Trekking is an activity in which people take multi-day hiking trips through rural, often rugged territory. Many people who are trekkers engage in longer trips through entire regions of the world, using trekking as a way of getting from place to place. It also can be incorporated with other outdoor sports, such as rock climbing or backpacking.
Interacting with Nature
This activity is different from other types of travel for several reasons. It tends to be less structured than other sorts of travel, because weather conditions and topography can influence trekkers' travel plans more than plane flights or hotel availability. As travelers move on foot through often-rural areas, trekking gives them an up-close view of the scenery. Many trekkers travel through isolated areas and get a travel experience that is much different from that of people who travel in organized groups to popular destinations. This often allows trekkers to interact with nature while doing things such as climbing a rock wall or navigating through a mountain range.
Trekking can be done anywhere in the world. Certain areas are particularly popular with trekkers, including mountainous regions such as the Himalayas in Asia and the Andes in South America. Treks also have been organized in other less-visited areas on almost every continent.
This type of trip can be as long or as short as participants decide, from a few days of hiking to an expedition that lasts more than a year. It also can be as athletic and adventurous as the participants decide. The less-structured nature of this activity and a world of possible destinations help attract a wide variety of participants.
Several pieces of gear help make trekking more enjoyable for many people. One is a comfortably fitting backpack. Many trekkers travel for extended periods of time and need to carry all of their belongings with them. A sturdy backpack can comfortably fit at least 20 to 40 pounds (about 9 to 18 kg) of clothing and gear.
Another item that is considered important is a high-quality pair of hiking boots. When covering long distances, wearing the right pair of boots can make the difference between enjoying a trip and being in pain. Survival equipment such as warm clothing, a first aid kit and an emergency supply of food and water also are essential for trekkers.
Trekking experts recommend that a beginning trekker should go with someone who has experience or in a professionally led group. This can help introduce them to the special skills that are required to complete an overland journey of significant length. Many outdoor stores and organizations offer classes and plan trips that can help give someone an idea of the gear and physical ability that are required for trekking.