Aug 26 2007

Fatpacking: Weight-loss hiking, or when people take buzzwords too far

Published by at 10:17 am under Camping/Hiking,nature

In today’s modern online world, buzzwords and acronyms abound. The military no longer rules the roost for great euphemisms, slang and odd letter designations.

A quick search of the ‘Net will bring up great terms such as life-hacking, crowd-sourcing and erg-blogging. These terms evoke activities of the participant in a unique genre of interest. Here are some quick definitions.

  • Life hacking: When someone re-purposes existing items or new items to streamline and enhance the time taken to perform specific or many tasks in one’s life.
  • Crowd-sourcing: When a website, company or news agency utilizes the information or resources of the general community to create online content or get physical results for a specific task.
  • Erg-blogging: Blogging about one’s daily or weekly workouts on a rowing ergometer. Information such as this is great for determining the most effective workouts.

Those are just a few of the popular online buzzwords.

However, there are others that, while still catchy, sort of miss the mark. I came across one the other week—fatpacking.


At first, if the “use-ology” works like the previously mentioned buzzwords, where the terms explicitly describe your activity, it sounds like I’d be lugging around knapsacks full of lard and cellulite. Not quite my idea of a good time.

Upon further investigation and reading this article about fatpacking on, I discovered that it’s actually a term used for backpacking trips where people hike and camp in order to lose weight, and more importantly, alter their body composition through physical activity and proper eating habits on the trail. After a person converts fat to muscle from an extended camping trip, it’s relatively easier to maintain a certain level of fitness and keep the fat pounds off.

My apologies to the wilderness outfitters who came up with fatpacking, but I think they fell a little short on this one. Personally, if I were overweight or had a fitness issue, I would rather look for a place that specializes in weight-loss hiking, healthpacking or something like that. In all fairness, I do think the concept of weight loss and fitness on the trail is brilliant. For health, and to expose sedentary people who wouldn’t normally set foot on America’s trails to the wonders of the outdoors.

On a side note, one piece of information that I found extremely useful from this article was that Macaroni and Cheese was healthier than I thought it was. All those years during and after college, I was not eating as poorly as I thought I was. And now I don’t have to worry about feeding my children Mac & Cheese and the possibility of subsequent wrath from Mrs. K for serving junk food.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Fatpacking: Weight-loss hiking, or when people take buzzwords too far”

  1. Dad K says:

    I’ve been guilty of life-hacking for years. Is that good or bad?

  2. paul says:

    Life-hacking is a good thing. I’ve been doing it for quite some time as well.

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