Walking tourism is one of the most common types of sports tourism, aimed at overcoming the route by a group of tourists from the starting place to the destination point in a set period of time. It promotes physical and intellectual development and good physical state due to staying outdoors and being in natural surrounding. Walking route usually includes not only the program of physical, sports and fitness training, but also learning the history and cultural heritage of the region.
In fact, walking tourism is divided into subtypes: trekking, hiking, easy gait, backpacking.
Trekking is the most popular type of walking tourism, because it is very often a part of the route of other types of tourism. It’s quite easy to organize it, it’s affordable and suitable for a wide age group, it can be pretty simple, but involving much positive impressions. The geography of this type is rather wide as there are so many interesting things to see in the world! The tourists stay for overnights in different places and everybody should have a tent and purveyance for a few days. No special physical training is demanded for trekking, but tourists should be ready to cover the long distances on foot. With an "excellent" level of training the beginners can cover up to 30km a day (about 6 hours) with a backpack weighing up to 20% of body weight, while with "good" training - up to 20 km (about 4 hours) with a backpack weighing up to 10% of the body mass. More trained and strong members of the group except the main luggage usually carry food, cooking utensils and tents. This makes all the member of the group equal and helps them to stick together.
Lightweight backpacking means replacing all heavy gear with light one without damaging the safety. Thus the weight of all the main equipment is reduced as much as safely possible. Sometimes the amount of provisions is also reduced. It is assumed that lightweight backpacking and ultra-lightweight backpacking use the gear of about 10 and 5 kilos respectively. But this division is not precise. In traditional tourism the minimum weight of equipment is usually not less than 14 kg and above. The most enthusiastic ultra-lightweight backpackers sometimes have extremely light gear sets weighing about 2.5 kg. But to travel with such equipment one should be really strong and confident.
Backpacking as a notion appeared due to the West European culture of tourism, but is not that strange here as well. It is a trip with a tent and provision in a backpack, without strict reference to the route and places for overnights.