Backpacking vs. Trekking: Which One Should You Do First?




People use the words backpacking, trekking, and hiking as if they mean the same thing. In a way, they are similar since you basically go out and walk in the outdoors and experience Mother Nature firsthand.


However, there are subtle differences between these terms, and at times they can be confusing for beginners. To help beginners, here are the main differences between Backpacking vs. trekking.


What is Backpacking?


The easiest way to tell the difference between these terms is by the difficulty they pose. Backpacking is also called hiking. It is an outdoor recreation and it’s called backpacking because you will be carrying your gear on your back.





This is by far the easier option of the two. Yes, you will be hiking around with a bag strapped to your back, and it will be heavy. You will be carrying your essentials and other equipment on your back, so it will require a good amount of effort to move around with it.


However, the trail that you will hike through will be properly demarcated, which ensures that you do not get lost along the way. On top of that, the more experienced hikers have deemed the trek to be easy to moderately difficult.


Trails with Varying Difficulties


However, do take note that the difficulty of the terrain will different from one location to the other. That means some hikes will be a lot tougher. The trails that you can find listed on the internet will usually be classified as easy, moderate, or difficult hikes.





The terrain can be relatively flat, but, some trails can include hikes up hills and mountains. There are trails that go over the coastline and perhaps with only mild inclines.

Backpacking is the best option for you if you are a beginner. Once you get the hang of it, then you can go for more challenging trails.


What is Trekking?


Trekking is more difficult compared to backpacking. Treks tend to be a lot longer than hikes that you have been to. When you go backpacking or hiking you will only take an hour or two and some hikes take several hours or maybe half the day.





Trekking on the other hand will require more time; usually two or more days to complete. Trekking will also require you to bring camping equipment.


That means you will be carrying a much heavier pack than what you bring with you on a hike.

You may find huts that can be rented when you go on trekking tours.


Sometimes you will need some survival or bush skills while you are out trekking. That means you need to know how to hunt for food when the time comes, how to start a fire, how to signal, and how to read maps.





Note that trails are not always clearly marked when you trek. Try to get more experience in the outdoors first before you try your first trek.


Bring the Proper Gear


That should clear things up when you talk about Backpacking vs. trekking. Always remember that you should bring the right gear when you go outdoors including the right footwear.



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