Difference between Hiking and Camping

Key Difference: Hiking is basically walking in nature on any path or on a specific trail. Hiking only requires the person to walk at a normal to a brisk pace in order to reduce weight as well as get the fresh air from nature. Camping is an outdoor activity that requires a person to sleep outside in a tent or under the stars.

Hiking and camping often go hand-in-hand as many people go camping with the purpose of hiking. After a long day of hiking in woody areas, they set up camp. Hence, many people that are not familiar with these terms and activities could confuse these two. They do not require to go together as many people just go on day long hikes that do not require a person to set up camp. These are two different popular activities and pastimes.

Hiking is basically walking in nature on any path or on a specific trail. Hiking only requires the person to walk at a normal to a brisk pace in order to reduce weight as well as get the fresh air from nature. Dictionary.com defines ‘hiking’ as “to walk or march a great distance, especially through rural areas, for pleasure, exercise, military training, or the like.” It is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People hike on hiking trails, in order to relax, and have fun or to exercise. The main health benefits of hiking include, but are not limited to, losing excess weight, decreasing hypertension, and improving mental health. Hiking is usually a day’s walk, but can also extend to a few days. Depending on the duration of the hike, hikers require equipment such as water, food, map, compass, sunscreen, insect repellent, etc.

Camping is an outdoor activity that requires a person to sleep outside in a tent or under the stars. People that participate in a camping trip are known as campers. Camping requires campers to leave civilization, technology, their homes and go and stay out under the stars with minimal technology. Camping is associated with tents, sleeping bags, camping fires, hiking and scouting. Camping can also be a part of a backpacking trip, where a person is required to rest for the night and sets up camp at a clearing in the woods. Camping become a popular activity in the early 20th century, when people would go to state parks, camp grounds to spend some time together as a family and enjoy the nature. Camping is also a part of many youth organizations including scouting. It is believed to help build teamwork and trust. Camping is also done during musical festivals or games. Camping can also be done using trailer tents, RVs and other vehicles, which allows campers to drive their equipment as well as live in a semi-home, instead of camping out in a tent. Camping requires equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, first-aid kits, insect repellent, hiking shoes, water bottles, trash bags, sunscreen, etc.

Hiking and camping are becoming increasing popular all over the world. Many people in Europe even go backpacking and camping through various countries. It is sort of become a must-do for families and friends. Hiking and camping are considered as a great way to get some fresh air, exercise and become closer to nature. However, it may also make you close with many of nature’s insects, so, insect repellent is a must. Hiking and camping have also been proven to have a positive effect on health and reduce conditions related to stress, heart and blood pressure.

Image Courtesy: kodiak.org, summitcountyhealth.org

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