You can say "go camping", meaning light trip outdoors, more like a picnic. By what about serious trips across tundra or some uninhabited land, with a heavy backpack?

In short, is there a word for "hard trip outdoors"?

  • 1
    You might want to ask on [our Great Outdoors Stack Exchange site](outdoors.stackexchange.com) - they would know first hand. Also I wouldn't ever consider going on a picnic to be camping. You will find varied definitions of this by region and experience, it isn't universal.
    – corsiKa
    Sep 19, 2014 at 16:43
  • I have to agree, camping implies that you will be setting up camp. As in you're going to be spending at least a night out. A picnic hardly counts. Sep 19, 2014 at 18:48
  • Picnics definitely do not qualify as camping. Aug 17, 2016 at 14:35

7 Answers 7





All of these words are applicable to a difficult trip.

  • 1
    I'm much more in favor of the first two than the third option. "Adventure" isn't wrong, but it could be used to describe a day at an amusement park just as easily as it could refer to heavy-duty hiking.
    – J.R.
    Sep 19, 2014 at 12:52
  • @JR They all require the camping context. An expedition or trek could just as easily be a drive from NY to LA.
    – corsiKa
    Sep 19, 2014 at 16:44

Back-woods camping

roughing it

If the trip is indeed a back packing trip, then backpacking is a good word.

Perhaps "wilderness camping"

  • 7
    +1 for "roughing it"; that has the "serious effort, no-frills" sense (no car, no pre-made campsites, nothing that you don't pack in (and out again), etc.)
    – Hellion
    Sep 19, 2014 at 15:39

"backpacking" is probably the right word here - your context seems to imply carrying all your living supplies and setting up camp in places other than designated campgrounds.

  • 5
    Backpacking is also used by people that indeed put all their stuff in a backpack, but travel from hostel to hostel, while the greatest physical challenge they are likely to encounter during their trip is (over)consumption of alcohol.
    – oerkelens
    Sep 19, 2014 at 12:29
  • @oerkelens Yes, always thought of backpacking as of "unofficial travelers". But it's still mostly about travelling throught cities and civilization. I am talking more about outdoor/countryside trips. Sep 19, 2014 at 12:34
  • When I first went hiking with a backpack (20+miles per day, for two weeks), I called it backpacking. That is long ago. Now, when you mention backpacking, people (at least around where I am) associate it with youngsters trying to get as much fun, sun and drinks for as little money as possible :)
    – oerkelens
    Sep 19, 2014 at 12:37
  • 5
    This discussion shows that this word – like so many others – can mean different things to different audiences. That's just the way English works.
    – J.R.
    Sep 19, 2014 at 12:50
  • @J.R. As does any other language.
    – gerrit
    Sep 19, 2014 at 19:05

"Backcountry" camping is what I would use to describe remote or hike-to camping. It's also the terminology used by the U.S. National Park Service to describe their hike-to, "backcountry campsites". It doesn't suffer the same ambiguity as "backpacking," which could also describe almost any kind of traveling where you carry everything in a backpack.


Backcountry or wilderness camping are the terms used by the National Parks Service in the US.


This is often known as Yomping.

This term is used for an arduous journey on foot across wild territory.
The word was originally a slang term from the British Royal Marines but came into wider use in the 1980s as the Marines famously yomped across the Falkland Islands.

  • 2
    Interesting. I think this might be a BrE word. I don't recall hearing it before today. (I hope you don't mind me adding a link, so the curious can go learn more.)
    – J.R.
    Sep 19, 2014 at 12:54

Bivouac might be what you're looking for. It generally involves little to no cover, so it might be a terrible idea in the Tundra!

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .