Hiking and mountaineering have become two of the most loved outdoor adventures for people across the world. However, many people often get the two confused with one another and it isn’t difficult to see why because there are so many similar aspects between the two. Though, there are a few subtle differences and if you are suck choosing between the two, you may want to find out what the differences are.
The General Rule
To be honest, hiking is a wonderful activity, a fantastic pursuit that millions look to every year but while you need a small amount of prepping, specialist training isn’t required. Yes, you are still going to need to prepare your mind and body for hiking but often, you don’t need a huge amount of training that last months. Also, less equipment is needed for hiking but it doesn’t make it any less dangerous than mountaineering.
What You Will Need For Hiking
Usually, hiking doesn’t require a great deal of specialist climbing equipment such as rope unlike mountaineering but there may be occasions when some equipment is needed. This does add to the confusion between mountaineering and hiking of course but it can be so simple. As said, usually hikers don’t need lots of specialist equipment but there may be the odd occasion when harnesses and ropes are needed to help provide additional safety for Scrambling.
Scrambling is walking routes that require ropes to ensure every hiker is able to remain on the trail without falling or running into difficulties. Of course you are going to need some sense of direction and have some good navigational skills; and knowledge of first-aid is crucial in case of emergencies.
Hiking and mountaineering can be both physically demanding and even though they are two very different pursuits, they can offer everyone the chance to challenge their minds and bodies.
Why More Choose Hiking?
For millions of people, they absolutely love hiking simply because it gives them the opportunity to start a new journey and improve their fitness. However, there is no specific fitness level required for hikers to abide by and that is perfect because it means everyone can take up hiking no matter their age or fitness levels. What is more, even if your fitness isn’t terribly good, you start off like everyone else – at the bottom – and as you continue taking up new hiking challenges, you improve and really get your mind and body into the hiking spirit.
You also don’t need much training to start with as you pick up a lot of tricks and knowledge along the way. You can get help from fellow hikers and eventually your body starts to adapt to the changes it needs to make for hiking and soon the body begins to embrace the hiking lifestyle too. Hikers don’t need to waste lots of money buying equipment as hikers often don’t require a huge amount of equipment and it can do a lot of good when it comes to confidence.
Choose Your Distance And Times
Hiking also allows you to have the freedom and choice over every aspect of your trails. You do not need to stick to anyone’s schedule apart from your own meaning you choose which trails suit your needs; whether it’s close to home or halfway across the world. You can even choose how far you are able to go without overdoing things and that is so unique. If you are just starting out, you probably only want to hike for an hour or two at most and you can set your limits and keep control over your new activity.
The Risk of Injury
Like mountaineering, hiking comes with injuries. There will be times when you get horrible blisters appearing on your feet and when your boots start to dig into your ankles. You will get bruises, scrapes and cuts and there are going to be times when you slip and fall and do serious damage to your body. However, with proper basic training you can avoid most injuries.
The Benefits of Mountaineering
Hiking and mountaineering can be easily confused with one another because they are very close in many instances but there are going to be a few differences to spot. For example, when it comes to mountaineering, you are going to be able to have the benefit of there being more activities on offer. Now, as most know hiking is very straightforward and concentrated on one area but mountaineering can be a lot more diverse especially with the different forms of activities available. This can be a huge benefit of mountaineering but of course, it isn’t always for everyone because it’s a little more strenuous than what regular hiking can be.
However, when it comes to mountaineering, it can help to build up someone’s confidence which is so important in today’s world. You also get the chance to learn new skills and require a lot of team working skills at the best of time. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing because many who enjoy hiking sometimes prefer to have fewer people around; and there is always the idea of achieving something very special.
The Risk Associated With Mountaineering
Though, while mountaineering can be fun, it also has a lot of drawbacks too. There are quite a few risks associated with mountaineering including the fact that hypothermia is a big problem. You are going to have to spend a great deal of time and money training for the different climates and mountaineering experience. You also need to invest money in the very best equipment which can be very costly for most and of course, there is a lot of training and knowledge to get to know.
Which Is Better Mountaineering or Hiking
When it comes down to it, both hiking and mountaineering can be absolutely wonderful but be warned, they aren’t for everyone. For example, hiking is best suited to those who want to challenge themselves and want to enjoy simple hiking trails; while mountaineering is a lot tougher and is more diverse. However, hiking is a lot more enjoyable and it does offer many hikers the chance to see sites they would never see otherwise – and it isn’t as costly as mountaineering.
Everyone will have their own opinion when it comes to their outdoor experiences though; hiking can slightly edge out mountaineering for its own reasons. If you are interested in exploring the great outdoors you may want to consider hiking first; and that way you can dip your feet in the water and find if its right for you.