5 common backpacking mistakes to avoid
Many people overpack, if you go on any long hikes you notice people throw a lot of extra snacks and random knick knacks in the trash from their backpacks into the trash bins. These people overpacked and these little things added up. These extras where so annoying that these people had to toss them.
There are several essentials that you need to have, and there are non essentials that you really don’t need. Basically only bring equipment you will need to use on the trail, eases discomfort, and helps you survive, this gear counts as essential.
Example of essentials: First aid kit, a tent, water bottle, snow/rain jacket, sleeping bag.
Non-essentials: 3 books, didgeridoo/musical instrument, a big knife(unless you’re doing bushcraft), and alcohol. All of these items are unnecessary to survive in the wild for a few days.
Make sure your backpack is balanced
Balance: Make sure to put on your backpack before you leave, first see if you can even lift your heavy backpack up. Ok, have you lifted it? If you did lift it up and it doesn’t feel super heavy, thats good but you also need to balance the backpack.
Does your backpack feel unbalanced? This can put stress on your body and back, to fix this there are a few things you can re-arrange.
Place some heavier items closer to your back to maintain a better balance. Also, tighten all compression straps to maintain your center of gravity, and stabilize your load.
Instant access to essentials
Accessibility: Think about which items you will want easy access to throughout your hike, and which items you won’t need until you set up camp.
For example if rain comes it is essential for you to have immediate access to your tent and rainfly. There are other items you want instant access to, these include your first aid kit, and a good water resistant lightweight, easy to store poncho. You might also want to get your water on the side of your backpack.
A lot of emergency calls are related to dehydration during hiking. People forget to bring enough water, they hike to far, or people just forget to drink water on colder days. People don’t hike long distances all the time so they don’t realize how much water they need for these physically strenuous activities.
Check the weather forecast
Look at the weather forecast before you head out to your next big hike. That way you can prepare appropriately for any rain, and here is another extra mistake to avoid. Bring a rain coat / poncho and some rain pants even if the forecast says it won’t rain. The majority of hypothermia cases comes from people who forget to bring their rain coats.