What is the difference between hiking, trekking and mountaineering?
Mountaineering, trekking and hiking. We associate all these expressions with walking. However, these words refer to different activities. All include physical activity in the natural environment even though there are some significant differences between them.
If you want to join us in some of the adventurous activities, you need to understand these differences. Otherwise we will be unable to meet your expectations.
One of the key differences between mountaineering, trekking and hiking is in the degree of difficulty.
Usually hiking is the easiest of the three activities. Normally, hiking takes place on marked paths the whole year round. The difficulty of routes ranges from easy to difficult.
Hiking tours are usually half-day or one-day experiences and take place in the mountainous areas such as for example the Alps (Julian, Carnic etc.), in the foothills (Porezen hill, Nanos hill etc.) or along routes in the plains (the Soča valley and the Vipava valley).
Most hiking tours are measured according to the number of hours of walking. Typically, the routes begin and end at the same spot. Sometimes, it is a circle tour but usually the hikers return to the starting point.
Another difference is the needed equipment compared to trekking or mountaineering. Hiking tours require very little equipment compared to trekking or mountaineering.
Hiking is an exciting outdoor activity suitable for everyone. It strengthens the body and awakens the adventurous spirit. We can hike all around the world, on any day of the week. Moreover, this activity is affordable for anyone.
Mountaineering is more difficult than trekking of hiking. It is technically a very demanding method of walking and climbing which enables you to reach the highest mountain peaks. Oftentimes, the destinations are the highest mountains of countries or European and the worlds mountain ranges.
Demanding mountaineering tours can last from a few days up to an entire month or more. Participants need to be experienced and in a good psychophysical condition. One needs a larger quantity of equipment than in the case of hiking or trekking. An adequate training is necessary as well as good knowledge of the climbing equipment.
A mountaineer needs to be familiar with the use of crampons and an ice hook. Many times, glaciers with large cracks need to be safely overcome in order to reach the mountain top. The weather changes in mountain heights can be fast and extreme. Mountaineering and alpinism include higher risks compared to trekking or hiking due to the occurrence of situations which cannot be prevented.
But if you are daring enough and prepared to conquer high mountain peaks, then mountaineering can be the right challenge to bring you out of your everyday comfort.
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