Mountain excursion/trip

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_Husby_

Senior Member
Spanish - Spain / Catalan
Hello!

What sounds better to a native speaker-

-I take children to mountain excursions.
-I take children to mountain trips.
-I take children to excursions in the mountains.
-I take children to trips in the mountains?

I mean a simple activity with children so that they can have fresh air, do a bit of sport, play, and so on.

Thank you!
 
  • _Husby_

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain / Catalan
    Thank you. What is actually the difference between "trip" and "excursion"?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I just looked in our dictionary and I have to tell you that I always thought an excursion was closer to an expedition (Ok, not really close) than to a side trip -- but apparently I've labored under that misconception all my life. So I imagine you can use "excursion" here now that I know what it means. :)

    One big difference is that "trip" is one syllable. :D
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    That sounds good to me. And thanks to you I can stop putting 60 pounds of gear in my pack for an excursion. :p
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I would choose a more descriptive word such as "hike" or "scramble" or "climb".

    With children the trips would likely be "hikes" the least arduous of the three. A "scramble" would require some brief sections where hand-holds would be required. A "climb" would require extended sections where either-hand holds, or safety roping or crampons (boot spikes) would be required.

    On "hikes" you would have either "day hikes" (leave early in the morning, return late in the day), or "over-night hikes" (a tent and sleeping bag would be required).

    There are professional guides that take people on "excursions". These are usually done with porters carrying all the gear and meals prepared, though most will require that the hikers carry a "day pack". The excursions can be fairly short and easy, or they can entail something more arduous such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro climbs are regulated and are almost exclusively done by excursions and last exactly seven days.

    Other mountains are generally not regulated and any kind of hike is permitted.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I feel better after looking at an American dictionary (M-W): excursion: 1a : a going out or forth : expedition
    I think "excursion" implies a major trip, like an expedition, which requires substantial investment of equipment and time. A trip with children into the mountains would likely be a less involved one than an expedition or excursion. A "hike" sounds like a better word to me.
     

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    The important thing is that you take people on trips.
    You take people to destinations.

    Therefore, you take children on trips/excursions to the mountains.

    If you say "I take children to mountain trips" it sounds like you drop them off in the parking lot and someone else guides them up a mountain.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The important thing is that you take people on trips.
    You take people to destinations.

    Therefore, you take children on trips/excursions to the mountains.

    If you say "I take children to mountain trips" it sounds like you drop them off in the parking lot and someone else guides them up a mountain.
    I read the original post several times and each time I subconsciously made that substitution of "on" for the "to" in the post.

    You are absolutely correct. I went on a hike; I went on an excursion; I went on a mountain climb; I went on a trip, etc.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    To me, "excursion" is approximately a synonym of "outing." One does not go on an "excursion to the grocery store" (grocery trip is too minor), but then again Stanley did not go on an "excursion to Africa" (such an expedition is far too major). In my experience with the term, an excursion is usually the sort of thing on which it would not be out of place to take a picnic basket.
     
    Last edited:

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    To me, "excursion" is approximately a synonym of "outing." One does not go on an "excursion to the grocery store" (grocery trip is too minor), but then again Stanley did not go on an "excursion to Africa" (such an expedition is far too major). In my experience with the term, an excursion is usually the sort of thing on which it would not be out of place to take a picnic basket.
    I am OK with that distinction.

    So the hierarchy would be: Trip, hike, excursion, expedition? (in size order)
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    So the hierarchy would be: Trip, hike, excursion, expedition? (in size order)
    Something like that. Of course, a hike, by definition, involves strenuous walking, whereas an excursion might be done by car or bicycle. And "trip" exists, I think, at a higher level of generality, which is why you can take a trip to the bathroom or a trip around the world.
     

    _Husby_

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain / Catalan
    Thank you everyone for the so interesting discussion. :) And thank you kindly Packard for your extended explanation. You're an expert in mountains activities, I presume?

    The confusion about prepositions was because, as Sparky Malarky stated, on goes with trip and to with mountains; however, in English you normally place two nouns together to form a compound noun (a trip to the mountains -> a mountain trip, assuming the latter were correct), so I thought I take children to mountain trips was fine.

    Anyway, I'm happy I chose trip instead of excursion. If you may be curious about it, excursion is a very common word in Romance languages (Spanish: excursión, Catalan: excursió, Italian: escursione). I see, though, that in English -as it happens normally to Latin words, and correct me if I'm wrong-it isn't as generic as trip.
     
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