Hiking, trekking, hiking - what is it and what is the difference

Hiking; the main hiking routes in Russia and the CIS countries

Mountains beckon lovers of outdoor activities with irresistible force. And now we are packing up our backpack, taking our friends and going on a hiking trip. Or hiking? Or trekking? "What's the difference? Don't confuse us, it's the same thing." - you say. Borrowed words such as hiking, trekking, backpacking are becoming increasingly common, and many use them as synonyms for hiking. Yes, the essence is similar, but there are some differences and peculiarities between these terms. Let's talk about them in the article to avoid confusion.

For us, as for all CIS countries, the word "hike" is more familiar and understandable, which we call any outings to nature, be it the simplest for 1-2 days, or technically complex expeditions to month and a half. For Europeans and Americans, where mountain culture has been developing for a long time, the concept of hiking is more expanded, and depending on the duration, conditions of the trail, food and accommodation, they distinguish between trekking, hiking and backpacking.

What is a hiking trip?

Tourist hike. When we hear these words, our imagination draws rocky mountains, winding paths along their slopes, tents in a dense forest, an evening by the fire and tourists with large backpacks. This is partly due to the Soviet past, when hiking was considered the best way to rest, reboot and keep fit. The hikes were massive and popular. Even those who were born and raised after the collapse of the Soviet Union have heard a lot of travel stories from their older friends. A long hike with tents and backpacks is, one might say, our historical and native.

For us, a tourist trip is a hiking trip with a backpack along a certain route in a mountainous area, with overnight stays in tents and self-cooking over a fire or gas (in the absence of firewood). A distinctive feature from overseas tours is the ability to set up a camp in almost any convenient place and full (or partial) autonomy, when all the necessary products are taken immediately for the entire trip. Only on some routes is it possible to replenish food supplies in one of the mountain villages or make a transfer if the trail intersects. No wonder there is a fair saying “The main goal of tourism is to take more food, take it away and eat everything there”. But this is probably the beauty of it.

Of the Western interpretations, the word "backpacking" (from the English ackpack - a backpack) is most suitable for our understanding of hiking, when you take a backpack, put in it the essentials for all occasions and go on a journey. It can be either a hike along a planned route with a group, or an independent journey without a definite plan, for example, as in the movie "Wild".

Among the wide variety of tourist trips, the following main subspecies are distinguished:

  • Weekend hike (PVH) - a hike with tents for 2-3 days, usually not far from the place of residence, or in areas where you can quickly reach without spending extra days on the road ... It can be both in mountainous areas and in small nature reserves or parks. For example, a hike to the Aktovsky canyon or Podolskie Tovtry.

Upcoming dates for weekend hikes from Couloir

  • Hiking (non-categorical) - hiking in the mountains, usually from 3 days to two weeks, which allows you to walk a distance of about 30-100 km. Often, the goal of such a route is not one point, but a whole mountain range, or a combination of mountain, flat, seascapes to make the trip more intense and picturesque. At the wishes of the group, deviations from the schedule and changes in the trip plan are possible. This category includes hiking in the Carpathians, Georgia, Turkey, Cyprus, the Caucasus, the Pyrenees, Fan and Tien Shan. The difficulty of such routes is low or medium, which allows beginners and people with average physical fitness to go hiking.
  • A categorical or sports hike is a difficult and long hike that requires previous experience, training and special technical training. There are from the first (you have to sweat) and up to the sixth (complete tin) categories. Category hikes are registered in the appropriate MCC (route qualification commission), after passing they are protected, the participants are assigned categories. For the first experience of a sports hike, we recommend to go hiking in Georgia 1 class. - Svaneti and Lake Toba.

Hiking - what is it, features

Hiking (from English hiking) is a foreign variant of a weekend hike. If our tourists prefer to go to wild places, away from people, in order to get a little rest from civilization in two days, then in Western countries, 1-2-day hiking trips near settlements are very popular.

Hiking often involves hiking in the mountains along marked trails, with well-developed trails, observation platforms, hydration points and comfortable overnight stays in cabins or campsites with all the amenities. The hiking route can be either linear, with overnight stays at different points, or with an overnight stay at the base with radial exits. This is mainly due to a more careful attitude to nature, numerous reserved and protected areas where it is forbidden to make fires, put up tents in the wrong place, and even walk past the trodden path.

Hiking, trekking, hiking - what is it and what is the difference

The main hiking routes in Russia and the CIS countries are a selection of the best routes for tourists who prefer to walk on foot through unknown places on our planet.

Hiking trails - who are they for?

Hiking is a very special kind of travel.

Hiking is a special kind of travel

Such travels require remarkable preparation, tremendous fortitude and will. An ordinary unprepared person, after the first kilometers traveled on foot, will think a dozen times whether or not it is worth hiking in the future. Previously, I myself walked some routes, wound more than a dozen kilometers along them, saw a lot of beautiful places, received a huge number of positive emotions. On some trips I took my friends with me, along several routes, where the path is not the longest and most difficult, my friend and I took our classmates.

Now I want to share with you, my dear readers, a selection and general overview of the main tourist routes for those who like to hike. Of course, I myself did not go through all of them, but on some tracks I experienced the most real admiration for the surrounding nature, the people living there and the local flora and fauna. See, choose? check out preliminary information on future itineraries, choose sturdy hiking shoes, and go!

Hiking in Russia

(routes 2-4 categories of difficulty)

The climate of the peninsula ranges from subarctic maritime (northwest of the peninsula) to moderately cold (center, southwest and east of the peninsula). Most of this territory of Russia is located beyond the Arctic Circle and consists of terraces, mountains (over 800 meters above sea level), depressions, reservoirs (rich in a variety of fish) and plains of numerous lakes and swamps. The climatic conditions of the peninsula make it possible to enjoy the polar day (solstice) in summer and the aurora in winter.

(routes of the 2nd category of difficulty)

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