Backpacking is the happy marriage of camping and hiking
It involves hiking and camping because you are walking a trip that will span more than one day. Everything you need for the trip is carried in your pack. The supplies typically include the necessary water, food and shelter. A trip of this nature can offer participants a way to see pieces of nature they would not be able to see any other way. Many of the sights are simply not accessible via anything but by foot. Most try to respect nature as much as they enjoy it. Keeping to trails, not littering and taking nothing but photographs are all part of a certain code of the wilderness.
Backpacking does involve more equipment than a simple day long hike would. Packs must contain enough water, food and shelter to last the duration of the trip and then some. The trick is to have everything necessary in as light a pack as possible. Lighter backpacks are simply easier and safer to carry than heavier ones.
It is a constant balancing act between weight and utility. Water is an item that is absolutely necessary. A water supply for a long trip can be incredibly heavy to carry. For long trips, backpackers may depend on getting water from a lake or spring. This plan should also include some kind of water purification method such as boiling, chemical purification tablets or portable water filters.
Food for a backpacking trip can take a variety of forms. Some pack food items. Some catch and prepare fish. If food is packed and brought along, it should have high energy content and be non perishable and light in weight. Energy bars and trail mix are common choices.
There are also foods designed specifically for this activity. Those who choose to catch and prepare the food need to plan ahead to bring the supplies necessary to cook the meal. Small stoves and other cooking utensils have been designed to be portable, light and easy to transport on an outdoor adventure.
When embarking on a backpacking trip, it is important to rely on common sense. Planning should go into where to go, how to get there and what to bring along. The weather forecast should be consulted and clothing should be planned accordingly.
Perhaps, most importantly, backpackers should listen to their sense of intuition while on a trip. If a compelling reason presents itself, no one should be reluctant to turn back even before the ultimate destination is reached.