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What Are the Different Types of Hiking Adventures?

Hiking boots.
A group of hikers.
Mountaineering is a popular type of hiking adventure.
Cross country day hiking, usually done through a park or on a marked trail, is great for beginner hikers.
The Smoky Mountains offer hiking opportunities.
The continental U.S. has many smaller mountain chains, such as the Ozark mountains, that are accessible to beginning hikers.
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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 24 April 2014
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There are many different types of hiking adventures that are possible to enjoy, including everything from brief day hikes on hiking trails through the woods or in a park, to much more intensive overnight mountain-climbing expeditions. The type of hiking adventures that one chooses to participate in are based on a number of factors, including physical strength, experience, knowledge of the terrain, and safe hiking and first-aid practices, as well as other skills such as rock climbing, the ability to read maps correctly, and the type of gear that one owns both for the terrain and the weather. Day hiking and overnight backpacking are the most common types of hiking practices; within these, one might try mountaineering, canyoneering, desert or coastal hiking, snow hiking, or hiking with pets, just to name a few.

Most people begin with a type of cross-country day hiking when choosing hiking adventures. Though it is important to bring safety gear such as as first-aid kit and maps, this type of hiking is usually done on marked trails through the woods or a park, and is a good place to begin getting back in shape or to start hiking as a hobby. Some may then choose to turn it into a camping adventure as well, and will bring camping gear in backpacks to camp along a hiking trail. Some hiking trails can be quite difficult, particularly those that are in hilly or mountainous regions, so it is important to be prepared.

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Mountaineering or canyoneering are much more difficult types of hiking adventures. Mountaineering involves climbing mountains, while canyoneering involves traversing canyons, usually involving more rock climbing since it may be necessary to scale rock walls or repel down rock faces, as well as hike through woods and over waterways, in some cases. These require much more physical ability and greater preparation, as they are much more strenuous and can be quite dangerous if one does not prepare properly. These types of hiking adventures are nearly always completed at least in pairs, since being in a group greatly increases safety.

Other types of hiking adventures change based on the natural environments in the area. Some people enjoy desert hiking or coastal hiking along the ocean, while others may enjoy snow hiking in the winter. This is an especially challenging form of hiking, and naturally requires specialized gear to stay warm, and to avoid slipping on ice. Even something as simple as bringing a dog along on the hike can make it more fun; some people enjoy dog-hiking in groups, which can be a fun way to make new friends.

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