There are generally two schools of thoughts when it comes to backpacking.
People that pack their backpacks or “packs” with survival gear, tents, a few meals, hiking boots and insect repellent tend to be wilderness backpackers. They love nature and want to spend time in the woods, hiking, climbing and doing outdoorsy stuff. That stuff usuall cool, but it’s not my ideal backpacking experience.
Alot of people think of “backpacking” as camping. This is really only a small portion of backing as a hobby.
When I think of true travel, I think of visiting other countries or going to a distant place that’s not anywhere near home. Then, grab your loaded backpack and visit a whole bunch of cool places, such as towns, cities, bars, clubs, hotspots, etc. This is my preferred backpacking experience. It’s depending on your backpack but also being in places that have things to do and resources to call on. The whole wilderness thing is cool, but it’s not my preferred way to travel.
When I recently travelled to Panama, I met numerous travelers with backpacks going from town to town on foot, bus, bike, etc. They lived with few items and loved the experience of seeing new foreign places and meeting other travelers. I loved it.