It’s a glorious day! You decide to take a jaunt at a nearby park and find yourself refreshed and feeling positive. That wonderful sensation is one of the many reasons that hiking’s popularity has grown, along with positive health benefits.
In this article David Hoyt, the Funder of DefensivePlanet.com shares with you a wealth of information that helps both beginner and experienced hikers alike. His goal is making your trek enjoyable while also keeping yourself protected.
What constitutes hiking?
Nailing down a definition of what constitutes hiking often depends on who you ask.
In the United States and Canada, a hike is a long, brisk walk along rough trails or even old cow paths. Meanwhile, in the UK, if you say “walking” you can be talking about backpacking too. The English call hill hikes “fellwalking” and in Australia, it’s called “tramping”!
If the linguistics weren’t confusing enough, then there are other factors.
When making your way through dense forest with undergrowth over more than one day, you’re bush-walking (or bushwhacking if the area is really close-knit). Africans call long-distance trail efforts trekking and returning back to the US hikes with camping bear the designation of backpacking.
As a flash from the past:
During the 18th century, taking a promenade to a natural location was charming and romantic, and might include a picnic. Part of this allure came from newly appearing travel guides extolling the pleasures of walking.
Some of the famous authors in the Romantic period and Transcendentalist movement were known for traipsing regularly include Wordsworth, Thoreau and Coleridge followed later by Keats.
By the 20th Century, books included descriptions of extended walking tours.
In turn, so-called “Rambling clubs” popped up. Then came marked hiking areas, particularly in National Parks and other protected areas.
The rest, as they say, is history.