Hiking, Backpacking, and Trekking: What’s the Difference?

With people’s focus shifting to healthier lives, we can see why backpacking, trekking, and hiking have become popular. Today, we actually take vacations to spend time in nature as we experience it in a whole new dimension. Although we may refer to the above activities as if they are synonyms, they have quite a few distinctions which set them apart.


This incredible activity involves walking on pre-marked paths called trails. These paths make it easy for you to moderate the difficulty since they are made specifically for hiking.

You’ll usually start at a marked point which is the same place where your hiking will end. Most people prefer walking in beautiful nature to feel motivated along the way.

Equipment for Hikes

Most walks take around 2-8hours. You’ll, therefore, want to be in the right gear. First, you’ll need to be in the correct shoe which fits the terrain. If it’s in hot places, there’s need to look for hiking shoes with an airy material like mesh.

For those hiking in cold environments, waterproof shoes are a must have. You’ll also want to look at the outsole. Your shoe should handle rocks and muddy areas without dragging you.

Also, don’t forget to bring lots of water, a survival kit, a hiking pole for steep areas, medicine and food.


This activity is similar to hiking, only that you’ll take days and live out of a backpack. The backpacker walks on marked paths through known areas. You’ll often meet organized sleeping tents where you can have a host prepare the sleeping place in advance.

There are nature parks which support backpacking and have marked spots for camping. There are several spots in each park because it may take days to cover the whole area.

But for those walking in the countryside, you’ll have to carry everything from the sleeping bag, shelter, food, and clothes. You’ll also need to bring a survival kit, a compass, torch, insect repellant, and appropriate boots.

Some backpacking trips may go for several months for those people who love long-distance hikes.


This type of activity involves walking on steep paths which could be mountainous. Its level of difficulty is much higher than in hiking. Instead of just a few hours walking, you’ll be going for days before you reach a certain destination.

Trekkers have to camp since it takes a few days in the wild. The paths are not marked, and most of the time, there’s no means of transport.

Equipment for Trekking

Food and water are the first must have. You’ll need the energy to take you along the days. You’ll also bring a camper, sleeping bag, and appropriate clothing. Remember that if you a have never visited a place before, a compass will go a long way in guiding your walk.

Don’t forget to bring boots that fit the occasion. Temperatures may also drop at night so it’s important that your clothes keep you warm.

Wrapping Up

The above activities are fun and can be carried out by persons of all ages. Hiking is referred to be less intense than trekking and backpacking, but you’ll still reap the health benefits. It’s always important that you check with your doctor about the activity which suits your fitness level.  

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