Hiking and Trekking: Everything you need to know
When talking about hiking and trekking, confusion is never far away. For those who are not used to walking in the fresh air, it is important to distinguish between the two activities in order to choose the most appropriate exercise from a physical and technical point of view. What is now called hiking is the activity closest to walking in the fresh air.
When hiking, you walk in nature on designated trails designated for this purpose, generally for a full day, even if some do not hesitate to make a temporary stay. There are four types of hiking: mountain hiking, wilderness hiking, brisk hiking, and snowboarding. On the other hand, trips happen over a longer period: you walk for days, or even months, in areas generally deprived of transportation. The paths taken are less frequent than hiking, because the places are less visited. There are also different types of excursions: mountain trekking, backpacking and desert trekking. Trekking is after all more intense than hiking.
Hiking trails and excursions
Suggested hiking trails include the Peruvian Inca Trail, which winds through jungle and ruins to reach the top of Machu Picchu; Tour the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, between peaks and glaciers, and Kilimanjaro, in Africa, the top of which seems to touch the stars.
Among the most popular trekking destinations is the Machu Picchu tour again, this time over several days, but also the Himalayas in India and Mount Everest in Nepal, for those who want to brag that they were at the foot of the world's highest peak.
The idea of walking in the countryside for pleasure, born of a new perception and a new approach to nature, developed in the eighteenth century. Previously, aimless walking was the lot of the poor and homeless.
Benefits of hiking and excursions
Recently, even doctors have resorted to prescribing external activities instead of medications. the reason ? It is not difficult to understand. Anxiety, diabetes, depression and other diseases or illnesses can be treated through contact with nature, and hiking and excursions are among the recommended activities, including for children, who learn the benefits of this approach from an early age.
Time spent outdoors is a great remedy for health problems.
The simple act of getting outside and staying in the fresh air has beneficial effects on the body: better oxygenation and muscle strengthening, more endorphins that reduce anxiety and stress, a positive effect on mood, and better absorption of vitamin D, which is essential. Good bone formation, especially in the case of exposure to sunlight. In addition, doing activities in nature facilitates contact with others, because then the mind becomes more open and interactive. Last but not least: It costs nothing, so put on your shoes and go on a nice trip in the great outdoors.
5 tips to start hiking
It is very important to find the best route before setting off on a trip, information about possible routes and paths is not missing. Tourist sites, guides, and online maps will help you get an idea before you leave to avoid unpleasant situations, even if most of your itineraries are marked. In the guides, the trails are often categorized from easiest to most difficult, with color code sometimes green, blue, red and black, as for the ski slopes. It is up to everyone to choose the type of road, taking into account the required preparation (physical and mental) and endurance.
Hiking doesn't mean running a marathon, so sit back and enjoy the view. Walking in nature is an experience that brings positivity and well-being to the whole body. Taking advantage of these occasions cuts us off for a moment from the frenzy of everyday life, without having to constantly remind ourselves of the calories burned.
Both sports require proper physical preparation. The first advice is to start with simple steps on the flat, and then gradually increase the difficulty. You will also need appropriate clothing and accessories, and carefully configure your backpack. The shoes should be suitable for the road and the temperatures. For wet and cold climates, sturdy boots that cover the ankle and benefit from good thermal insulation are indicated. For hiking in hot weather, it's best to have a thinner but shock-resistant sole that's light, breathable, and offers good freedom of movement.
The same principles apply to clothing. It would be unwise to choose breathable clothing for a mountain road or thick clothing for a hot climate. And as far as a backpack is concerned, a trekking bag is clearly more spacious than a hiking bag, to hold everything you need for several days on your own. Don't forget to take a headlight, a water supply compatible with the flight duration, a first aid kit, a topographic map and a compass to orient yourself. But be careful: don't suddenly buy thousands of things without thinking. Take a moment and think about the flight duration, altitude, climate, and season.
During the flight, it is important to drink water at regular intervals so that the energy does not decrease. It is also advisable to chew something occasionally while walking: breakfast cereal or chocolate bars to keep on hand in your backpack.
If you are not an expert in trekking, it is recommended that you go in a group, perhaps with someone who knows the route or has experience in this type of activity. It is recommended that you learn as much as possible all the techniques and tricks to keep in mind next times. Walking in a group is also a great way to reduce fatigue, make friends and share experiences.