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What Is Trekking?

Updated May 23, 2024
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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.

Getting Started

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.

WiseTour is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
By anon989072 — On Feb 17, 2015

I love trekking and had an experience of this awesome activity in Nepal with my buddies before exploring the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. I must say you have shared an informative post for those who want to go enjoy this activity for the first time.

By anon227543 — On Nov 05, 2011

If people are looking for professionally-led group treks then they should check out The Expedition Company. They also provide naviagtion and first aid training.

By anon147954 — On Jan 31, 2011

Once i trekked along with 25 other cadets during one of the trekking expedition conducted by our NCC unit in Himachal, Pradesh. We were having a backpack of about 20 kgs. We trekked through rugged path and in between passed through many tiny villages.As we climbed up the scenery became mesmerising. Total length of the journey was 320 kmh, to be completed in 12 days.

After doing this rigorous trekking I found myself physically more fit and mentally more stronger.

By anon76296 — On Apr 09, 2010

The word trekking takes on a different meaning here in Japan. People here borrow the English word when speaking of a hike in the mountains, but not a multiday hike. A Japanese friend of mine went 'trekking' amounting to a three-hour hike one way.

By anon64902 — On Feb 10, 2010

I'm going to Munnar for a school excursion, and we're supposed to go trekking. I can assure you, I have never been to a place where I could go mountain biking, trekking, or anything of that sort. I seriously need help.

By anon47726 — On Oct 06, 2009

Trekking in the Himalayas (Nepal) is the only place for the best trekking in the world.

By Trekguide — On Aug 22, 2009

Trekking is the multi-days joyful walking trip enjoying the scenery of rural regions, rugged hils and valleys, from one place to the next place. Trekking is not the climbing and mountaineering that need climbing equipment. There are two different treks- one is teahouse(or lodge) trekking and the other is tented camping trekking. Teahouses (lodges) are the hotels/lodges run by the local rural people. the local lodge/hotels provide good food with restaurant-style menus, good hot and cold showers. Tented camping is organized all on a tented camping basis.

By anon8568 — On Feb 16, 2008


Im writing an article on trekking for my college magazine. Me being a great lover of trekking would like to spread this passion to many more. This is possible only by your help. I seem to have got some information here..Can you enlighten me with some more information like the materials required for trekking, A beginners place for trekking and the materials required...

By elsewhen — On Feb 03, 2008

A friend and I went on a long trek through the Himalayas in Nepal. Apart from the stunning scenery and expansive views, there is a very unique aspect of Nepali trekking. Tiny villages dot the mountains, and you come across one every few hours of hiking.

Villagers rent out spartan rooms, and offer to make food for very reasonable prices. Since we didn't have to carry food, cooking supplies, or a tent, our packs were very light. I have hiked all over the world, and that lengthy trek in Nepal was extremely memorable.

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