I think that the article should have been titled "Hiker vs Camper". I believe the real difference is not the gear, but the goals and mind-set.
I can appreciate and greatly respect the dedication, tenacity and heart required to undertake a through-hike, and recognize that many people enjoy both. However, the goals are very different. A through-hike, as a previous poster aptly described, is very linear, involves meticulous planning and adherence to a time-table. Fishing, exploring, nature-watching, etc, are rarely a consideration. It also has a very social aspect, with human connections made that enhance the experience.
Hiking, on the other hand, is simply a means to immerse oneself in nature. The only timetable involves arrival and departure. All the time in between is frequently subject to chance and whim, or to a very generalized timetable. I have done everything from day hikes to 2 week off-trail bush whacking (the Wind Rivers and all the awesome trout-filled lakes, for example). As my experience has increased, my pack weight has plummeted, and I use many of the ultralight techniques I have learned both here and elsewhere to increase my comfort and enjoyment, as well as to increase the time available for those pursuits...plus, being able to crank out some serious miles is a rush in itself!
We should worry less about HOW we hike, and just get out and do it while we can! And if we happen to cross paths some day, I'll be sure to share my trout and chocolate ;)
Be safe! Carlos m. Pérez