How Hiking Is Different From Brisk Walking? (Quick Facts)

Physical activity can take many different forms such as hiking and brisk walking which are two of the most popular forms of exercise. Well, most people are familiar with what walking is, but it might be difficult to tell the difference between brisk walking and hiking.

To help you understand along with some examples, this post will offer a quick glimpse into the key distinction between hiking and brisk walking.

Here’s how hiking is different from brisk walking

Hiking entails engaging in intense long-distance walking, usually on trails or paths. In contrast, brisk walking involves walking over a short distance usually along the beach, sidewalk, or road. Typically, 100 steps per minute is regarded as moderate-intensity or brisk walking.


What is brisk walking?

Brisk walking is the activity of covering a short distance for exercise or leisure. It involves a smooth terrain with no obstacles.

The terrain is also flat and not elevated; therefore, walking is less tedious, and you do not use much energy. Unlike hiking, brisk walking is not planned for. You can walk out of necessity or just decide to do an impromptu exercise.

Example of brisk walking

Good examples of brisk walking are;

  • Taking a walk in the morning or evening for exercise
  • Walking on a beach
  • Walking on a treadmill
  • When walking your dog(s)

What is hiking

Hiking is walking over long distances, which usually takes days. It is also called backpacking. Hiking is generally done for pleasure and mainly on uneven and steep terrains.

A hiking setting is usually in rural areas or reserved areas such as mountains and game parks. In addition, hiking requires more effort than brisk walking because your body uses more calories when trekking on uneven and steep terrain than on flat terrain.

Example of hiking

Good examples of hiking are;

  • Taking nature walks
  • Backpacking
  • Mountaineering

Key Differences

HikingBrisk Walking
Distance coveredHiking involves longer distances.Walking involves shorter distances.
TerrainsHiking paths are natural, uneven, and steep. They are mainly rocky and rough.Walking trails are mainly flat and smooth.
PurposeHiking is mainly done for pleasure or exercise. For example, climbing a mountain to reach its summit.Walking can be due to necessity, exercise, or fun. For example, going to the store.
The effort usedHiking requires more energy than walking. Because the paths are rougher; consequently, it takes much more energy to navigate.Walking takes less effort and, therefore, less energy.
PreparationA hike needs to be planned for.A walk can happen abruptly.
EnvironmentA hike mainly occurs in a rural setting or forest setting.Walks are mainly on roads, a smooth environment.
TimeHiking can take more days to cover the intended distance.A walk can take just a few minutes.
GearWhen hiking, you need to carry gear depending on how long you will be gone. You can carry hiking boots, a backpack, and torches.You don’t need any gear.

Now You Know

When hiking, you burn more calories because you have to walk on rocky roads that are not easy to walk on. Both hiking and brisk walking can be out of pleasure or exercise.

Now that you understand the key differences, you can plan accordingly for your next hike.