The trekking and hiking are only two sports; practice becomes a way of knowing, understanding and living the natural environment while physical activity is performed.
The main difference between these two variants of mountaineering is that the hiking is done on trails and roads approved and trekking is practiced outside them, with the difficulty that this entails.
What hiking seeks is to try to bring people closer to the natural environment and the knowledge of the area through heritage and traditional ethnographic and cultural components, using predominantly the usual method of communication routes, such as royal ravines, neighborhood roads, and walking trails.
For its part, trekking or also known as hiking is a form of sport that involves walking for more than a day a mountain area without direct contact with civilization, walking off the trails looking for survival.
Origin of Trekking and Hiking
The term trekking is of South African origin and refers to a long and complicated trip. The word began to be used by the mountaineers who traveled to the Himalayas to define the routes of approach to the summits that had the objective of climbing ; the location of these mountains, in areas far away from the population centers, forced the members of the expedition to carry with them all kinds of tools to be self-sufficient.
Many of these trails today are traveled by mountaineers whose sole purpose is to enjoy the physical exercise and the views offered. Some experts consider trekking as a derivative of mountaineering (the sport of climbing or climbing mountains), while others perceive it as an activity in itself.
Benefits of Trekking and Hiking
One of the main benefits of trekking and hiking is that this sport is an excellent way to bond with nature and enjoy the landscape with all the senses while doing an excellent physical exercise.
The hiking is a sport with great benefits for the body you can practice with different difficulty levels, from the basics for beginners to long journeys by land and distances that require a certain degree of preparation, notions of orientation, cartography, food special and mountain equipment management.
This activity is considered, in addition to an adventure sport, a way of doing ecological tourism when traveling. For their practice, orientation is necessary at the moment of the march and compliance with safety and ecology regulations is required.
Rules for Hiking and Trekking
The main rules of trekking have as their main objective to respect the natural environment through which this sport is practiced :
Security is also one of the main rules to be respected, due to the characteristics of this activity. Walking outside approved trails in mountainous areas is not a risk-free activity. The disorientation of mountaineers, lack of food or adverse materials may pose a high risk to those who do not know this sport well.
In the practice of trekking, you can not use any type of motorized vehicle. Also, it is essential to be very careful with the environment, altering as little as possible its elements, which implies animals, plants or natural formations.
Besides, not to damage crops or other types of infrastructure that may belong to the people who inhabit the place. Finally, maintaining harmony between the hiker, his companions and the environment that surrounds him is important to be able to enjoy the trekking fully.
Tips for Hiking and Trekking
Before starting any trekking and mountaineering excursion, it is advisable to follow a series of basic recommendations :
- Plan the routes to be made before the excursion
- I Get information on weather conditions
- Wear appropriate clothing such as waterproof hiking boots, raincoat and warm clothing;
- Carry accessories that facilitate the route such as a backpack, canteen, sunscreen, compass, a flashlight, first aid kit and a map of the area
- Avoid walking during the hottest hours or leave the marked trails
- Carry supplies of liquids and food
- Make stops to avoid getting too tired.
- As for the time of year, although anyone is good for hiking, spring, for mild temperatures, it is usually the perfect time.
In the Trekking routes, the most common itineraries are those that have climbed to mountainous areas, although this is not essential; there is also a river crossing, orientation activities, and route tracking.
The activity ends when the stipulated route is completed, hence the biggest difference between trekking and mountaineering, which is in terms of the objective.
In mountaineering, the goal is to reach a summit through the choice of a certain route, which is the means to reach this end, with the difficulties involved in the ascent. Unlike, in the trek, the itinerary is the end in itself, regardless of whether the route includes the crowning of a summit or not.
We have the privilege of having an extensive and rich network of hiking trails throughout the entire geography. Given the natural, historical, cultural and ethnographic heritage we can enjoy a wide variety of routes and trails for hiking and trekking.
Both the approved trails and greenways, rural roads and livestock trails are excellent routes to enjoy the practice of hiking.
It is very important before carrying out any route to consult the route in a plane, the duration of it and its difficulty. For this, you can go to traditional cartography, publications, and online applications or download the route in a GPS.
Clothing and Accessories for Trekking and Hiking
Wear suitable mountain clothing is essential when hiking or trekking. In mountain areas the weather conditions are very changing, this coupled with the fact that the practice of these sports is done away from the inhabited areas makes it necessary to have the right clothes to avoid any kind of mishap en route and to adapt to the conditions that the medium presents.
Discovering the natural environment is fascinating, but it can be very dangerous. It is very important when hiking, trekking or mountaineering to be well equipped with the appropriate mountain clothes and the necessary trekking accessories on each occasion to avoid disorientation, suffer an accident or problems due to temperatures or lack of food.
Recommendations for Trekking and Hiking Footwear
Choosing a good trekking shoe is very important for any beginner of the mountain since if you do not choose well, the mountain boots can cause serious problems in the middle of the crossing, resulting in many cases reason for abandonment.
In this sense, it is very essential to know correctly the trekking and hiking accessories that we need to accompany us in each of our adventures, for example, mountain boots:
To choose the mountain boots, we must take into account: the type of raids that we do to do the mount the activity that we are going to perform together with the type of terrain for which we are going to move and the time of year in which we will do that activity. Before we go to a mountain supply store, we have to have these clear indications.
It is also necessary to know and take into account the main characteristics of trekking boots such as the waterproofness and breathability of their materials, the type of sole, the height of the cane and the flexibility or hardness of the footwear.
Wearing unsuitable trekking boots for our foot, the natural environment or the time of year can produce painful blisters and foot sprains, especially when we do climbing, mountaineering or trekking sports.
Trekking and Hiking Boots
One of the most important pieces for the practice of mountaineering and trekking is a good pair of mountain boots, with which we will avoid any kind of lumbar problems, falls or slips.
However we should note that not all hiking boots are equal, it is necessary to know what they are, what each one of them, and what l best as for certain types of practice.
Therefore, mountain boots can be distinguished into four categories or types :
- Boots of low level and approach: These boots are made of flexible materials and will allow us to move through easy terrain where there will usually be trails.
- High mountain or trekking boots: They have the thickest sole, which will protect the foot of a harder ground.
- Trekking boots for any time of year: They withstand winter conditions and allow the addition of basic crampons.
- Mountaineering boots: Normally of leather or derived from the plastic, they could be considered the ones suitable for the high mountain in hard conditions.
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