Hiking is a form of walking, undertaken with the specific purpose of exploring and enjoying the scenery. Walking (also called ambulation) is the main form of Animal Locomotion on land, distinguished from Running and crawling It usually takes place on trails in rural or wilderness areas. A trail is a Path or Road used for Walking, Cycling, Cross-country skiing, or other activities Rural areas can be large and isolated (also referred to as "the country" and/or "the countryside over the course of time Wilderness is generally defined as a Natural environment on Earth that has not been significantly modified by Human activity
The word 'hiking' is understood in all English-speaking countries, but there are differences in usage. In some places, off-trail hiking is called 'cross-country hiking', 'bushwalking', or 'bushbashing'. In the United Kingdom, hiking is a slightly old-fashioned word, with a flavor more of heartiness and exercise than of enjoying the outdoors; the activity described here would be called hillwalking or simply 'walking'. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located In Britain, the term hillwalking or fellwalking is normally used to describe the recreational practice of walking in hilly or Mountainous terrain generally Australians use the term 'bushwalking' for both on- and off-trail hiking. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. New Zealanders use 'tramping' (particularly for overnight and longer trips), 'walking' or 'bushwalking'. New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island Hiking in the mountainous regions of India and Nepal and in the highlands of East Africa is sometimes called 'trekking'. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country Nepal (नेपाल) is a Landlocked country in South Asia. East Africa is the Easternmost Region of the African Continent. Overnight hiking is called 'backpacking' in some parts of the world. Backpacking (in US tramping, trekking, or bushwalking in other countries combines Hiking and camping in a single Hiking a long-distance trail from end to end is referred to as 'thru-hiking' in some places. Long-distance trails (or long-distance tracks paths footpaths or Greenways are the longer recreational right-of-way routes mainly through rural areas used for non-motorised Thru-hiking is the process of Hiking a Long-distance trail from end to end
Hiking is one of the fundamental outdoor activities on which many others are based. Outdoor activities usually mean activities done in nature away from civilization such as Hill walking, Trekking, Canoeing, Running Many beautiful places can only be reached overland by hiking, and enthusiasts regard hiking as the best way to see nature. It is seen as better than a tour in a vehicle of any kind (or on an animal; see horseback riding) because the hiker's senses are not intruded upon by distractions such as windows, engine noise, airborne dust and fellow passengers. Vehicles, derived from the Latin word vehiculum, are non-living Means of transport. For the Roman class see Equestrian (Roman Equestrianism refers to the skill of riding or driving Horses This broad description GlassWindowjpg|thumb|right|190px|A stained glass panel depicting Biblical scenes at a historic church in Scotland]] A window is an opening An engine is a mechanical device that produces some form of output from a given input Dust is a general name for minute Solid particles with Diameters less than 500 micrometers. Hiking over long distances or over difficult terrain does require some degree of physical ability and knowledge.
Hikers often seek beautiful natural environments in which to hike. See also Nature The natural environment, commonly referred to simply as the environment, is a terminology that is comprised of all living and Ironically, these environments are often fragile: hikers may accidentally destroy the environment that they enjoy. The action of an individual may not strongly affect the environment. However, the mass effect of a large number of hikers can degrade the environment. For example, gathering wood in an alpine area to start a fire may be harmless once (except for wildfire risk). For the climate of the mountains named the Alps, see Climate of the Alps. A wildfire, also known as a wildland fire, forest fire, brush fire, vegetation fire, grass fire, Peat fire, Years of gathering wood, however, can strip an alpine area of valuable nutrients.
Generally, protected areas such as parks have regulations in place to protect the environment. If hikers follow such regulations, their impact can be minimized. Such regulations include forbidding wood fires, restricting camping to established camp sites, disposing or packing out faecal matter, imposing a quota on the number of hikers per day. Definition Camping describes a range of activities Survivalist campers set off with little more than their boots whereas Recreational vehicle travelers arrive equipped Human Feces (also faeces &mdash see spelling differences) also known as stools, is the waste product of the human digestive system and varies significantly
Many hikers espouse the philosophy of Leave No Trace: hiking in a way such that future hikers cannot detect the presence of previous hikers. Leave No Trace is a set of principles for participation in outdoor Recreation that seeks to minimize the impact on the Natural environment. Practitioners of this philosophy obey its strictures, even in the absence of area regulations. Followers of this practice follow strict practices on dealing with food waste, food packaging, and alterations to the surrounding environment.
Human waste is often a major source of environmental impact from hiking. These wastes can contaminate the watershed and make other hikers ill. Bacterial contamination can be avoided by digging 'catholes' 10 to 25 cm (4 to 10 inches) deep, depending on local soil composition and covering after use. The Bacteria ( singular: bacterium) are a large group of unicellular Microorganisms Typically a few Micrometres in length bacteria have A cathole is a pit for Human feces. Catholes are frequently used for the purpose of disposing of Bowel movements by Hikers and others engaging in outdoor If these catholes are dug at least 60 m (200 feet) away from water sources and trails, the risk of contamination is minimized. Many hikers warn other hikers about the location of their catholes by marking them with sticks stuck into the ground.
Sometimes, hikers enjoy viewing rare or endangered species. However, some species (such as martens or bighorn sheep) are very sensitive to the presence of humans, especially around mating season. For the Wiltshire village see Marten Wiltshire. For the town in Bulgaria see Marten Bulgaria. Bighorn Sheep ( Ovis canadensis) is a species of sheep in North America and Siberia with large horns which can weigh up to. Hikers should learn the habits and habitats of the endangered species, in order to avoid adverse impact.
There is one situation where an individual hiker can make a large impact on an ecosystem: inadvertently starting a wildfire. For example, in 2005, a Czech backpacker burned 7% of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile by knocking over an illegal gas portable stove. Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Czechs (Češi ˈt͡ʃɛʃɪ archaic Čechové) are a western Slavic people of Central Europe, living predominantly in the Czech Republic A national park is a reserve of land usually declared and owned by a national Government, protected from most Human development and pollution Chile, officially the Republic of Chile ( Spanish:) is a country in South America occupying a long and narrow Coastal strip wedged between the A Portable stove is a stove specially designed to be portable and lightweight as for camping. Obeying area regulations and setting up cooking devices on bare ground will reduce the risk of wildfire.
Because hiking is a recreational experience, hikers expect it to be pleasant. Sometimes hikers can interfere with each others' enjoyment, or that of other users of the land, but they can minimize this interference by following good etiquette. Etiquette is a code that governs the expectations of Social behavior, according to the contemporary conventional norm within a Society, For example:
Hiking may produce threats to personal safety. The Mount Hood National Forest is located 20 miles (32 km east of the city of Portland Oregon, and the northern Willamette River valley Any Outdoor activity entails many Risks even if participants do not recklessly place themselves in harm's way These threats can be dangerous circumstances while hiking and/or specific accidents or ailments. Dangerous hiking circumstances include losing the way, inclement weather, hazardous terrain, or exacerbation of pre-existing medical conditions. Specific accidents include metabolic imbalances (such as dehydration or hypothermia), topical injuries (such as frostbite or sunburn), attacks by animals, or internal injuries (such as ankle sprain). Dehydration ( hypohydration) is the removal of Water ( hydro in ancient Greek) from an object Hypothermia is a condition in which an organism's temperature drops below that required for normal Metabolism and bodily functions Frostbite ( congelatio in Medical terminology) is the Medical condition whereby damage is caused to Skin and other tissues A sunburn is a burn to living tissue such as Skin produced by overexposure to Ultraviolet (UV radiation commonly from the Sun 's rays In Human anatomy, the ankle Joint is formed where the Foot and the leg meet A sprain (from the French espraindre - to wring is an Injury which occurs to Ligaments caused by a sudden overtearing (for the Muscle
Hikers often propose a set of behavioral prescriptions to minimize these threats. A well-known example of such a set of prescription is the Ten Essentials. The Ten Essentials is a list of essential items hiking authorities promote as recommended for safe travel in the backcountry