Hiking Outdoor

What is Hiking? Types & Equipment

Written by George Arthur


What is hiking? It is defined as long-distance walking for recreational purposes to explore nature or the countryside. People usually go for long walks during holidays or weekends, but this walk is different from hiking. It involves walking along long trails and paths that include a minimum 7 to 12 miles distance, usually covered in half a day. The purpose of this walk is to meet cultural adventures.

In other terms, we can also take it as a healthy exercise. For people who are living a sedentary lifestyle, this exercise is especially for them. It refreshes their mind and gives a boost to their internal energy to do adventures. Some people go hiking to meet adventures and others do so to bring a positive change in their lifestyle.

Tour companies or youth clubs arrange hikes and take a group of people with them to different places. They follow a planned route for the tourists and combine healthy exercise with the fun of the countryside. The normal distance for a hiking schedule to cover in half-day includes almost 7 to 12 miles or 11 to 19 Km. For a full day, the distance is 12 to 20 miles or 19 to 32 Km. Companies present the whole hiking plan to the tourists and then they select according to their choice.

Most often people confuse hiking with trekking. Many people take both as the same term but they are different. Hiking is described as a short tour of half a day or one day. It is also a complement to a weekend or holiday trip.

On the other hand, trekking involves covering the distance on long hectic treks. The distance includes dozens of kilometers that can cover in almost 12 days and more. While trekking, people stay nights in mountain huts or camps. These tours provide the opportunities to create a more cultural experience and explore the more remote areas.

Types of Hiking

What hiking style do you love? Some people want to hit the trails before dawn. Some people want to summit the versatile mountains and others love to cover the long-distance difficult trails. Based on these, there are three main types.

Short Hiking:

Short hiking is also called day hiking and the name depicts its meaning. This involves walking for a short time in the light of day. The distance for this is measured in terms that one can come back before dawn.

Short hikers plan for a one-day trip along the urban nature park, across small mountains, and then return as the sun goes down. For beginners, this type of hiking is perfect. Also, the people who don’t go for long holidays because of busy schedules, the short hike is the best opportunity to refresh themselves.

Peak Bagging:

Peak bagging is a kind of hiking where hikers try to climb a collection of summits that are published in a list. Once a peak has reached, the hiker gets the bragging right of climbing that peak. The concept of peak bagging or summit hiking started in the early 1900s and was introduced by George and Robert Marshall. They set out to climb or reach every 4000 plus foot peak located in the Adirondacks.

Most of the people who take part in the peak-bagging have a lack of technical mountaineering knowledge. That’s why the list for peak-bagging excludes the high mountain summits that require skills to reach them.

Long-Distance Hiking:

Long-distance hiking involves a very long journey that ends in almost 2 weeks and more. Much like the summit bagging, the long-distance hikers chase the large objective of completing a particular trail.

It’s a mental exercise to refresh it and break the limitations. Wherever you go for a long hike, every day passes, fades the imprints of your life, and enables you to enjoy the beautiful nature.

Hiking Guiding Tips

People get attracted to hiking and start planning for it, after getting well aware of it. But the actual thing is that it’s not so easy. Despite being a healthy exercise, it also requires essential preparation and physical endurance. One should be aware of basic hiking tips to make his journey successful and enjoy every moment of his adventure. The following are some basic tips that you should learn and follow before going on a hike.

Find a Hiking Partner and Select the Train:

Going on a hike gives you a sense of freedom and you can go on adventures by yourself. But, if you are a beginner and planning to hike, then select a companion with you who can offer his hand at the time of difficulty. On the other hand, if you have no option to take any companion then select the small and a little bit easy route. For a long-distance hike, you should be experienced and have great technical knowledge.

So, it is necessary to learn about a train that you are going to follow. The selection of a train is an important step and you should give much attention to it. You should select the route by consideration of elevation gain, time, and your fitness level. One can learn about these with the help of various guidebooks available in the market.

Hiking Gear:

After selecting the companion and route, the second important thing is to learn the essential things that you should carry with you on the journey.

  • First aid kit
  • Food & water
  • Comfortable & durable hiking shoes
  • Extra clothing (For insulation)
  • Navigation map & compass
  • Emergency shelter e.g: camp

Trail Etiquettes:

The following three main trail etiquettes should also be known for a hiking journey.

  • Do not hurry to chase the track first.
  • Do not leave any trace or throw garbage because it may cause harm to the other hikers.
  • Keep your eyes on the route towards the feet and be aware of harmful reptiles.

Best Equipment’s For Hiking

Whenever you make a plan for outgoing hiking, you should always have the basic essential equipment with you. All these essential gears will give you whole protection and cover your all needs for the duration of the hiking program. Maybe you like it for a day or many days but you should keep all the explained essential equipment below with yourself.

  • Sunglasses and Hat or Cap
  • Headlamp, Flashlight or Handheld Torch with Chargeable Battery
  • Pair of Hiking Shoes
  • Waterproof and Windproof Jacket and Pants
  • Water Bottle, Water Filtration System, and Food
  • Matches and Knife for hiking
  • Emergency Shelter and First-aid Kit
  • Map and Compass/ GPS
  • Walking Poles
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Whistle and rope
  • Rain Gear
  • Insect Repellent
  • Toilet Paper

Best Season and Best Time of the Year for Hiking:

As you know, this walk is a great source to refresh your health but good hiking depends on the best time of the year and the area. Spring weather is a glorious time for hiking with wildflowers in bloom and more natural beautiful views. The best time in the summer is early morning and evening because almost the temperature is cool at this time. In autumn, colors start to appear that enhance the beauty of natural views which you can enjoy. Hiking is possible in the winter season but needs more care, precautions, planning, and gear. Also Check What is trekking

Best Places for Hiking

There is a lot of adorable natural scenery along with the world that requires foot walking to capture them in your memories. Here we have shortlisted the top six best hiking places that include the easiest one-day short hike to long-distance hiking.

Trolltunga Track:

Trolltunga is one of the scenic hiking places. You can plan a one-day hike to enjoy this scenery. The whole hike across Trolltunga takes almost 8 to 10 hours.

Angels Landing, Zion National Park:

The Angels Landing is the perfect site to visit by adventure seekers. The whole 3 to 5 hours hiking includes walking on rock scramble sections, vertigo-inducing heights, and stunning views. The last half mile towards this Angels Landing site is only the narrow rocks and it seems quite adventurous to cross it.

The Mountain Kilimanjaro, Tanzania:

This is one of the most spectacular sites. People love to see the iconic view of the sunrise from its top. Its surrounding landscape depicts the amazing nature’s beauty. The hiking across Kilimanjaro takes almost 6 to 7 days.

Bay of Fire:

The Bay of Fire hiking place is adorable and attractive with its white beaches, orange-toned granite, and blue water lakes. It usually takes 4 days to hike across this prestigious place.

The Haute Route:

The Haute Route is one of the most iconic and highest areas to visit. This site’s hiking requires a high level of physical fitness and it takes two weeks to be done.

The Great Ocean Walk:

For those who love to hike coastal areas, this is the most iconic place across the world. Its 6 to 8 days of hiking include walking through the eucalyptus forest, green pastures, hair-raising cliffs, rocky beaches, and dunes. You will be amazed to see the spectacular view of sunrise and dawn during The Great Ocean Walk.

Other Best Hiking Places:

Besides the above, there are many other epochal places that one will love to visit. These include Fisherfields Round Forest, Routeburn Track, Mountains of the Moon Uganda, Baltoro Glacier & K2, and The Blyde River Canyon.

About the author

George Arthur

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