Monthly Archives: August 2014

What makes a walk a hike?

About 10 minutes into the trail, I asked “is this a walk or a hike?” It was when a family of 3 with a very small child turned back and said to us “we were just out for a nice morning walk, not a hike!” My friend and I agreed there were certain elements that made it a hike and not a walk. Any one of these would elevate your exercise to a hike:

  • when the trail turns into enough mud that your shoes are in danger of being sucked off
  • when you have to pause to eat an energy bar (lattes at Starbucks do not count)
  • when that walking stick that you were just using as a balancing tool is needed to push bushes out of the way
  • when you require water and tools to clean your shoes/walking stick
  • bug spray becomes a necessity not optional

The following do not count in declaring that you’ve been on a hike

  • you sweat (you do this when you leave your house and are still on the driveway in Florida)
  • you go uphill (unless it is more than a 40 degree grade and/or requires climbing equipment – then it’s a climb, not a hike)
  • your feet hurt (check your shoes)
  • you get a blister (check your socks)

The following are signs that you are definitely on a walk, not a hike:

  • you can talk the entire way without losing your breath
  • you are wearing cute sandals
  • you don’t break a sweat
  • you have no provisions

Insights from walking hiking in Short Hills Provincial park

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