Difference between Hiking and Backpacking

Key Difference: Hiking is basically walking in nature on any path or on a specific trail. Hiking only requires the person to walk t a normal to a brisk pace in order to reduce weight as well as get the fresh air from nature. Hiking is usually done over a day. Backpacking is similar to hiking in many ways, including having to walk on trials and nature paths. However, backpacking includes a hike that is done over many days and carrying a backpack with tents for camping purposes. Backpacking is done over several days.

Hiking and backpacking are vigorous activities that require physical movement. It requires activities such as walking on various types of paths including inclines, flat lands, mounds, forests, etc. Many people often confuse these two words as one because of the similarities between them. However, there are certain differences between the context and implication of the words.

Many people these days are focusing on living a healthy and fit life and have turned to outdoor natural activities that will allow them to burn calories, build muscle as well as enjoy the time spent. This has made hiking and backpacking popular activities and resulted in building numerous organizations dedicated to these two activities. Both these activities have are known to have immense health benefits such as reducing stress, decreasing risk of heart attack, decreasing hypertension, losing weight, etc.

Hiking is basically walking in nature on any path or on a specific trail. Hiking only requires the person to walk t a normal to a brisk pace in order to reduce weight as well as get the fresh air from nature. Dictionary.com defines ‘hiking’ as “to walk or march a great distance, especially through rural areas, for pleasure, exercise, military training, or the like.” It is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People hike on hiking trails, in order to relax, and have fun or to exercise. The main health benefits of hiking include, but are not limited to, losing excess weight, decreasing hypertension, and improving mental health. Hiking is usually a day’s walk, but can also extend to a few days. Depending on the duration of the hike, hikers require equipment such as water, food, map, compass, sunscreen, insect repellent, etc.

Backpacking is similar to hiking in many ways, including having to walk on trials and nature paths. However, backpacking includes a hike that is done over many days and carrying a backpack with tents for camping purposes. In short, backing can be described as hiking and camping in forest and woody areas. Dictionary.com defines ‘backpacking’ as, “to go on a hike, using a backpack.” There are many nature parks as well as marked wooded areas where people are allowed to go backpacking. Backpacking requires the person to hike to great distances and then looking for a spot to set up camp for the night. It allows the person to fully enjoy the wilderness without having distractions such as cars, lights, cellphones, etc. Certain nature parks also provide a more stable housing option such as cottages and small rooms for people that are not cut out for sleeping in tents. Backpacking requires equipment such as clothes, sleeping bag, tent, jacket, first aid kit, torch, insect repellent, food, water, map, compass, etc.

Hiking and backpacking have become a must do for many people, who take out certain days in a year to go on such outdoor activities with family and friends. It is also considered as a great way to get closer with loved ones in this technology driven world. Many people go for the fresh air and a way to get closer to nature. Hiking and backpacking have also become a tradition for Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. They take the scouts on such trips and allow them to earn badges by completing certain tasks. Hiking and backpacking is an easy and fun way to stay fit and healthy and should be done at least once by everyone person in their lifetime.

Image Courtesy: nhoutdoors.com, oregon.sierraclub.org

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