5 Mistakes Beginner Backpackers Make

A few weeks ago, I shared that this would be the year I finally go camping — and not just once, but several times over. I’ve been doing my research, stocking up on gear, and mentally preparing myself for being fully immersed in the woods.

The trips I have planned are unlikely to have any serious thru-hiking or backpacking involved, but that’s something I’d really love to work my way up to, maybe by next year.

Baby steps!

I know there are many others like myself who’re prepping for more outdoorsy adventures, so I’ll be sharing some of the helpful information I come across, over time.

In the video below, an experienced backpacker talks about some of the mistakes beginners make — and why. I’m pretty sure I’ll be guilty of at least two of them, even with her advice. 😅

Have you ever been backpacking and/or camping before? What other bits of advice would you give to adventurers who are just starting out?

If you’re not a veteran adventurer, what are some of the concerns you would have about spending a few days or weeks in the great outdoors?

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18 thoughts on “5 Mistakes Beginner Backpackers Make

  1. Hi Alexis! I’ve never been backpacking, and I haven’t been camping since I was a Girl Scout! I think hiking is more my speed, and I would like to be more intentional about trying out different trails (I enjoyed the videos you made while hiking unfamiliar trails). What I might be concerned about is meeting unfriendly critters.

    The “5 Mistakes….” video was so interesting to me! The part about the hiking boots surprised me; and I LOVED LOVED LOVED her encouragement to not micro-manage one’s journey – when she said that the person you are at the end of your journey isn’t the person you were at the beginning, I felt a wonderful sense of awe.

    1. I haven’t done either one, and I can’t wait to change that. If I’m lucky, I might be able to sneak in a camping trip by as early as March. Fingers crossed!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the video. She really did a good job of pointing out the mistakes without making us feel bad haha. I know I will want to micro-manage, and I had no idea about the shoes, so I’m really glad she brought that up!

  2. she talked too much. i could have said it all in half the time. lol
    oh btw…i have hiked some of the AT, CDT, climbed in the Rockies, and to mt. kinley and the mexican volcanoes and to ecuador.

    1. Haha, well she’s talking to beginners, so I appreciated everything she said. To condense it might have left a few of us still confused.

      That’s amazing. When was the last time you went backpacking?

  3. Hi Alexis! I’ve done both backpacking and more stationary camping, and have to say that I much prefer the latter. Don’t get me wrong, backpacking is a lot of fun and a great way to get lots of exercise. But I find camping to be much more relaxing, since there’s no need to set up and break down camp every day. You can pitch your tent (or tarp) in one spot, and then make day hikes to nearby locations. So you can still get lots of exercise, but without the pain of setting up/taking down all the time.

    I also like to stay in one spot long enough to “fall into the rhythm” of the place, which is harder to do when you’re always on the move.

    I have a feeling you’ll really like backpacking though.

    1. I love hiking, so I think being stationary for too long would rub me the wrong way. There’s only so many trails one can explore in a day. I wouldn’t be in a rush to move every single night though, as a backpacker. I might be in-between.

      1. Well that will depend on the preferences of who I go with, but maybe I’ll work my way up to taking those trips by myself over time. I do enjoy traveling alone. 😊

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