What is Backpacking and Why Should I do it?

Backpacking is exactly as it sounds.

It’s getting out there, exploring unknown territory, with nothing but a backpack.

It’s not for the faint at heart, and it’s not for anyone afraid of a mosquito.

Although I think it’s for everyone, backpacking is something that requires learning and effort on your part.

Yes, you can grab a backpack and stuff it with the bare necessities and head out the door, but you might not enjoy it and will probably regret doing it.

So, before you go making that mistake, let’s go over what backpacking really is.

What Exactly is Backpacking?


Backpacking is a form of travel that allows one to fit everything they plan on using into a backpack, all while living on a modest budget and exploring the land and culture of unfamiliar lands.

It’s the ultimate adventure for those that can think outside the house, and it continues to surge without signs of slowing down.

Backpackers are typically frugal and can make $10 last for days.

They love the outdoors, prefer the minimalistic approach to life, and can pack a whole house into a backpack.

They’re very interesting, and some might even consider them weird.

Regardless, they are the liger of urban and the great outdoors.

What Does it Mean to Go Backpacking?

Sometimes backpacking can be confused with hiking.

Hiking is hiking, and backpacking is backpacking.

Some might say they are going backpacking up a mountain, but it doesn’t really work that way.

If you are hiking up a mountain and you have a backpack, then guess what?

You’re going hiking.

Backpacking is exactly as mentioned earlier.

You are, in a sense traveling somewhere with nothing but a backpack.

What Do You Do in Backpacking?

If you were to go backpacking, you would be exploring.

You would most likely be in a different country, and you would try to navigate and make your way with nothing but a backpack.

You have to worry about where you will sleep, what you will eat, and how you will survive while you’re there.

There are entire communities for backpackers and other useful websites specifically for backpackers.

Examples of Backpacking

Some people backpack through small areas, while others, like Nomadicmatt, go through entire continents.

It’s definitely grown in popularity, and sometimes it can get crowded in different countries.

Yup, backpacking is a thing, and you could be part of the craze.


Backpacking is here to stay.

If you want to get started, start looking for a real backpack.

Don’t think you’re going to get by with your Jansport backpack you used when you were in third grade.

You’ll need a backpack that can hold a good amount of things without popping open or breaking a strap.

Unless you want to find yourself in a world of hurt during your journey, find yourself a backpack for backpacking.

Besides that, enjoy your trip, stay safe, and don’t forget that there are others out there who are embarking on the same journey.


About the author

John is our outdoor specialist who has spent time in the army as an infantry scout. He loves the outdoors, and when he's not trying to get lost somewhere, you'll find him on the golf course or at the mall with his kids.

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