What Do you Want From Your Walk?
Recreational walking is one of the most accessible activities out there. You can easily tailor it to fit in with your schedule and your level of fitness, allowing you to make it as relaxing or challenging as you want it to be. There are lots of terms banded around when it comes to different types of walking ( i.e rambling, hiking, trekking) as well as numerous schools of thought when it comes to their definition; so what sets them apart and which is right for you? Here’s how we look at it.
The most important aspect of walking is to get outside and enjoy your surroundings; it doesn’t have to be high octane exertion, pounding up steep rises and challenging routes. Rambling became popular in the 19th century as people took to the countryside in order to escape the hustle and bustle of the towns. That sentiment remains the same and whether you’re following a marked trail in a National Trust park or just seeing where your feet take you, it’s all about going at your own pace and enjoying your free time. You don’t need to carry loads of kit; you can do it in an afternoon or you can go out all day and discover quaint villages and country pubs. The choice is yours.
The idea of ‘going for a hike’ suggests something a little more vigorous and generally takes place over the course of a day, or a few days if you’re taking on a longer challenge. You cover a wide range of terrain from flat trails and woodland to steep rises that can involve loose surfaces and a bit of scrambling, meaning that you need to carry enough kit to cope with every eventuality. There are lots of documented hiking routes to choose from both in books and online, and they are generally rated according to difficulty, so you can make sure that you don’t end up out of your depth. You can still go at your own pace, but some like to try and reach their destination in a certain amount of time to add an extra element of fun to the journey.
Trekking generally refers to a long journey that takes place over a number of days. As a result, you cover a great variety of terrain; spend long hours on the move and need to carry clothing and supplies for every eventuality, including camping equipment if your trek takes you off the beaten track. It’s important to keep the weight of your kit to a minimum so that you can comfortably carry it for long periods, and to make sure that your boots and clothing are durable enough to handle the demands of the trail.