Hiking equipment is the equipment normally taken on outdoor walking trips. Hiking is usually divided into:
The equipment selected varies according to the duration, distance, planned activities, and the environment. Additional factors include weight and preparedness for unplanned events. The level of preparedness can relate to remoteness and potential hazards; for example, a short day hike across farmland or trekking in the Rockies. The length and duration of a walk can influence the amount of gear carried.<
A walking/hiking tour generally employs tour guides, and can be for a day or two, or last for a week or more. They are led by guides that have knowledge of the sites, or the landscape, covered on the tour, and explanations and interpretations of the site can cover a range of subjects, including places with historical, cultural and artistic significance. Walking tours, of various kinds and length, are universally part of the tourism industry, and can be found around the world.
Self-guided tours, utilize a range of methods to aid travel through a place, or landscape, such as books, maps, pamphlets, and audio material. Independent walking gives you freedom. Whether you pause or power on: the choice is up to you, from selecting sightseeing stops along the way, deciding to linger a little over your lunch, or setting off an hour earlier to catch the coolest part of the day. Your bags are transported ahead of you; the hotels are researched and selected by travel experts, ensuring a good night’s sleep. The detailed route notes provide everything you need, but just in case, there’s always a 24 hours emergency telephone number.
A newer option, in the self-guided category, involves battery powered electic bicycles for those who have leg/foot problems or just wish to travel in ease over greater distances per day.
For some people one of the many attractions of walking is that you can do it alone and enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the great outdoors without being disturbed by others. It's an opportunity to get away from it all, recharge your batteries and just enjoy the fresh air. There are many others, however, who prefer to walk within an organised walking group and there can be several benefits to be gained by joining a hiking or walking club.
Many people look upon their leisure time as an opportunity to meet new people other than their close friends to forge new friendships and to get a different perspective on life and exchange views and ideas. Walkers are no different in this regard. Additionally, some walkers feel more secure when out walking with a group especially if they're hiking in unfamiliar and sometimes challenging terrain. Usually in these situations, the group will have a trip leader and their help and support can be invaluable and often gives walkers more confidence to tackle walks which they might otherwise have been reluctant to do on their own.