Hiking - Trekking, Backpacking, Trailing
Typically, the definition of hiking is walking as a recreational sport and activity. It is also known as trekking, backpacking and trailing but essentially, irrespective of its title, it is an extremely good activity for all to take part in, from the young to those more senior citizens in our society and of course, it need only be as strenuous an activity as you wish it to be.
It also takes very little investment, although some stout walking shoes or boots and waterproofs are to be recommended. Ideally, those interested in taking up hiking should start sensibly with a very short route, especially if not having walked far for some time, perhaps a stroll in the Local Park and then build up gradually. It can be quite nice to plan a circular route so that it takes you nicely back to the starting point with minimal effort initially and these can then become more strenuous routes as time, fitness and sense of adventure progress.
Walking on the flat although good for overall fitness, is unlikely to challenge you too much physically, so for those who are prepared to be a little more adventurous, try taking in some hill climbing. It could be said that hiking is more about the journey itself than the end destination and as such, where possible, walks along scenic routes should be planned as this adds to the enjoyment no end. Scenic walks can also move away from the noisy, polluted airwaves of our towns and cities and so can add tranquillity, peace and glimpses of native wildlife in addition to improving health and fitness.
There are many good walks published on the Internet and a wealth of useful information is available on these sites too and this will give information on the level of fitness required, clothing, gradients, level of difficulty and also list length of the walk and also any local amenities which may be accessible in that particular area. There are many walking clubs available and this can add to the simple pleasure of hiking, because walking with other enthusiasts can add a social aspect to the hobby which is greatly beneficial.
Without doubt, hiking can be an addictive pastime and a perfect escape from the stresses and strains of every day life.