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10 Popular and Unique Types of Hikes to Try

Hiking is fun, and fortunately,  there are different ways to perform it as an activity. You could have a great time varying your hike with at least ten different methods, each offering a unique level of fun. The variety is what makes hiking enjoyable and worth the time. You can even invent your style, increase the intensity, and have personalized satisfaction.

With tons of hiking types available, ten are widely popular and worth trying. This piece will highlight all these special 10, and you can try them yourself or with a group.

The Perfect 10: Different Types of Hikes

Day Hiking

Day hiking is the most popular type of hike and is what most beginners have in mind when they think of starting the exercise. Day hiking is pretty much a trek that covers a considerable distance that can be completed back and forth before sunset. It is simply a one-day hike that does not require you to camp, carry extra clothing or stock up on heavy food supplies. You can complete a basic day hike with primary hiking gear and enough food to cover lunch and maybe breakfast.

Most other types of hiking are categorized under day hiking, as very few hikes are done at night. You could decide to day hike on your own or walk with a crowd. Your choice should be based on which is safer and more enjoyable.

Summit Hiking

For some people, hiking is not just all about fun. They see it as a real exercise to build core muscles, lose weight and achieve a nice fitness level. This category of hikers usually carries out their hiking in more demanding terrain like hills and mountains and are known as summit hikers

Summit Hiking means hiking in a plane that has a steep elevation or has an upward trajectory. The terrain for this kind of hike is hills, rocks, elevated trails, and even mountains.

The foundation of summit hiking is walking on a trail with an upward peak. Due to the nature of these trails, hikes are relatively more tasking than on an average even trail. For example, if you have to climb a mountain, you will feel a significant strain on your leg than when you walk on even ground. However, the reward of the former is more significant.

Summit Hiking’s strength-building and fitness reward come from the ability to walk through the hurdle and complete your hike. If you keep up with the activity, you will build endurance and feel ripped.

Hiker at top of mountqin

Long-Distance Hiking

Long-distance hiking Is quite popular among avid hikers and is one of the major ways they test their endurance without doing the most. Some people love hiking and would do anything to connect with nature and separate from civilization for a while. A hike is considered to have covered a long distance if the planned trail is at least 30 miles.

Generally, most long trails cut into hundreds of miles and yes, some hikers get on these trails, complete them and return to their starting point.

Long-distance hikers are likely to spend days, weeks, and sometimes up to a month on the trail. The chosen terrain is often well-marked and has been frequented, making the entire journey easier to see through.

For this hike, you will need to stock just enough to cover a particular time range at the very least. There is a need to plan and prepare very well or a long-distance hike to be successful. You need to have the following planned at the very least

  • Sleeping Tent choice
  • Plan for getting food supplies
  • Number of times intended to check in on civilization for restock
  • Gears and first aid medications
  • Preparation for natural and other forms of potential threats.
  • Full knowledge of the trail
  • A communication device that allows you to reach out to family easily and does not depend on a cellular network.

Several trails are designed for long-distance walking in different countries. Camino de Santiago in Spain spans about 500 miles which is a perfect choice for hikers who love to spend days or weeks hiking. Other long-distance trails include Bulgaria’s Kom-Emine (500 miles), Slovenia’s Mountain Hiking Trail (370 miles) and Wales’s Costal Path of Pembrokeshire (186 miles).

You can enjoy long-distance hiking on any of these trails or in local terrains with similar lengths in your area.

Hikers in the mountqins

Base Camping

Base Camping is a nice choice of hiking that offers you versatility and puts a nice touch on your hiking experience. The idea of Base Camping is that you have a starting location that allows you to hike in different directions within a few days. For each day, you hike in one direction and return back to the starting point, then kick off a new direction the next day.

The starting point is your base and is where you must return before the day’s end. This is exactly why it is known as base camping.

Base Camping is excellent if you want to perform a string of considerable distance hiking at a go. The fact that you already have a base also makes it easy for you to move with essentials when exploring a new trail. Since you may spend several days on the trail during base camping, it won’t be bad to hike with a few friends for a memorable experience.

Section Hiking

Section hiking allows you to create a new experience by maintaining a milestone exercise pattern. Understandably, some trails are so long and vast that covering them at once may be too much on your strength, time or personality.

However, if you intend to see the end of a really long trail, you can decide to hike its path in parts. This is what section hiking is all about. You trek a long trail to a particular point for a hike session and make that new point the starting point for the next hiking session. You keep up this process till you complete the entire trail on your terms and comfort.

In essence, Section Hiking is like a long-distance hike that is completed in bits. It is a special pattern that allows you to complete a trail without pushing yourself beyond your limit.

Hiking in Scotland


Thru-hiking is the longest type of hike and is so named because terming it long-distance hiking does not do justice to how much time you have to spend on the trail. You can actually hike for up to 24 months for a thru-hike and cover over 1000 miles.

Thru-hike as a major activity was first inspired by the Popular movie: “Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found.” Some sources credit the Book of the same name as the original source of thru-hiking as it inspired the movie.

Thru-hiking requires much planning and a full-blown plan, as it can last well over a year or two. You have to plan how you intend to live on the trail and not just survive. You must consider how to maintain good health, survive the weather conditions, get resupplies and how often you need to reach out to civilization.

Thru-hiking is very liberating and worth the time. It is best to go for it if you have the chance. That way, you will have enough time to plan and enjoy your activity. However, be ready for any change you meet when you return to civilization fully.

Some of the major routes designed for Thru Hiking include American Discovery Trail (6800 miles), North Country Trail (4600 miles), Continental Divide Trail (3100 miles) and Pacific Crest Trail (2650 miles).

Snow Hiking

Snow hiking is a special hike performed in the snow. It can also be termed snowshoeing and is a special choice for the winter. If you love to hike in the snow, you will have a lot of fun hiking during the cold weather. You could decide to hike for long or short distances. Just try to keep it simple.

Snowshoeing can only work if there is a level of snow on the trail that makes it extremely difficult or almost impossible to walk with normal boots. You will need a snowshoe as a replacement for footwear to be able to hike. Snowshoeing or snow hiking offer a different challenge that is fun and great for fitness.

If you are going to snowshoe, you need a perfect trail for the activity to prevent avoidable injuries. Since snow tends to cover potholes and natural depressions, it is best not to try a trail you have never used before.

Hiker climbing a mountain


Peak Bagging is a different level of hiking that gives a high sense of accomplishment as you accomplish different peaks within a particular time frame. Peak bagging is a type of summit hiking in which the aim is to reach the highest point of a hill, rock, mountain or any high elevation.

Once you reach the peak of an elevated trail, you have bagged a peak. When you reach the heights of more than one elevated trail within a particular time frame, you are peak bagging. And that is the essence of this type of hike: Bag as many peaks as you want.

Peak Bagging is a special hike that gives a sense of achievement when successfully carried out. While some critics confuse this hike’s entire intent as an obsession, it is a poor classification as most people have a poor understanding of what it is about.

There are several areas in the United States and the UK has many steep elevations that can aid the idea of peak bagging.


Bushwhacking is carried out on unmarked vegetation and is a special choice that encourages survival skills and not just simple walking. All you generally need for direction is a digital compass and rugged gears that can withstand serious vegetation challenges.

You have to do the vegetation clearing yourselves to carve your path to your destination. You will need a machete, a small axe, and every other important piece of equipment that helps you carve your way to success.

For many hikers, Bushwhacking is the most difficult type of hiking because you are creating a new trail from scratch, which takes a lot of work. Fortunately, several benefits include fitness, weight loss, and better endurance building.

Topless hiking

Naked Hiking

While nude hiking is not as popular as any other hiking type here, it exists and the culture is rampant among several hiking groups and communities. As the name implies, nude hiking requires light or full skin exposure on the trail.

The activity has continued to grow in popularity over the years, with many women even joining the trend. Most women hike nude to feel empowered or to enjoy nature after successfully battling a life-threatening condition. The activity is also believed to give participants a touch and feel of nature in one of the most intimate ways.

The most popular naked hikes are the half-nude hike, where hikers only take off their top wears but have little bottom covering. Most hikers prefer this option as it allows them to cover the most sensitive part of their body. Full nude hiking is a choice that is quite popular around the Appalachian & Pacific Crest trails.

Generally, there is no law against naked hiking globally, but most counties try to discourage it. If you are interested in hiking nude, it is best to do so with at least one person with a similar interest. It is also recommended to hike only in areas that are not usually walked to avoid awkward moments with other groups of hikers. If possible, it is best to let the local authority know about your whereabouts, and you should also have clothes in your backpack in case you need to wear them.

Most naked hikes are usually short and are often completed within a few hours. So ensure you fully plan for it before participating.

Final Thoughts

There are different types of hikes to participate in, and you can choose the one you like. You only need to get the right terrain, trails, and gears to kick off your experience. Some of these hikes are perfect for solo treks, while others are more fun with a group. You just need to determine how you want yours to go. The good thing, though, is that you will get full and immense fun irrespective of the type of hikes you choose. So the ball is in your court.

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