If you’re looking to spend some time out on the trail – trekking into the woods, along the coastline, across the mountains, or otherwise – you’ve got two basic options: hiking, or backpacking. These two cornerstones of outdoor adventure are extremely similar in their basic essence. The weight of your pack may vary, but whether you’re out for the day or in the middle of a month long journey, you’ll be moving through a natural landscape by the strength of your own two legs.
However, there are some major differences between a backpacking trip and a day hiking excursion, ranging from how you’ll be experiencing the wilderness to what it will take to pack and prepare. A more in-depth look at the differences between hiking and backpacking will make it clear which type of trip is right for you, and what steps you’ll need to take to ensure that your journey is successful.