Backpacking and hiking are the same…right? Wrong!
We shared our 5 reasons why we enjoy hiking, but they are not the same reasons why we like to backpack. Backpacking takes us on extended hikes over multiple days with camping also included. WIN WIN!
Why would anyone want to fill a backpack with just enough gear to eat, sleep and survive for a few days on the trail? It’s fun and we like the challenge of always improving. We like to research, buy and use gear that makes backpacking easier. We are not ultralight backpackers at all. We have worked on decreasing our pack weight though over the years. We enjoy working together to pack what is needed, some creature comforts and the things we refuse to leave at home.
Over the years we have figured out why we love backpacking:
- CHALLENGE. We love to challenge ourselves and each other. We enjoy hiking and the added challenge of being able to go further along the trails and deeper into natural areas than what day hikes allow makes it enticing to us. Hiking with more weight than our day packs also puts a little more pressure on us too. Hauling enough water to make it to our next refill location is also a logistical challenge that we have learned not to leave to chance, especially not in the heat of summer in Florida.
- COMPACT CAMPING. We love to camp, but when you are backpacking you have less with you and it simplifies your camping experience. There is not a lot of setup or a lot of cleanup. You basically have what you brought with you and it feels good to pull off a successful camp with just what you toted on your back.
- DURATION. We enjoy the extended days of experiencing nature and the great outdoors. The extended time to be unplugged from so many electronics. We enjoy the extra time together with each other without all the daily stress of life. With a multiple day trip it adds the time element to balance with the trail mileage and difficulty to see if we planned appropriately.
- MEAL PLANNING. It is fun for us to plan well in advance of our trip what we will carry with us for food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Making sure that we have the necessary proteins, carbs and healthy fats to keep us fueled each day without running out of food. Having supplements to rehydrate properly after sweating all day is also important. Properly packing all the food and storing it in a way that you know how much you have for each day and then fitting it into your pack with all your other necessities is fun. Constantly improving based on lessons learned from previous trips is an integral part of our future success stories.
- INDEPENDENCE. Backpacking allows us to escape for a few days and disconnect from society and conveniences. We are not reliant upon wells, electricity and modern gadgets. We get back to basics and simplicity. We count on ourselves to gather and filter water. We rely on ourselves.
It is hard work that requires a lot of planning and guts. There is a certain amount of attitude and confidence required. If your trip was successful, you feel rewarded and accomplished. You usually have had a lot of fun and have a lot of stories to tell.