It’s done everywhere and is often combined with other activities such as observing nature, photography and tourism. In this type of activity, speed does not matter, everyone goes at his own pace and experience is not necessary. (1)
Is normally done outside urban areas, along well located nature trails. Because there may be roots and rocks along the path, the walking speed is normally about 3 km / h. The length of a hike could be limited to a few hours, and seldom more than a day. A minimum of equipment is required, but no experience is necessary. (1)
This is just hiking in the mountains. Because the elevations are more important and obstacles more numerous, walking speeds can slow to 2km / h. The equipment and particularly shoes are more technical and in preparation, it’s recommended that you do at least one regular hike before venturing out. (1)
Degrees of difficulty
A beginner trail is accessible to the vast majority of walkers. The route requires little or no preparation and minimal equipment. It often combines accessibility and interpretation and is for new hikers those whose physical condition limits a longer hike. Walk s could be up to 8 km if the elevation differential is less than 300 m.
The intermediate trail is for hikers who have already done a few outings and are in good physical condition. It requires minimal preparation and equipment such as a water bottle and raincoat, and hiking distances of up to 16 km when the elevation differential is less than 300 m. For climbs over 300 m, the suggested maximum walking distance is 8 km.
The advanced trails are for experienced hikers in good physical shape. Rocks or steep slopes are part of the challenge, and hikes are in excess of 16 km with elevation differentials greater than 300 m.
The hikes of more than one section may involve changes in the degree of difficulty. An average hiker travels an average of 12-15 km per day, which equates to 4 to 6 hours of walking, depending on the difficulty of the trail. A child’s age is usually a good indicator of the number of kilometers he or she can go. For example a six year old should be able to complete a 6 km hike, and the weight of their pack sack should not exceed 10% of their body weight. For winter hiking distances, consult out the snowshoe section.
(1) Source: Fédération québécoise de la marche