Almost half of Hungarian women spend their free time hiking regularly, at least every few months, according to Fjällräven's research on women's hiking habits. Most of them go hiking with friends and family, but one in ten women go exploring alone. Shorter hikes of 2-3 hours, mainly in the woods, are the most popular, but one in three women are also happy to go on all-day hikes. The love of nature is not age-related - for example, the proportion of women aged 18-29 and 40-49 is almost the same among hikers, while women over 50 have an above-average appetite for hiking.
The popularity of hiking in Hungary has grown spectacularly in recent years, but until now there has been little data on women's hiking habits. Regardless of the route and distance covered, the use of equipment and clothing that is tailored to individual abilities and expectations is essential for the success of outdoor adventures, so Swedish outdoor brand Fjällräven has produced the first ever Hungarian women's hiking map from a recent study in Hungary.
The survey results show that the majority of Hungarian women, around two thirds, go hiking at least once a year.
Almost half of the respondents put on hiking boots even more often: a third of them a few times a year, and one in ten women go out to explore nature on a monthly basis. 4% of female hikers are considered to be above-average hikers, hiking at least once a week. However, more than 40 percent of those surveyed rarely or never go hiking.
In terms of length, shorter trips of 2-3 hours are the most popular among women, with two-thirds of survey respondents going on such trips. The proportion of women going on all-day hikes is over 30%, while only one in ten respondents go on a two-day nature walk. Hikes longer than two days are only common among 4% of women, but interestingly, the proportion among men is half that, at just 2%.
The results of the survey show that there is a correlation between the frequency of hiking and the length of the hikes: women who hike more often are more likely to take multi-day trips, while women who hike less often prefer shorter trips of 2-3 hours.
Around half of the women surveyed go hiking with their family or partner, and a third go hiking with friends. One in ten women usually hike alone, meaning that there is a significant proportion of women who are not afraid to spend long periods alone in the wilderness. They are not far behind men, with around 13% of men hiking alone. A lower proportion, around 8%, go on longer or shorter hikes with colleagues. The proportion of hikers who organise their hikes in other ways, not with friends but with fellow hikers they find on the internet, for example, is negligible.
The most popular hiking destinations are forests and areas close to water, where three quarters of women hikers prefer to hike.
Similarly popular are mountains, as well as caves, springs and other natural attractions, favoured by two thirds of respondents. 60% of respondents prefer to visit areas close to cities, but one in two women are happy to go hiking in flat areas.
Women hikers in Hungary are represented in all age groups: even more than a fifth of the youngest, Generation Z, enjoy spending time in nature. Women aged 30-39 are also more represented among hikers, with one in four of them going on longer or shorter hikes. The propensity to go outdoors is lowest among those aged 40-49, with 19%. Women aged between 50 and 65 are clearly the most active in terms of hiking, with more than 35% of them going out into nature on a regular basis.
It is interesting to note that the proportion of women hikers with higher education is 15% higher than the average.
Equipment and clothing that is the right size and fit will help women of all shapes and ages to take on outdoor adventures with confidence. One of the most important pieces of clothing is a comfortable and practical hiking trouser that offers the freedom of movement. During designing the body-fitting Abisko Trekking Thights Pro, Fjällräven has created a dedicated development team that has used information gathered from female testers to create a garment that everyone will enjoy wearing in the great outdoors. The new development combines the comfort of running trousers, often preferred by female hikers, with the durability of hiking trousers, so there is no need to worry about the fabric tearing when kneeling or sitting on hard rocks. Some people prefer classic hiking trousers with lots of pockets, but they also want a feminine fit - the Keb Curved trousers are designed with them in mind, with a raised waist to keep them comfortable for all-day backpacking. In addition to hiking trousers, a backpack tailored to the individual needs is essential for successful hiking. With this in mind, the shoulder straps, waist belt and other accessories of the Kaipak 38 W backpack have been designed specifically for the female body, making it ideal for women on 1-2 day hikes for load distribution and comfort.
The survey, representative of the population aged 18-65, was conducted by NRC Marketing Research and Consulting Ltd. on 16 December 2021 on a sample of 1000 people.