Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Differences Between Hiking and Walking

rock-climbing-155134_640Hiking vs Walking

Are you a fitness fanatic? If so, perhaps you have already tried walking many times and a little hiking here and there as well. Hiking and walking are two different activities, and yet these activities can help you lose some unwanted pounds. Still, many are confused regarding the differences between hiking and walking because when you hike, you walk. In that case, is hiking also synonymous with walking? Let’s find out.

Hiking and walking differ from the path the person takes. Hiking obviously involves walking. However, when you hike, it means you are walking from a lower elevation to a higher elevation. On the other hand, when you walk, it means that you are only trekking a relatively smooth and flat path without too many hurdles. In other words, hiking entails a lot more effort than walking since the path in hiking trails is more difficult. When hiking, your body also expends more energy in order to move in rough and hilly paths. It is only called walking when the path you are taking is only rough not necessarily hilly.

To be more particular regarding the paths hikers and walkers take, hikers usually hike on natural trails while walkers walk on any kind of surfaces. Examples of hiking trails are forests, mountains, and reserved parks. Examples of walking trails are those paths made of concrete, asphalt, gravel, and sand. Forests, mountains, and reserved parks are often rough and hilly. Paths made of concrete and asphalt are usually flat and not rough.

When you are hiking, you also dress like what a hiker requires. Hikers dress in their comfortable hiking outfits, hiking boots, and even take with them a hiking stick. On the other hand, when you are walking for the sake of sweating a little, you usually dress in your jogging attire. And instead of sturdy boots, you put on your rubber shoes when you walk. Hikers also need several things to prepare like the contents of their backpack while walkers are already satisfied with a towel and a bottle of water.

Hiking also involves camping overnight. When you hike, camping is always the next thing to do. Since hiking is usually done in a forest on mountain trails, there is a need to take a rest and assemble your tent. A walk in the woods differs from a hike in the forest when your intention is just to see the nature around you without going on difficult trails.

Hiking and walking are fun and great activities for everyone. If you are a bit adventurous, then go take a hike with your friends. If you prefer an easier route, then go take a walk. Hiking and walking are also good for your body and health. These activities are a form of exercise which can better the circulation of your blood and the beating of your heart.

A hike becomes a walk and a walk becomes a hike depending on where you do it. Nevertheless, we might care less about the definition of these two seemingly similar terms. As long as we have our healthy dose of a walk or a hike, their definitions don’t matter.


  1. When you hike, it means you are walking from a lower elevation to a higher elevation. On the other hand, when you walk, it means that you are only trekking a relatively smooth and flat path, without too many hurdles.

  2. Hiking entails a lot more effort than walking since the path in hiking trails is more difficult.

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  1. Best I’ve ever heard is that the difference is on a hike you can pee anywhere you want.

  2. Apparently…the Author of THIS article has never “walked” about downtown San Francisco and that General Area. It is MORE STRENUOUS than Hiking !
    That’s why tourists RIDE the Cable-Cars !
    Ha-Ha !!!

  3. Haha, it’s funny when people make stuff up. Hiking is subjective. Pace is relative and who is to say how much elevation is required to qualify your walk as a hike. Also, there are plenty of hiking trails that have paved areas and even stairs. And what if I am wearing a t-shirt and board shorts? All of a sudden, it’s just a walk?

  4. Hiking and camping don’t always go hand-in-hand. You can go on a day hike without camping. You can also go camping without hiking. Hiking mixed with camping is backpacking.

  5. it’s very useful for me

  6. As someone who has been professionally involved in designing, selling and leading walking holidays in the UK for many years, I was interested to read this article about the difference between walking and hiking in the USA. You might be surprised to learn that the word ‘hiking’ barely exists in the UK. Walking is by far the most popular sport or leisure activity in the UK, and there are many walking companies and some excellent walking magazines – but the word hiking never occurs.

    • I assume that’s a generational thing.

      In my younger days the term was used: we had hiking boots, we told annoying people to “take a hike” etc

    • As someone who has lived in the UK all their life and was a Scout Leader for 20 years I’m frankly amazed that anyone would say that the word hiking is almost unknown here! It’s in common useage… Hiking boots, hike camping, hitch hiking…

  7. Funny, pony-trekking often involves going up and down mountains, hitch-hiking involves flat roads.

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