more technical and is done at higher altitudes. Usually, you’ll scale mountains past the 5,000m mark.
Mountaineering trips take several days to complete and require a great deal of technical and physical training. You also need a lot more supportive equipment than when trekking or hiking.
Before mountaineering, you have to learn how to use the equipment before the trip. For instance, you’ll need to know how to use an ice axe or climb ice with crampons. Moreover, you will need to learn how to walk on glaciers, survive snow storms and how to rescue yourself in case you slip.
Although it’s a little bit challenging, mountaineering is exciting and comes with loads of fun.
What is Scrambling?
Scrambling is a combination of sports involving climbing and walking on a mountain. It involves climbing rocks, walls, and mountains without using ropes or technical equipment. The difference between it and hiking is that you’ll have to use your hands to ascend.
So we hope that this answers some questions for you and that now, when planning a weekend adventure, a big expedition or whatever you had in mind. From hiking, trekking or mountaineering we are here to provide all the adventure inspiration. We also LOVE to hear from you so if you are trying your hand at hiking, trekking or mountaineering or indeed if you are a seasoned pro, tag us on Instagram using #DopeSnow #Ridestore to share the love. Until next time!