Trekking is a fascinating way of traveling which is more than just hiking. It connects the adventure of long distance hiking with the discovery of nature which is a feature of distance hiking. This article tells you more about the differences between trekking, distance hiking, long-distance hiking, and pilgrimage.
Table of contents
What is Trekking?
Trekking is a form of hiking which is known for its length and its high degree of challenge. People who are doing trekking are mostly walking more days, weeks, or even months in a row through distant areas often situated in the mountains or in forests. Contrary to distance hiking, long-distance hiking, and pilgrimage, trekking isn’t exactly about spiritual experiences or reaching a certain destination, but rather about experiencing and overcoming nature. With it comes the need to cope with difficult paths and to manage without a lot of comfort. The main goal of trekking is to challenge yourself and to extend your limits. This kind of hiking can be very enriching and offers some unforgettable experiences.
Differences to distance hiking
One of the most important differences between distance hiking and trekking is the duration and the intensity of the hike. While distance hikes can take a couple of weeks or even months, trekking tours are normally shorter and more intense. Trekkers usually walk further in a shorter period of time. Furthermore, the ground is sometimes very rough and harder to walk on than when doing a distance hike. Therefore, trekking equipment has to be accordingly durable and functional. Also the organization of a trekking tour requires much more preparation and know-how than a distance hike as you often walk through distant areas and are completely on your own. Most of the time, trekking offers a unique experience in the middle of nature which should be especially pleasant for those who seek adventure!
Differences to long-distance hiking
Even if trekking and long-distance hiking have a lot in common, there are still some differences between these two activities. When doing long-distance hiking, you are usually moving from accommodation to accommodation because the way itself should be the goal. Contrary to this, trekking is more about track an intensive experience of nature while walking off the beaten. Apart from these aspects, the two outdoor-activities mostly differ in their mental orientation. While long-distance hiking often gets enjoyed as a meditative experience, adventure is playing a big role in trekking — maybe because of difficult passages or unforeseen challenges like sudden changes in weather. All in all, the following is equally valid for both forms of hiking: If you like to be outside and enjoy seeing beautiful landscape, you can have a lot of fun with long-distance hiking as well as trekking!
Differences to pilgrimage
Trekking is as mentioned earlier mostly about experiencing and discovering nature and your surrounding. Contrary to pilgrimage, the spiritual feeling isn’t very important in trekking, but rather the athletic challenge and the adventure. Trekking is about testing your limits while hiking through a breathtaking landscape. One difference to the pilgrimage is that the way itself is usually more essential than the destination — it’s about getting to know new places and meanwhile being independent and flexible. The equipment also differs from the one used for pilgrimage because for trekking it has to be very light and functional. However, there are a lot of possibilities to find inner peace as well when doing trekking; especially during rather long tours away from civilization hiking can turn into a meditation.
Conclusion: Why trekking is such a great possibility to discover the nature
Trekking therefore is a great possibility to discover the nature and to do sports at the same time. Different to distance hiking or pilgrimage, trekking is not only about reaching a certain destination, but also about experiencing your surrounding on your way. With it comes enjoying the beauty of the nature in a special way and getting inspired by it. Walking on unsurfaced trails and overcoming obstacles can be a physical challenge and gives you strength. A lot of people don’t just see trekking as a hobby, but rather as a kind of compensation to the stressful daily routine. Whoever likes to be outdoors and be physically active should definitely try out trekking!