Backpacking is the adventurous outdoor recreation of taking equipment on one’s back, either for more than just a few days hiking, or for months. It can be a solitary pursuit, but usually not necessarily an arduous long journey. Generally speaking, tenting is very popular, with mountainsides camping out in North America, where simple mountain huts and simple shelters, commonly found in Europe, are uncommon.
But backpacking, also called trekking, hiking, or traveling by way of foot, also has a definition in the Oxford English Dictionary. It can be contrasted with hiking, which is generally a solitary outdoor activity. Oxford Dictionary’s definition of backpacking also includes activities like river rafting, rock climbing, mountaineering, and even canoeing. And, since the word “backpack” is a British term, most backpacking activities would be included under this broader heading.
Most backpackers start their trips by leaving their homes and traveling to a destination, then continuing on to another destination, completing one or more day hikes within the same region. Often they carry other things along as well: gear, food, water, utensils, cooking equipment, etc. Some backpackers go as far as establishing a trail head, marking it with a sign, and using markers to mark their progress on paper or in the woods. Others prefer to simply pack their clothes and equipment in a backpack and set out, getting ready to hit the trails again the next day.
Hiking is more expansive than backpacking, in that it typically involves traveling more miles in less time. One could even consider it an extended version of backpacking. Trail walking is one type of hiking that can be done on foot. Other forms include: river kayaking, white water rafting, mountain biking, geocaching (searching for buried treasure), rock climbing, soccer, and ice fishing. As far as popularity goes, hiking trails are popular in almost every large metropolitan area.
Another popular hiking activity in the United States is backpacking. Although it is not as widespread or popular as hiking, backpacking continues to grow in popularity across the country. Backpacking enthusiasts enjoy hiking long arduous hikes in the great outdoors, often for fitness, reflection, or romance. It can also be a romantic activity, with couples experiencing it together. Couples who backpacking often find themselves drawn to trekking excursions, since the experience is intimate and romantic.
There are many reasons why backpackers are choosing to go backpacking. It can be a means of experiencing nature and doing activities that may be otherwise not accessible, such as: hiking, canoeing/ Kayaking, wildlife watching, and/or cave exploration. Hiking and backpacking have become so much more popular due to modern day Backpacking gear, and the increased popularity of backpacking trips and tours. It is very easy to learn how to backpack.