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Backpacking vs Hiking. Do you know the difference?

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

If a friend called you up and asked you to go backpacking with them, and said, " we are going backpacking, not hiking, would you know the difference? Would you know what gear to pack on a backpacking trip as opposed to a hiking trip? Well, if your friend is a beginner and not an experienced outdoorsman, the difference between hiking and backpacking might only be semantic. But if your friend has been hiking and backpacking for 20 years, there might be a major difference between the two terms.

Hiking and backpacking have become popular ways to get out to see, hear and smell all of the beautiful things the wilderness has to offer us. If your Summer plans include getting out of the city and going somewhere where you can actually breathe fresh air and take in some amazing sites, hiking or backpacking is just the thing to do. But if you are new to these outdoor activities, you might want to understand the difference between hiking and backpacking. Several years ago I was invited to go "backpacking" in the Olympic Peninsula at Olympic National Park. The trip lasted 3 and a half days and