100 thoughts on “5 Mistakes Beginner Backpackers Make

  1. Love your videos. The packing lists you have are also awesome. The links to the items on amazon etc are an extra touch of brilliance. Thank you.

  2. I I have never heard that term before T-Rex knees 🤔 But that’s true I feel like that after a long hikes also👍

  3. As a beginning backpacker I've checked your list but I noticed you didn't add water and food to your weight list? Because I'm counting about a possible 2,5kg weight for drinks and food. Do you just add that to your weight?

  4. My second backpacking trip was hiking the AT from Mt. Katahdin, ME to William's Town, MA. That was in the fall of '75, just out of high school, no college plans.. I made a few mistakes. The 120 miles from Katahdin to Monson was exhausting. My hiking partner took his gear home personally. After Monson, ME a through hiker, one of the Jettison brothers, helped me pare my 80 lb pack down to 30 lb. Fishing gear (lures, net, fillet knife, pole, reel)? Books? Change of clothes? Tent? Shoes to wear around camp? A nesting set of camping pots and tools? Shipped it home.I hiked another 7 or 8 weeks. I enjoyed time in the tiny towns along the way. I carried powdered milk and raisin bran for breakfast, PBJ in Gerry tubes & bread for lunch, and cans of Dinty Moore Beef stew for dinner. It's gross to think about wearing the same socks, pants, etc every day (often wet/frozen when I put them on each day) but it worked. Where was YouTube when I needed it? Your video is spot on.

  5. You mean I shouldn't bring that hot tent stove, or my folding shovel, or the electric bear fence, on my next thru-hike? Hmmm. Id really like to get a lighter tent too–my Kodiak canvas tent comes in at about 30 lbs.

  6. I like this video but some mistakes are unavoidable. In the UK doing the Pennine Way ( a mere 10% of the distance of AT at 270 miles) you simply do need to book your train home in advance unless you are very rich. I have no idea if this applies in the States or to flying but whilst it would be ideal to give oneself all the time in the world to complete a through hike for many of us, this is just not affordable – plus we have deadlines to make in having jobs to go back too… Giving oneself extra days than what one needs is a good idea though – better to arrive with a week to spare than have to give up halfway for not being able to make the mileage. I think I’ve made most of these mistakes but I wouldn’t advise hiking in trail running shoes – just how long is the tread going to last? More info needed on that. Hiking books should last the entire distance if you’ve invested in ones with proper soles (Verbram etc); as for food – ahhh! Good advise is possible.

  7. Great video! However, I would question Mistake Number 2… We travelled and trekked throughout South East Asia for 4 months wearing only flip flops! We did plenty of hiking through forests etc and never had any issues! Footwear is over-rated when backpacking! Certainly the type of backpacking we did around the world.

  8. brilliant video. very informative. very practical and realistic advice. Thanks for sharing . keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!

  9. When I thru-hiked the AT we didn't focus on daily mileage but we did pay attention to weekly mileage and our goal was to always gain 100 miles from any given day to the next week. We went north – south and when we got south of Damascus, we hit a pace that we really liked of doing 19 mile days followed by a 15 mile day. We left Katahdin on August 1, 1981 and reach Springer on January 1, 1982.

  10. Hey guys, if you are planning on travelling away, ensure the safety and privacy of your personal space where ever you stay, with an easy to carry around, easy to install, portable door lock. Visit https://weloveoptions.com/ to purchase one (Sorry to promote but from experience it is actually worth being able to lock your door wherever you stay).

  11. Hey guys, if you are planning on travelling away, ensure the safety and privacy of your personal space where ever you stay, with an easy to carry around, easy to install, portable door lock. Visit https://weloveoptions.com/ to purchase one (Sorry to promote but from experience it is actually worth being able to lock your door wherever you stay).

  12. What do you think about spraying down your backpack with those water-repellent sprays instead of carrying a duck back??
    I mean, all my important stuff is already in water-proof containers, and I'm in the high-desert so it doesn't rain much anyway..

  13. I am a fan…but mistake number 1…comparing yourself or any person you know to Michael Jordan…naw babes…don't ever EVAH do that. Backpacking is different than professional basketball (even college) . Just don't do that…just no. Nevah and no…wow.

  14. Yeah, over-estimating my strength, I did that during bikepacking

    Turns out I can't do 75 miles on the bike with full gear and only breakfast.

  15. Absolutely! we all make at least one of these, my biggie was over packing food, but the good thing was I met other backpackers that I could share that food with and we all still keep in touch……Trail Magic is real 🙂

  16. Don't push through pain. You're going to cause yourself an injury that's going to limit you for years, maybe for the rest of your life.

  17. I am 72 an miss backpacking. Glad I did it when I could no permits just go when an where you wanted it was very free then.

  18. Excellent points in this video. Thank you for sharing.
    My footwear purchasing mistake is failing to consider the inevitable combination of swollen feet on a downhill course. Gads! On a similar note, I also wear compression gloves to mitigate the tendency to develop sausage fingers five miles into a hike.
    I'm just now learning not to push myself too hard at the outset. Aging knees, which never before gave me guff, help me learn this lesson.

  19. Permission to relax people. Thru Hiking is serious, not that serious. Don't overplan it, don't overdo it, and have fun. Be flexible in your journey, make mistakes, and laugh at your self.

  20. I learned this in the Army: "travel light, freeze at night" but……"if it weighs an ounce back on base, it will weigh a pound in the field"

  21. It takes time for a hiking boot to break in, in the beginning it will hurt. You need to use them for a while before hiking if they are knew. I believe that hiking boots are way more comfortable and supporting…in long hikes in rough terrains believe, it's way more comfortable to have hiking boots and your feet will thank you!!! Also they are also a safety issue, depending on the kind of terrain you are going thorough

  22. Cousin did the Compostella (Way of St. James), 500 miles in France and Spain, and said 15 miles MAX, and day 7 is a rest day the way God intended it. You don't need much in your pack for that trip, since you're not camping.

  23. Hiking boots are the absolutely worst thing in existence. I wear sandals or just go plain barefoot if the trail allows, meaning no thorns….

  24. I've watched a half dozen of your videos this week but I have not heard anything about bear spray. I'm going to be hiking in the Cohutta wilderness and Appalachian trail areas, and I'm a complete noob. Do I need bear spray to hike in North Georgia?

  25. As of now – July 14th, 2019 // Sunday @ 11:21 EDT – this video has 13K Likes, but ALSO has 888 Dislikes.


  26. Thoughts on exercising before a long trip? Do you think there is value, in exercising with your pack on for a few weeks, or months before? Thanks so much for all the info, love your vids ♡

  27. No 1 mistakes for ultralight-hiker: put safety into zero level for the sake of base weight like getting rid off first aid kit,knife/multitool,lighter,headlamp to small laser pointer(lol).also leaving trash and sh*ts like not bringing their own trowel (its dull to say we can do it with our trekpole)and trash bag.

  28. Hiker hunger. Interesting concept. I've never hiked longer than a couple days, so I guess I've never had that. I was, like many hikers, it seems, a cross-country runner in college, and man, could I put food away then. I imagine it must be similar to that.

  29. Question from a non-hiker. What about carrying money? Should one carry pre-loaded cash cards so we can buy food or necessities when we get to towns?

  30. I spent a year backpacking across Canada and Europe. Big mistake. I did not realise how hot Canadian summers can be so had to buy two lightweight tee shirts in my first week of travel! Other than that I pretty much got it right and my backpacking, travelling light experience and philosophy has served me well in subsequent years. I have made it around much of Europe, down the east coast of South America, Canada coast to coast, to several destinations in Asia and a good number of Pacific Islands, as well as across and up and down most of Australia. I still cannot believe how much stuff people weigh themselves down with when travelling. It is easy to rinse clothes out overnight if you choose wisely. There are shops in most places. It is fun not being too carefully planned, though it can lead to the odd disappointment as well, if you have not secured your next night's accomodation sometimes. More often it works out. Enjoy the freedom and travel light! Also choose footwear carefully. I now only do a pair of hike sandals and hiking boots and make those as light as practical! For hikes I'd get it down to as little weight as possible and store other gear somewhere safe to pick up after. Some fab trails to hike in New Zealand and Australia. You are all so lucky with the truly lightweight gear available now. Back in the 1980s gortex had just come onto the market. A trangia stove was as light as it got and hike tents required two people to carry them ideally. Packs were even much heavier. I now backpack at a max of 15 kilos and would probably limit hiking gear to 7-10 kilos to really enjoy, rather than endure my time ! I would not consider carrying more than a large day pack and limit trail gear to it. That would include my sleeping bag and mat. Wear one hiking outfit, try and clean up at the end of the day, wash and hang to dry what you have been wearing, and put second set on to eat dinner, sleep and wear the next day. Previous day's clothes should have dried the night before. Include layers for warmth. A fleecy and a waterproof poncho, you can also use as a groundsheet or pack cover. I would not hike in below zero temperatures these days, just too much gear to stay safe in case cold sets in. And yes, a tarp for shelter if in the wilderness. I no longer hike alpine trails, but prefer the tropics and sub tropics, where you can camp mostly under the stars!

  31. SRV popped out of the womb playing the guitar like a virtuoso Boss. The rest are painfully backpacking their way to mediocrity.

  32. “Michael Jordan didn’t pop out of the womb and take his first steps while perfectly dribbling a basketball.”

    Well that’s just not true.

  33. I have hiker hunger even when I'm not hiking… I would take to much food… I am currently shopping for hiking boots… I have an Under Armour backpack… Just ordered a hammock…

  34. Yes, that mostly sounds like good advice to me. The one part that I would comment on is the subject of footwear. I am sure that wearing something other than boots works well for the speaker in this video as she is light and female. For someone like myself, I am a staunch advocate of clodhopper boots. I want ankle support and lower leg protection when I am off-trail and going up or down rough trails. I weigh 14 to 15 stone naked as a jaybird and much more under a pack loaded for a week or more.

    Another safety feature of boots is that they are a protection against snake bite. During a cold, early morning in the Missouri Breaks of Montana whilst on a solo canoe voyage back in the spring of '82, I was walking up a sagebrush swale. Whilst not paying enough attention to where I was going. I felt something impact the top part of my right boot and my pantleg. I looked down and saw a huge timbre rattler or western diamondback (I know not the difference). at my feet.. I must of jumped back well over a yard in a single bound. Then, as I further retreated, I saw the viper re-coil for a second strike and shake its tail at me. Had I not been properly armoured with that combat boot, I may not be here today to write the account. Before '82 my favourite hiking boots have always been the same boots that I was wearing everyday in my normal work and activities. After I joined the part-time military in '81 and graduated from the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia in "82, I just wore combat boots on hikes and on hunts.

  35. A big mistake is wearing shorts. Shorts are useless if you need to get through nettles, stingers and also if the insects are biting a lot. Even a simple fall or slip can get you cuts and scraps if you aren't wearing protective long trousers. Sunburn too. Never understood why any hikers wear shorts to be honest.

  36. I’ll be going on my first backpacking trip (just an overnighter) in 4 yrs and am super excited to get back out there! I was never an expert so I’ll be starting as a beginner again 🙂 thanks for the info 🙏

  37. I pack if i were going on a 30 day hike and pack everything so i can condition myself to carry heavy packs on long hikes even if I'm only out for 4 hour hike 🙂

  38. She's right about the hunger thing. If you're just doing like a 2 to 5 day hike (maybe more), you might actually have reduced appetite. I did a 5 day trek with a buddy last year and he warned me to not pack too much food, he said I won't be as hungry as I think I will be. I didn't listen, packed too much food and ended up regretting it.

  39. I do all my hiking on the treadmill at the gym climate controlled with a fan. Just got to be out of there by 10 to get my daily banana from Walmart. Usually don't enjoy nature I like videos of space , history and Rick Steve's PBS travel videos would like to get more of these..

    I wear an identical color and brand trail runner's. They have what looks like little yellow feet on the bottom. I got then at salvation army $4 nearly new . Super light very flexible and my favorite walkers . Only complaint is how easy they come untied , PROBABLY my bad but it's what happens.

  40. Darn Tough. They break down, take them into anyone that sells them and they replace them. And shoes that dry out. Merrell Moab 2 Vent. First 24 miles and not one blister.

  41. 15 miles a day?! Heh, I am happy with 15km a day when I get out of my “hibernation”… 😂
    Take it slow, enjoy and experience your surroundings instead of trying to speed through! 👍

  42. Thru-hiking is not the same thing as survivalism and or prepping you're not going to have the same thing in a bug out bag as you're going to have in a thru-hike bag… the main difference is that when you're thru-hiking the world has not ended there is no apocalypse there's no Armageddon and every 72 hours you can walk off the trail or Uber off the trail or you can get I hitchhike off the trail and go to a town wash your clothes eat pizza and hamburger until you're ready to explode you can always spend the night in a hotel take a shower go swimming in a swimming pool and even get drunk in a bar if you want and then get back on the trail for another 72 hours….. on the other hand a bug out bag is a general collection of items for a nonspecific and unknown as of yet situation that you might be confronted with……

  43. So true in regard to hunger and overloading on food. I'm sure that everyone is a little different, but I've found that I typically don't eat much the first two days on a hike….after which I start settling into my trail routine and begin eating more "regularly."

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