Difference between Hiking and Backpacking

Hiking and backpacking are two different ways of travelling. People walk from one place to another in both methods and this is the reason why a majority of people think both are the same. Though, motive of both techniques of travelling is the same but still there are some slight differences that make them entirely different.

People who love to enjoy the natural environment spare some time and walk through to enjoy themselves. These activities not only perk their souls up but also give them an opportunity to spend some time with their loved ones. Mostly, people choose remote places for these activities and enjoy being away from the hustle and bustle of routine life.

First main difference between them is the duration of the activity. Mostly, hiking is just a one-day activity whereas backpacking may last even for a week. Another difference are the goods they carry. Hiking is basically a walk through the mountains, plains and other places with minimum supplies. On the other hand, people do not travel light in backpacking as they carry clothes, camping equipment, cooking equipment, sleeping bags, food and water containers.

Moreover, there is also difference in the number of people in these activities. Generally, hiking does not involve many people as the main focus is nature in this activity. However, people travel in a group while backpacking. This is because they spend much more time outside and they want to enjoy each and every moment of this adventure with their friends or family members.

Hikers are more nature lovers than backpackers as their aim is just to experience nature in a close way. On the other hand, backpackers love to camp, have a bonfire and enjoy the company of others in the great outdoors.

Backpackers do not travel only on foot like hikers. They also use public transport, jeeps or motorbikes to help carry their luggage.


  • 1


    Hiking refers to a one-day trip in which travellers walk through different places with minimum supplies. As they just walk through this activity so they carry some basic things like GPS devices, compass, map, first aid kit, flashlight, light food etc. The basic purpose of hiking is just sightseeing.

    - Image Courtesy: visitmaine.com

  • 2


    Backpacking refers to an activity which prolongs for several days. People carry almost everything they need to travel and stay outside. Unlike hiking, walking is not necessary in this activity.

    - Image Courtesy: destination360.com

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