The best about backpacking? Everything you need is in the pack...or at least most of it. I usually keep my tent packed outside at the top of the pack. Depending upon how strong you are will determine the pack you carry and the weight. Backpacking eliminates a lot of the heavy stuff and enables one to keep the focus on essentials. Like the song says, "I like to go a-wandering along the mountain track. And as I go I like to sing, my knapsack on my back."
Day hikes is all I've ever done. I've carried lots of bottled water, lunch, hammock, rain gear and my helinox chair. I love shouldering a pack. I'm usually the pack mule, and I enjoy it. I guess the thing I enjoy most is going places not obtainable any other way. Charlie's Bunyon, Smokey Mtns Nat. Park. This was probably my most favorite day hike.