Hiking is a word that has recently come into use, although the activity that is represented by it has been there for a long time. To hike means to walk or tramp, specially taking part in an organised walking for pleasure. From the meaning that is attached to the word, it will be seen that there have been hiking and hikers for centuries amongst us.
But, while it is true that men and women have gone out on walking tours, the particular form that these have taken in recent times is a peculiar feature of this century. While in previous times a few people would sometimes set out on a walking tour, nowadays it is done on a large scale on a pleasure trip, or of Borrow or Stevenson undertaking walking tours. But these people went alone, or by two’s or three’s at the most. And then the two or three people that came together were intimate. friends, sharing each other’s interests and hobbies.
But modern hiking is something different. A hiking party may not at all he confined to a few persons nor to those who know each other very well. Very often fifteen or twenty students from a college or a similar number of members a club organize a walking tour. Sometimes the tour is organized through notices put in the press. Somebody makes a plan of a hike, say, between Kaghan valley and Murree, and he writes to some daily paper, asking for companions who would join him in this tour. Persons who have the time, the money, and the spirit of adventure that such a walking tour demands write back to the organizer and the party is thus formed.
From what we have said above, it will be seen that hiking is different from the old type of walking Tours It is planned on ta more ambitious scale, and there are no nervous fears entertained by the organizers about the similarity of taste and the community of interest of the members concerned.
The hiking days can very well he spent in making new contacts and in understanding new personalities. Thus, along with the elementary purpose of hiking, namely providing a welcome change for the mind and the body, from routine. life, we get additional pleasure of stimulating contact with new personalities.
But this is not the only advantage We forget for the times being the worries of our daily lives and give ourselves up to the T environments, in which we live for the days of the many. We have new, companions; take a different type of food and spend the day, in getting newer impressions. Every day we pass through new scenes and come across new adventures.