Hiking VS Camping – Why Not Both?

Camping is often associated with eating and drinking next to a fire while hiking is essentially people walking down nature’s trails. Camping favors socialization while hiking promotes better health and arguably better views and landscapes, but who’s to say these two activities should be in opposition in the first place?

You may as well take a stroll through the woods after unpacking your camping gear, just like you can bring a couple of extra items on your hiking trip and make a camp when you find a suitable location.

Today we’ll talk about the differences and similarities of camping and hiking, as well as the reasons why you can do both in one run.

Camping in a nutshell

Basically, camping is an outdoor recreational activity that entails spending the day out in nature. Some people prefer to watch the stars and embrace the wind, others raise tents, especially during colder seasons.

A camping experience is a highly customizable one, which means that anything goes as long as it feels good.

Typically, you’ll want to create a campfire first, and then organize your buddies to prepare supper, chop up wood, after which you may as well check the nearby woods and groves.

Hiking in a nutshell

Hiking entails walking on nature’s trails and is different from casual commuting in the sense that it takes place outdoors. For instance, walking down the main road from one village to the next isn’t hiking by definition, although following a trail in any national park is.

Furthermore, hiking is different from trekking, with the latter being far harder and almost reserved for experienced people with substantially more stamina than average.

The way you’ve reached the start of your hiking trail is completely irrelevant, whereas trekkers need to travel on foot (with exceptions of specific trails where ‘cheating’ with bikes is okay).

Camping equipment

The main difference between camping and hiking, aside from their original purposes, is the type of equipment that should be brought along. Now, campers usually bring much heavier tools, a considerably larger amount of food, and a variety of entertainment items, such as radios, guitars, frisbees, badminton rackets, and such.

Experienced campers normally spend years searching for their favorite spot, and it’s not unusual that its location is near a riverside deep into the forest. In such scenarios, people normally bring multiple machetes and axes, umbrellas, and even large umbrellas and portable stools, and even collapsible beds.

Bringing enough food to last the entire camping party a day (or multiple days) is also necessary, as searching for your supper is equivalent to poaching unless you have a hunting license.

Hiking equipment

While camping involves trunks full of different kinds of gear, hikers usually pack light in order to properly enjoy their walk in nature. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have a good time if you bring nothing but a pair of sneakers and some sunscreen.

Speaking of which, the choice of clothing is much different for hikers than it is for campers. While campers can wear pretty much anything, they’ll be protected by most insects if they’re near the campfire. Furthermore, you’d rarely leave the group and can walk on short grass, even barefoot.

Hiking on any trail means that you’ll have foliage, branches, rocks, and uneven terrain as potential obstacles. Hats and caps are necessary, as well as basic cutting tools and pocket flashlights.

Optimal checklist for camping hikers and hiking campers

If you want to be equally prepared for a combo camping/hiking trip, you should make sure to dress properly, gear up on survival tools, and bring high-nutrition foods in an adequate backpack. Let’s address each of these points separately:


Given that you’ll be walking for miles on end, you should wear lightweight clothes with optimal coverage.

Long-sleeved shirts work great against insects while also protecting you from sunburns. Longer pants are recommended along with leather all-terrain boots. You can wear a regular hat if it’s particularly sunny and hot; consider a raincoat if you’re expecting a heavy downpour.

Head nets paired with bug jackets are recommended if the particular area you intend to hike in is infested with mosquitos and other flying insects.

Cold-weather camping and hiking require different clothing. Hooded jackets work the best along with insulated pants and long underwear. You’d want to use deep snow boots simply for their superior insulation even if the area isn’t particularly snowy.

Finally, consider wearing water-resistant gloves if it’s just breezy and mittens if it’s freezing cold, although keep in mind that the latter offers substantially less hand mobility.


A multi-tool is the best friend of campers and hikers alike, so this should be the first piece of equipment in your pocket. You’ll also need a chopping tool given that multi-purpose knives can’t fulfill this role; a compact (preferably collapsible) hatchet should do the trick.

Flashlights are a necessity for a variety of reasons. Should you get lost along the way, you can easily signal your friends where you are with one. Additionally, if you don’t manage to get the fire going by the evening, flashlights will help you chop up more wood and organize it with better visibility.


Camping backpacks are typically great for hiking too. Tall and light, preferably made of rip-resistant polyester material, a good backpack should help you carry all your equipment through thick and thin.

Consider models that feature long side pockets that can fit an easily accessible water bottle and at least one of your cutting tools.


Pre-made foods are excellent for both camping and hiking, such as tortillas bags with a pepper mix, all kinds of granolas, dried fruits, all sorts of nuts and seeds, and salads packed in pouches. Food that can get spoiled should be placed at the bottom of the pack; if you can, also bring cooling blocks and place them atop fruits and salads.

Finally, stock up on chocolate bars. These can be surprisingly nutritious while their main benefit is giving you an instant energy bump. And that wraps things up for today. Stay safe, guys!