Backpacking (hiking)

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**1. Backpacking Basics:**

– Definition: Carrying gear in a backpack for outdoor recreation.
– Gear includes food, water, shelter, clothing, stove, and cooking kit.
– Total weight of the bag and contents is a primary concern.
– Trips range from one night to weeks or months.
– Resupply points, drops, or caches aid in longer trips.

**2. Physical Benefits and Fitness:**

– Weighted carry is beneficial for the cardiovascular system.
Research shows humans can safely carry weight under 50 pounds.
– Weighted load stresses muscles and joints.
– Weighted carry provides similar benefits to a light run.
– Weighted carry helps avoid injuries and strengthens muscles.

**3. Equipment and Accommodations:**

– Backpacking gear depends on terrain, climate, and shelter plans.
– Essential gear includes appropriate backpack, clothing, and footwear.
– Food, cooking equipment, sleep system, and survival gear are crucial.
– Shelter options include tents, tarps, or bivouac sacks.
– Various accommodations exist, from basic campsites to Alpine huts.

**4. Water and Food Management:**

– Proper hydration is crucial for successful backpacking.
– Backpackers may drink 2 to 8 liters of water per day.
– Treatment methods for water include boiling, chemicals, filtering, and UV light.
– Backpacking is energy-intensive, requiring sufficient food for energy and health.
– Packaging food in plastic bags is recommended to reduce weight.

**5. Specialized Backpacking Activities:**

– Ultralight-hiking: Opting for lighter equipment for long-distance hikes.
– Winter backpacking: Requires specialized gear for cold weather conditions.
– Fastpacking: Combines ultralight backpacking with running and hiking.
– Other activities: Canoe and kayak camping, bicycle touring, trail riding, thru-hiking.

Backpacking is the outdoor recreation of carrying gear on one's back while hiking for more than a day. It is often an extended journey and may involve camping outdoors. In North America, tenting is common, where simple shelters and mountain huts, widely found in Europe, are rare. In New Zealand, hiking is called tramping, and tents are used alongside a nationwide network of huts. Hill walking is equivalent in Britain (but this can also refer to a day walk), though backpackers make use of a variety of accommodation, in addition to camping. Backpackers use simple huts in South Africa. Trekking and bushwalking are other words used to describe such multi-day trips.

Backpacking in the Beskid Niski mountains, in the Polish part of the Carpathian Mountains
Backpacking in the Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Trekking route 14 in Zerfenti (Ethiopia)

Backpacking as a method of travel is a different activity, which mainly uses public transport during a journey that can last months.

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