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Has anyone else noticed this?

Posted by MADMAC on 27/9/2012 at 23:41

I have noticed that the word "Trek" or "Trekking" is used almost exclusively here, while the word "hiking" is never used, even though they have different meanings and it would seem for the most part people coming out here are going to hike vice trek. Anyone know the reason for this? I find these linguistic developments interesting.

#1 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by sayadian on 28/9/2012 at 10:00

Neither would be suitable in the context of travelling unless it was by foot.Trekking comes from the Boers and basically described the hard journey they made through Southern Africa.But English meanings change with time (English is linguistically organic unlike French) so I guess it's become acceptable because of common use.
How about 'yomping' and 'tabbing' ?

#2 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557


Posted by chinarocks on 28/9/2012 at 10:47

I have noticed that you have a lot of time on your hands...

#3 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740

Posted by MADMAC on 28/9/2012 at 11:32

China - I do. I am retired.

#4 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by daawgon on 28/9/2012 at 11:44

Madmac - I can tell you that my Sapa trek was by no means a hike - it was damn hard!

#5 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,114

Posted by MADMAC on 28/9/2012 at 14:07

Daawgon - level of difficulty is not usually in the definition of the word. Treks are multi-day over broken terrain. Hikes are shorter duration over paths or trails. Where I live, it would be VERY difficult to trek, as the terrain is brutal with extremely thick vegetation. You would have to be cutting a swath with a machete non-stop. But be that as it may, I have simpy noticed that people universally here use the word "trek" and never seem to use the word "hike" even though they are not the same (although as Sayadian indicates, perhaps the definitions are shifting). I'm just curious about that and wonder what the reason is - if there is any.

#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by busylizzy on 28/9/2012 at 15:34

Trekking makes the journey sound far more adventurous.

#7 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
 Where has busylizzy been? 

Posted by Saphir on 25/11/2012 at 22:37

I go for a walk. Sometimes I take a stroll.

#8 Saphir has been a member since 19/5/2009. Posts: 74
 Where has Saphir been? 

Posted by stefanw on 26/11/2012 at 02:25

It's probably used by the tour companies because it sounds much better, you're definitions of trek and hike make trek sound a lot more adventurous and exciting. What word would you use if marketing something?

I guess it just becomes the word associated with "trekking" in SEA.

#9 stefanw has been a member since 10/12/2010. Posts: 50

Posted by Rukus on 26/11/2012 at 10:40

Haha I thought it was odd aswell when I first saw it. But it's just advertising

#10 Rukus has been a member since 28/10/2011. Posts: 22

Posted by MADMAC on 27/11/2012 at 03:45

Rufus
With companies I think you're right. With individuals I am beginning to think Liz is right. At first I thought it was just linguistics, but now I am beginning to think people use it to sound like they doing something special.

#11 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by chinarocks on 27/11/2012 at 04:58

A trek is a long, adventurous journey undertaken on foot in areas where common means of transport are generally not available.

Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain.

The typical walks which tourists do in, say, Sapa or Chinag Mai would for me be best defined by trekking as they are "long and adventurous" journeys of up to 3 days and ranging 30-40 kms. They are not really "walking" and you will have a backpack and the terrain gets too rugged in parts for it to be described as walking.

Moral of the tale - most tourists will call it trekking but they are not trying to be elitist.

Next action - let's move on.

#12 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740

Posted by MADMAC on 27/11/2012 at 05:03

I agree the 3-4 day kind of thing where you are moving over terrain that is not accessible by vehicle meets the definition. I've often wondered how people do that out here, because where I live the undergrowth is so thick, it really impedes movement. I guess in the dry season it might be doable though.

I am not saying anyone goes "trekking" here, but I have noticed the term is used almost exclusively, and certainly I don't imagine most are moving through broken terrain with a machete and sleeping under a canopy...

#13 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by chinarocks on 27/11/2012 at 08:04

Where does it say anywhere in the definition of trekking that you have to be "moving through broken terrain with a machete and sleeping under a canopy"?

#14 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740

Posted by MADMAC on 27/11/2012 at 08:58

OK check out this on-line definition of both terms:

Hiking is an outdoor activity of walking in beautiful natural environments on pre-charted paths called hiking trails. There are day hikes and overnight hikes.

Trekking is a long journey be undertaken on foot in areas where there are usually no means of transport available. Trekking is not necessarily mountaineering; it is walking for a number of days, usually on uncharted paths, in challenging environments which are likely to be hilly or mountainous.

Now China, which one seems like what most people here are doing? Yet, as I said, I never see the word "hike" or "hiking" used. Or almost never.

#15 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by chinarocks on 27/11/2012 at 09:43

If you see my earlier post, I have already compared the definition of the two.

Actually I believe trekking is a more appropriate definition for what we are referring to, the key distinction being it is a multi-day activity.

A one-day hike vs. a multi-day trek. Again I see nothing wrong with calling it a trek. Nor would I mind if they called it a hike.

#16 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740

Posted by MADMAC on 27/11/2012 at 11:19

I guess I envision a Trek as through broken terrain with unfinished intermediate destinations... If you are hiking between guest houses, I would call it a hike. But as I said, I never see the word used here - or almost never (I think I've seen it once). Everyone's always saying "we want to get in some trekking" and I am suspect they are talking about anything other than hiking. I mean, hiking is most certainly a more common activity than trekking. I definitely think Liz is on to something.

#17 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957


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