is hiking a sport?

It’s been a huge aspect of my life from before I could even begin to remember. I’ve walked miles across all kinds of terrain.

from the deserts that lie in south California from the deserts of southern California to in the forest of pines in Colorado I’ve hiked through almost every place and clime!

One of the things I love most about hiking is the feeling of competitiveness that I get from it. At times I like to race my hiking buddies (or me) to determine how fast I am in achieving the desired goal. This makes it appear like it’s a game to hike.

Is hiking a sport? Despite the sense of competition you might have either with yourself or with your hiking companions, hiking is not really a game.

What is the reason?

After extensive study, we’ve come up with a comprehensive explanation to the question of the reason why hiking isn’t considered a sport and what you can use instead to satisfy your passion for competition with the great outdoors!

What is Hiking?

Hiking is a recreation exercise. Although it’s a leisure pursuit however, it is often very exhausting.

Similar to sports it is a certain exercise that requires physical effort in mountainous regions. Think about the most recent time you walked along an uphill trail.

It is thought that hiking refers to taking a walk (often the length of it is a lengthy hike) in the natural surroundings across a range of distances. The purpose behind it could be diverse also!

Many people hike to enjoy the joy of being outdoors. They go hiking to exercise (that physical exercise can be energizing) and to promote healthy cardiovascular health. We have a long piece about the mental advantages of hiking as well.

They hike to get to breathtaking places that aren’t experienced from the back of a vehicle. They can even go on hikes to stay for a long time in remote and wild places!

You’ll see, hiking every day isn’t that bad. In fact, it’s contrary!

One of the things that attracts people to the outdoors and sports is the community created around each sport.

The most important benefit of the community that is hiking is more welcoming than other communities of sports.

It is because of the extremely moderately competitive nature of the sport of hiking. This is a important distinction between sport and hiking!

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How Is Sport?

What’s the official definition for sport?

The definition for sport states an sport which requires physical exertion. It’s the same for hiking isn’t it? It takes quite a physical exertion. Both can be found on a trail.

However, while hiking may be sporty, they are always fiercely competitive. It is characterised by competition.

A team or an individual is competing against each other. The rules are set by the ruling body. A governing body might be a federation, as an instance.

When you’re racing or playing There are certain winners and losers at the end the day. these competitive events.

As we mentioned earlier There always exists a governing body which sets rules and approves of the results of events. There should be rules and judges to ensure respect for the rules of sport.

Consider the various incidents that have occurred during sports throughout time. There are instances of athletes who exploit unfair advantages to gain advantage over their opponents.

If there weren’t any regulatory organizations that enforced rules regarding being cheaters, those athletes might never have been found guilty cheating!

This is vital when it comes to defining the definition of sports, since there is a need for an incredibly high degree of honesty in dealing with players who compete.

It ensures fairness which motivates participants to continue to act responsibly.

Not to mention every sport demands an element of physical effort and skill.

Is hiking a Sport?

Because hiking is a sport that involves physical exertion and, often an intense physical exertion (especially in winter, and mountaineering in high altitudes) it is possible to mistake it for sport. This is why it’s frequently referred to as an activity.

However, a major issue is that hiking is not a sport.

To be considered an activity the activity must to be something you are able to organize events (competitive activities) around.

Although it is possible to enjoy informal competitions that your hiking buddies on trails but there aren’t any organizations that control and organize hikers’ competitions. This is the reason hiking isn’t an official sport. At least , not officially.

These organizations are crucial because they set the rules for competition, but most importantly, they verify the outcomes of competition.

This guarantees the fairness of events, since the official bodies organize and offer officiants for competitions!

Hiking refers to walking in natural surroundings and typically on footpaths that are dirt. However obviously, hiking is distinct from walking..

While you could absolutely keep track of how fast you’re going and compare your time to your own previous times or those of your friends, we believe that, since you aren’t able to verify your time fair competition isn’t feasible through hiking.

Therefore, is hiking considered an activity? No. There’s no competition when it comes to hiking.

Important distinctions between hiking and Sport

It’s true that hiking is usually thought of as a sport. There are certain aspects that distinguish hiking from sports and the reverse. Both require significant physical exertion.

For instance, boxing can be an actual sport.

While both require physical fitness The main distinction between sports and hiking is the regulation of sports. There is no sport hiking yet since there’s no organisation that sets the rules or enforces the rules. There’s also an element of skill required for sport.

for hiking events (an individual or a group is competing against other teams) that are actually held an honor system can be the primary method to ensure that hikers maintain respect for the fairness of their contest.

This is not something that serious competitors would like to rely on, since many people are inclined to take actions that are in their own personal desires.

This is particularly evident when it comes to real-life sports, as there have been numerous instances of cheating players to have an edge to win a contest.

In that regard that hiking is often an athletic sport. Unofficially.

Why some people consider hiking as a sport?

People often confuse hiking with sport since they’ve got small games between friends on trails. Both involve the physical act of hiking.

Sometimes, these are even considered adventure racing. It is possible to create various competitions while hiking.

For example , reaching the conclusion of a segment the fastest and competing for the fastest miles hiked in a certain amount of time, seeing the most of one particular species animals, or numerous other strategies to ensure that your body and mind in motion during your hike.

Furthermore, people often confuse the idea of hiking as a sport since most hiking clubs offer scheduled hikes (and similar occasions). They are, however, mere events, even though there is the appearance of a competition.

However, these events aren’t able to be confirmed by anyone else, which implies that hiking isn’t an activity. It’s not in line with the official definition.

Many sports require competitiveness, which is strictly controlled. Take a look at what is the definition for sport in official terms.

Which Sport is similar to hiking?

There are a lot of similar sporting events. And all of them look a bit like hiking in a way.

Races that are ultra-marathon (and similar types of racing in the adventure category) are considered to be sports. Mountain biking is also a sport. In fact, I’ve been in a mountain biking event in the past.

It’s because they’re often monitored by official agencies.

Many sports, like those ones mentioned above are similar to hiking. This is because athletes travel miles in a short amount of time. Typically, it takes just a few days. The terrain can be steep and mountainous.

Ultramarathon runners frequently stay in tents during races, since the distances they cover exceed what is feasible for a person to accomplish in one day.

This is similar to hiking, specifically backpacking because runners will spend a number of days on trails during the race.

Famous Hiking Competitions and Races

An unofficial hiking contest which has the appearance of sport however isn’t because of the absence of rules, has achieved what is known as the Triple Crown of Hiking.

To accomplish this feat to achieve this feat, hikers must walk the three main beautiful national trails that are located within the US: the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail, and the Appalachian Trail.

The people who have completed the three hikes may unofficially claim the title of the triple crown hiker. There are many people who have ventured into space to achieve what is known as the Triple Crown of Hiking!

Why isn’t that considered to be sports? Since there is no regulation on them.

One of the most well-known examples of an ultra-marathon that combines running and sports includes that of the Four Deserts Series of Races.

The Four Deserts takes competitors on an experience that lasts seven days, racing through deserts from all over the globe. The race takes place over seven days in total, however it could be longer since it does not include travel time.

The Four Deserts Race Series is managed through RacingThePlanet Limited. To be able to participate in this prestigious race, race participants must qualify by submitting a medical physical showing that they are in good enough health to take part in this challenging race.

Beyond that you need to have the willpower and determination to conquer one of the more beautiful terrains in the world!

Trail Running

Running on trails is a fantastic option to mix hiking with sports. Races such as that of Four Deserts Race Series is the most extreme form of trail running races. There are even races that are held on the Appalachian trail.

However, you don’t have to run the most gruelling race to be a fan of trail running. You can register for smaller races that mix the elements of hiking and sports.

The races with the shortest distances you can register for are 5km in length and are accepted across the globe.

In that regard it is not a good idea to hike on the Appalachian Trail, for example cannot be considered running or trail running.

The runners love trails running due to the fact that it combines the tranquility which hiking provides along with the competitive nature of running.

In the end, it’s clear that the trail running and adventure race could be classified as sports.

Final Thoughts

Although hiking has the potential to be an activity, it’s neither right or true to call it a sport in the present.

There are sports regulatory bodies which define and enforce rules for competition to ensure fair and secure games between athletes.

Ultra-marathon running and trail running is like hiking in that both involve people competing in the open air. They are classified as sports since you have to register and follow regulations to be able to compete.

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