Rock n roll
What’s the difference between
walking and hiking? The simple answer is: “the Atlantic”.
In the USA, there’s a definite difference between walking (moving functionally on foot, especially in urban areas) and hiking, (going for a long, vigorous walk in the countryside). In Britain, we tend not to make that distinction. Whether we’re on a lunchtime stroll in a country park or halfway up Snowdon, we call it ‘walking’.
The Americans also like the phrase ‘thru-hiking’: walking a long-distance trail in one go, for example the Pacific Crest or Appalachian Trail. Again, if we’re doing the Pennine Way in one go, we’re still just ‘walking’ it.
That’s not to say we don’t have an awful lot of other words for walking. Here’s a few for starters: yomping (from the Royal Marines’ phrase for marching with full kit, thought to derive from Your Own Marching Pace), tabbing (the Army equivalent, deriving from Tactical Advance to Battle), strolling, ambling, rambling, bimbling (possibly our favourite), trudging, tramping, hoofing, plodding, traipsing, moseying… and many more. Maybe we should be called Country Pootling. You think?