Difference Between Hiking and Walking: Hiking vs Walking

Hiking vs Walking

Walking is one activity that is known to all of us as it is the only form of locomotion that we use to move around. It is different from running in the sense that it is relaxed and does not require us to put in any special effort to move from one place to another. Hiking is another ambulatory activity that is undertaken by many as a form of exercise though there are also many who find it invigorating and full of fun and excitement. One walks when he is hiking even if it is in natural surroundings. What then it is that separates hiking from walking? Let us find out in this article.


Walking or ambulation is the natural way of locomotion for human beings though it is learnt by a newborn with practice. However, in this article, we are more concerned with walking as a form of exercise rather than a mere form of locomotion. Walking has been considered as a beneficial way of exercise by doctors though one should walk with a correct posture and at a sustained speed rather than walking leisurely. Walking has been proved to reduce the incidence of cancer, diabetes, coronary diseases, and also anxiety and depression. Walking also increases life expectancy of human beings.


Hiking is an adventurous outdoor activity that requires one to walk in natural surroundings that are often mountainous. People love to hike, and the activity has become so popular that special trails for walking are created in mountainous regions, to provide people with new areas and encourage them. People take up hiking for various reasons. There are many health benefits of hiking such as losing weight, reducing anxiety, and for general toning of lower body, especially legs. There are both day hikes that get completed in a single day and backpacking that requires hiking to be done on several days, to complete a trail.

What is the difference between Hiking and Walking?

Dictionaries say that hiking is a long walk undertaken for pleasure. This definition certainly equates hiking with walking, but it does not make clear as to when walking becomes hiking. Is it just pleasure, walking in natural surroundings, carrying a backpack on your back that constitutes hiking or there is something more that makes walking hiking? Walking along a beach is still walking and walking on an inclined path in the city is also walking. It has to do with the trails that are unpaved and also with the fact that camping as an activity makes hiking much more interesting and exciting. In the end, it all boils down to the terrain where the person is spending his time that decides whether he is walking or hiking.

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