Hiking is a form of exercise which is a bit more challenging than walking. While walking is usually limited to paved roads and level streets, going on a hike entails taking trails in woodland areas. Because of the lush vegetation, hikers usually bring a hiking stick to clear the path. A more extreme form of hill walking is known as scrambling where ropes are needed for short periods of time to secure the scramblers. Scrambling is different from mountain climbing since it only involves trekking up short inclines where no other special equipment is needed save for the rope.

Trekking is similar to walking in that it can be done by almost anyone of any fitness level. Aside from the stick, no other equipment is needed as well. It is also similar to walking in that there is no special knowledge required before one can hike. Both exercise regimens are enjoyable and can be done alone or together with a group.

Hiking, however, is more than walking. For starters, the venue is different. As has been mentioned, trekking is usually done in woodland areas where the trails are not smooth or paved. The rocks and tree stumps make trekking a more challenging workout, developing agility and mental and physical quickness. Furthermore, walking is done in the familiar confines of the neighborhood, park or boulevard. As such, you don't have to worry about where you are going or of getting lost after your exercise. Trekking is more challenging in that it requires hikers to be knowledgeable about their bearings. At the very least, you should know where the north, south, east and west is or be able to determine your location with or without a compass. Since trekking trails are not usually familiar places, you need basic knowledge of navigation in the event that you get lost and can't find your way back. Even if you are in a group with an experienced hiker, you should still be able to find your way on your own.

Trekking is also taking walking up to another level because you need a basic knowledge of first aid before you undertake a hike. Rarely do you stumble and sprain your ankle when you walk on paved roads-- unless you're really a klutz. But when you hike, stumbling over an exposed tree root or wounding yourself on jagged rocks in case you slip is a reality that you must prepare for. You have to be ready in such eventualities and should be able to treat yourself or your fellow hikers. Thus, knowing how to administer first aid is essential.

Finally, hiking is walking made more challenging since it is an overall more intense exercise. It does not only strengthen your lower body, it also develops the muscles on your arms and your torso as you use these to keep your balance while navigating the more treacherous trails. Balance and stability are also enhanced during a good hike. To successfully get to the end of a particularly challenging trail, you exercise your brain and employ problem-solving skills. This contributes to your overall mental fitness as well.

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