History of Hiking

It’s impossible to mark the birth of hiking as a pursuit. Perhaps when man first learned to walk and hunt is a good starting point.

The desire to walk is an essential aspect of human behaviour, as is curiosity and competitiveness. Human beings strive to explore every aspect of the natural world and push themselves farther and farther up the highest mountains and through the coldest or hottest climates. Hiking and walking are the bones of almost any expedition, whether it’s around the coast of Cornwall or across the Andes. Furthermore, hiking, like any other sport, is about improvement, discovery and testing your limits. For example, in 1953, Norgay and Hillary reached the summit of Everest, the highest mountain in the world. Hiking goes hand-in-hand with this desire to challenge and succeed oneself.

The pursuit incorporates many different disciplines, of which mountaineering is maybe the most extreme. This article will principally discuss ‘all purpose hiking’, which avoids such extremes as vertical slopes, ice caps and zip wiring across canyons, but here’s a brief account of the more intense forms of hiking.