Armchair athletes may get confused on this question when in a lot of cases hiking equipment is purchased in sporting goods stores or sporting goods departments of larger department stores.
These same "athletes" are equally confused by the term outfitter. In their confused state they would expect us to emerge from an outfitter wearing a new suit.
Hiking is my hobby bordering on obsession. Why else would I have a closet filled with 7 packs, 3 rolls of braided mason's line, 1 canister stove with a 1/2 dozen fuel canisters, 3 cook pots, a titanium spoon, numerous dehydrated meals, multiple cozies, 3 tents, four dozen or more stakes, 3 sets of trekking poles, my prized plastic trowel, hats, bandannas, buffs, base layers, wind shirts, rain gear, compass, trail guide, 1 flat tarp, 1 poncho tarp, 2 quilts, 1 sleeping bag, 4 sleeping pads and too many alcohol stoves to count with Everclear, Heet and 91% Isoproryl for fuel all on hand.
My computer has 72 bookmarks geared towards hiking.
I also have enough MYOG supplies and tools to choke a mule. And yes my sewing machine stands ready with Gütermann Tera Tex 50 100% polyester thread.
I shop in auto parts stores for tent seam sealer. To most people a yo-yo is a toy. To me a yo-yo is walking a trail from beginning to end and back again. I keep many of my most valued posessions inside of a trash compactor bag. Some people see a recycle bin ready to go out to the curb but I see water bottles and alcohol stoves. Some people see construction trash and I see ground sheets. When I drink a beer I have to force myself not to fashion a stove out of the can.
I tear off perfectly good zipper tabs to install string in their place. None of my hiking clothes have labels to tell me what size they are.
I read test results of whistles.
I weigh everything in grams and ounces.
This is my favorite. I pay someone whom I have never met before to take me out to a place that I have never been before, let them drop me off and wave good-bye while saying thank you as they leave me in the middle of nowhere with a huge smile on my face. ;-)