In the following paragraphs there is some basic information, from the very origins of hiking to the knowledge of the signs or the ‘MIDE’ method that all hikers must keep in mind.
According to the 20/2003 Government Decree about Rural and Active Tourism, brought by the Andalusian Government in January 29th 2002, hiking is a long or short route walking expedition along trails, during which is possible to stay overnight.
By virtue of this regulation, hiking trails and rural paths are tourist resources that are meant to develop sport, cultural, leisure or any other active tourism actions. Therefore, active tourism activities are sports that can be done in nature, using its resources, and which comprise certain risk of physical effort and skilfulness.
Hiking is a relaxing activity which can be included in or mistaken for other similar disciplines, such as walking, mountaineering or trekking. According to a vast bibliography on mountains and outdoor sports, trekking anticipated hiking and it is very similar to it. The main difference between them is that the first one is done along trails and paths that are not signposted and therefore it is not as safe as officially approved trails.
This activity stated in France after World War Two. Its 50th anniversary was celebrated in 2010 by the French Hiking Federation ‘Fédération Française de la Randonnée Pédestre (FFRP)’. Other countries, like Germany, Holland, Switzerland and Belgium, stimulated hiking as a new form of mountain tourism.
It was brought to Spain in the late 60s. From Catalonia, where it first appeared, it extended to other regions, although it did not get equally developed in all of them. The Spanish Mountain Federation, today known as the Spanish Mountain and Climbing Sports Federation (FEDME), included this as one of their activities and called it senderismo (hiking).