Hiking vs. Backpacking

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paulshikleejr
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Hiking vs. Backpacking

Post by paulshikleejr » Oct 22 2014 9:36 pm

Another embarrassing question.

Generally and simply (if that's possible), is "backpacking" "hiking" with a backpack such that the trip includes at least one full sleep period? I include the "at least one full sleep period" criterion since sometimes I hike with a backpack stocked for a multi-day trip but go out and come back without sleeping out there (this scenario is mainly to train for the backpacking trip).

Specific to the authoring of descriptions, what does "backpacking" mean in the context of the hike/trail description?
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big_load
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Re: Hiking vs. Backpacking

Post by big_load » Oct 22 2014 9:46 pm

That captures it pretty well. A hike described as a backpack is best enjoyed over multiple days.

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Re: Hiking vs. Backpacking

Post by joebartels » Oct 22 2014 10:14 pm

Rather subjective and may vary away from the southwest, my grasp thus far...

In addition to a hike best enjoyed over multiple days
- typically: out-n-back, shuttle or loop ( rarely one-way designated trails, unless the primary use )
- specific to the authoring of descriptions, includes specific information related to backpacking
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Re: Hiking vs. Backpacking

Post by azbackpackr » Oct 22 2014 10:29 pm

I agree with the above comments. If I am carrying all my overnight gear but I don't spend the night, I call it a "training hike." I'm only going to refer to it as a "backpack" if I spend the night out there. Even if it's a 24-hour quickie backpack, it's still a backpack.
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Re: Hiking vs. Backpacking

Post by big_load » Oct 22 2014 11:48 pm

azbackpackr wrote:If I am carrying all my overnight gear but I don't spend the night, I call it a "training hike."
Same here. I don't do as many of training hikes with a full load as I used to. Instead I focus on racking up as much elevation gain as possible in a short interval (unloaded), and work my core at the gym.

I also sometimes don't sleep very fully in "one full sleep period", especially when the critters are busy.

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Re: Hiking vs. Backpacking

Post by ALMAL » Oct 23 2014 7:01 pm

If you go hiking while carrying things you have packed, and then you unpack those things, then "pack it back" up when your done; that's backpacking...
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Re: Hiking vs. Backpacking

Post by azbackpackr » Oct 23 2014 9:17 pm

ALMAL wrote:If you go hiking while carrying things you have packed, and then you unpack those things, then "pack it back" up when your done; that's backpacking...
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Re: Hiking vs. Backpacking

Post by writelots » Oct 23 2014 11:04 pm

I've always loved the language used in other English speaking countries to describe overnight wilderness type adventures... For many English speakers, backpacking" refers to any kind of travel where you carry your life on your back, but mostly multi-country trips via train, bus and car where you stay in hostels and inexpensive, public lodgings. This makes more sense than how we use it IMHO... I vote that we should adopt one of the other words (and I know there's an old thread that covers this somewhere), including Trekking and Tramping (my personal favorite).

An interesting point came up in my research, that Flashpacking and Poshpacking were used with this more European meaning to indicate a more luxurious version of backpacking "with more money and resources". And here I use it to mean only having the nicest gear and being afraid to get it dirty :D
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Re: Hiking vs. Backpacking

Post by azbackpackr » Oct 24 2014 4:44 am

I like "tramping." However, the word "trekking" still just bugs me because it so often is used by la-di-da people who have large amounts of disposable income, and they pay Sherpas to pack huge loads to Himalayan base camps, etc. I don't even call my poles "trekking poles." I call them "hiking poles" or just "sticks."

But, I'm going to stick with "backpacking." I started doing this sport (is it a "sport?" or a "lifestyle" or what? :-k ) way back in 1971, and it was called "backpacking" back then, so I'll stick with it. Back then you had to carry dino-spray... :whistle:

I also use the word "backpacking" another way that Wendy mentioned, such as "backpacking around Central America, taking buses and sleeping in hostels." The people who do that often use a lot of the same gear that wilderness hikers use. I tried it during spring break when I was studying abroad in Costa Rica a couple of years ago. I met a lot of interesting travelers. They tend to call themselves "travelers" and "backpack travelers."
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Re: Hiking vs. Backpacking

Post by hippiepunkpirate » Oct 24 2014 9:47 am

When speaking with folks that are unfamiliar, I tend to clarify "backpacking" as "overnight hiking".
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Re: Hiking vs. Backpacking

Post by chumley » Oct 24 2014 10:26 am

So what's "trekking"?
Highway to hell

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Re: Hiking vs. Backpacking

Post by joebartels » Oct 24 2014 10:35 am

@chumley
azbackpackr wrote:often is used by la-di-da people who have large amounts of disposable income, and they pay Sherpas to pack huge loads to Himalayan base camps, etc.
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Re: Hiking vs. Backpacking

Post by big_load » Oct 24 2014 10:54 am

chumley wrote:So what's "trekking"?
Boldly going where no man has gone before. There aren't many places left like that, nor am I especially bold, so I'll settle for cautiously going where other people don't visit too often.

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Re: Hiking vs. Backpacking

Post by friendofThundergod » Oct 24 2014 11:11 am

@joe bartels
So wait when I carried that rope for everyone to Weavers, were you guys trekking? And if so what was I doing :-k

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