Hiking is an activity of moderate difficulty, which involves walking across long distances generally on trails or paths. The duration of the activity varies between short half-day programs and longer itineraries of over 20 days. It is usually an activity that allows groups of different sizes.

Hiking and trekking are two terms sometimes used indistinctly. The difference between each of them is usually the duration of the specific activity. Hiking is associated with shorter programs, while trekking is used to describe longer programs of a week or more.

Are there different types of hiking? 

There are different types of hiking depending on the difficulty and the duration of each program.

Short hikes

Hikes can be as short as half a day or 1 day, as a great complement to a short trip, for example, and always a great way to connect with your more natural self. Hikes can also involve a series of days.

Long hikes – or treks

Some hiking (or trekking) programs involve over 12 days, covering dozens of kilometres. These programs generally include spending the night in tents, camps or mountain huts.

These tend to be opportunities to visit more remote local areas, and create a more cultural experience as well as natural.

What equipment do you need?

This will depend on the duration of the program, and especially if it is an over-night program or not. Generally you will need:

  • Two different pairs of shoes: a pair of strong and waterproof hiking shoes, and a lighter pair (sneakers or sandals)

  • Rain and windproof jacket and pants

  • Sun cream

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat or cap

  • 35 or 40 litre backpack (you usually need to carry your own equipment, unless it is a longer hike in which case there are sometimes porters)

  • Water bottle

  • Walking poles

  • Head lamp

Hiking vs. Walking

There are many elements that people use to judge whether they are hiking or simply walking. For example, many hikers don’t want to walk in urban areas, suburbs, city parks, or even along country roads. They want a completely natural setting.


  • Surface: Natural trails

  • Environment: Natural areas, like parks, forests, or deserts

  • Gear: Hiking boots or shoes; walking stick or poles; sometimes outdoor survival gear if the hike is long

  • Calorie burn: Usually greater than walking, due to hills and uneven surfaces

  • Frequency: Varies, but sometimes limited by season


  • Surface: Concrete, gravel, sand, even indoors or on a treadmill

  • Environment: Anywhere, including streets, parks, or malls

  • Gear: Walking shoes

  • Calorie burn: Typically less than hiking

  • Frequency: Often, two or more days a week as part of a regular fitness routine