Common Beginner Backpacking Mistakes To Avoid This Season

Men stand to watch mountains in tropical forests with backpacks in the forest. Adventure, traveling, climbing.

Going backpacking for the first time can be an exhilarating adventure. One that offers the promise of beautiful landscapes, memorable encounters, and a break from your everyday routine. However, even the most seasoned backpacker can fall victim to avoidable errors that can turn a dream trip into a nightmare. If you’re relatively new to the practice of backpacking, it’s important to start your trek on the right foot. 
In this article, we’ll go over a few common backpacking mistakes you’ll want to avoid so that you can have the best possible experience.

Check out these backpacking tips for beginners before you plan for your first hike and avoid backpacking mistakes.

Overpacking or Under packing Your Hiking Backpack

Backpacking mistakes

Knowing what to pack is one of the most important hiking essentials for beginners and experienced hikers alike. One of the cardinal sins of backpacking is carrying too much weight. Because every extra ounce adds up. Carrying too many items is going to make your trek more exhausting and less enjoyable. Before you step out onto the trail, carefully examine your gear list and do your best to eliminate items that you truly don’t need. Try to opt for backpacking light with the lightest backpacking gear and be sure to prioritize functionality over luxury.

Keep in mind, though, you don’t want to under pack your gear in an attempt to travel light. Make sure you have all of the essentials you need for a safe trip.

Not Packing Enough Food and Water

Ultralight backpacking can be ideal for beginners, as carrying less weight will lead to less fatigue while you’re on the trail. However, it’s important to ensure that you carry enough food and water with you on every hike you embark upon. Even if you’re only planning to be out for a short time. You should carry at least a day’s worth of food and water. The average number of calories a backpacker needs ranges from 2,500 to 4,500 per day so make sure you have enough to eat. When it comes to water, you should carry between 2 and 4 liters with you at any given time.

Counting on Improper Footwear

Traveler tightening the shoe laces

A common beginner hiking and backpacking mistakes involve wearing the wrong sort of footwear throughout the journey. An ordinary pair of tennis shoes likely won’t cut it. If you’re going to be spending hours or days exploring the trails. You’ll want to invest in a sturdy pair of waterproof hiking boots or shoes for the best possible backpacking experience. Don’t wait until your trip to wear your new shoes for the first time, though. It’s a good idea to spend time before your hike breaking in your footwear. This way, your shoes will be comfortable on your feet while you’re walking.

Failing to Test Out Your Gear

If you’re planning to go backpacking for the first time, it’s important to be familiar with each piece of gear you’ll be using. As such, you should test out your gear long before you need to use it. This way, you can ensure that everything you’re bringing with you is going to be useful. For example, you’ll want to determine whether your backpacking sleeping bag is warm enough for your needs and easy enough to pack and unpack as needed.

Whether you’re buying a backpack online or at a physical store. You’ll want to test it out to make sure it can reasonably fit all of your gear into it. Standard backpack sizes can vary. So be sure to choose one that’s going to meet your needs. Furthermore, make sure that you select a backpack for traveling. As a standard school backpack is not going to meet your needs as well as a product made for your intended purpose.

Being Unprepared for an Emergency

First Aid kit

No one wants to encounter an emergency during a backpacking trip. But failing to prepare for the unexpected can result in dire consequences. Every time you set out on a backpacking trip, it’s crucial to carry with you a well-stocked first aid kit in your travel backpack.

Familiarize yourself with each piece of the kit and know how to use its contents before you ever need to. Take time to learn about basic wilderness first aid techniques and always be ready for worst-case scenarios including injuries, sudden weather changes, and getting lost.

When it comes to storing your first aid kit during your trek, make sure that it’s always easily accessible in or on your backpack. Seconds count during an emergency. The last thing you want to do is rummage through your belongings when you don’t have time to waste.

Embarking on a backpacking trip can be a transformative experience, offering you the opportunity to connect with nature, challenge yourself, and create lasting memories with your friends or family. By avoiding these common backpacking mistakes, you can ensure a safer, more enjoyable journey on the trail. Remember to plan meticulously, stay informed, and respect the wilderness, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful adventure.

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