Hiker on top of cliff

I call this website “At Home Hiking”.  The word “hiking” may strike some people as inaccurate so I need to address that.

I hiked growing up. We lived on the edge of the Black Hills of South Dakota and there were many times my family and I hiked together, often at my mother’s suggestion. She loved being outdoors. We would take canteens and walking sticks.  We would be out for several hours and often eat lunch on the trail.

Later, I hiked on vacations. I do not have the same opportunities to hike now. I live in an area where I need to drive a ways to find non-urban settings, although the state parks are wonderful. However, I have health and safety concerns. With the COVID-19 pandemic, I am mostly indoors during winter and my main exercise is my treadmill.

But my heart yearns to be outdoors in natural settings.

So is it fair for me to use the term “hiking?”

According to TheFreeDictionary, hiking means “to go on an extended walk for pleasure or exercise, especially in a natural setting.”

Various websites define the difference between hiking and walking.*

Description Walking Hiking
Environment Urban or residential Beautiful and scenic
Surface Flat paved, concrete with a few small to moderate inclines or declines Rocky paths, dirt nature trails of varying inclines
Pace Steady, 2-3 mph or brisk 3-5 mph Varies, slow uphill, faster downhill
Duration About 30 minutes Over an hour
Shoes Cross-trainer or running shoes Heavier footwear, possibly boots
Gear None really (except your cell phone and house key) Back pack, items to eat, water to drink, protective clothing


I have to admit that the website name doesn’t really fit with those thoughts about hiking.

However, the virtual videos I like best are those where the walker is in a national or state park, in the mountains or near a river or lake. I imagine hiking, even though I am not outside or walking very long. I like remembering and feeling like I am hiking. Maybe you will too.

I am going to keep the name. I hope you don’t mind.