No items found.

15 All-Too Common Beginner Backpacking Mistakes

We all start somewhere. We all begin as beginners, as novices. And even for experienced hikers, new gear constantly demands we play catch-up. An experienced backpacker in the early ‘90s might not know all the tricks of the trade in this new decade. I like to think I worked out my beginner kinks during my thru-hike, but I am still learning new hiking hacks. Whenever I hike now, I notice many people making the same beginner mistakes I (and many others) did when first starting out.

The Appalachian Trail community encourages you to hike your own hike, as do I. If you choose to do the things below with the knowledge that there is an easier way, then I applaud you for hiking your own hike. If you do them out of a lack of knowledge, however, then this resource is here to help. Note that this is far from a comprehensive list. Not all beginners make these missteps, and the mistakes listed are far from the only ones I’ve seen on the trail. The beginner backpacking mistakes I’ve chosen to highlight seem to be among the most common and the most easily fixable.

Find Madison Dragna's full list of backpacking mistakes here.

LAST UPDATED

August 14, 2022

Written by
Photo thumbnail Blog Author

The Trek

Media Mentions from the Trek

Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and everything in between. We are dedicated to serving long distance backpackers.

We are All Things Long-Distance backpacking.

Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and everything in between. We are dedicated to serving the thru-hiking and long distance backpacking community.

NOTE: Cordial debate is allowed and encouraged. If you're rude, however, your comment will be deleted. If you make personal attacks at another commenter or a Trek Blogger or Writer, you will be banned from this page.

MEDIA MENTIONS

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System -- You want to fill up your tub and sinks before a hurricane to help ensure you have water for cleaning dishes and flushing the toilet. This water purifying system can filter out 99.99% of bacteria in up to 100,000 gallons of water so you have clean drinking water as well.

Allen Foster
Best Reviews

MEDIA MENTIONS

Even if you remember to wear insect repellent and regularly check yourself, it’s easy to forget that your pets are vulnerable to these sneaky critters, too.

Consumer Reports
Media Mentions from Consumer Reports

MEDIA MENTIONS

Choosing the right repellent matters: Our top products provided several hours of protection, and some of our lowest-scoring ones failed in as little as 30 minutes.

Consumer Reports
Media Mentions from Consumer Reports