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Beginner Backpacking Mistakes to Avoid

Written by Jacob Deutsch

No matter how experienced a hiker you are learning from those who have more miles under their boots (or trail runners) than you will have a huge impact on your ability to successfully complete, and enjoy a thru-hike. After all, every thru-hiker makes plenty of stupid mistakes at the beginning of their hikes. Lucky for you, you can learn from their errors so are not doomed to repeat them.

The hosts of Backpacker Radio are no different. They have made just as many, if not more, mistakes than every other thru-hiker. Zach, Chaunce, and Sauce sat down a few weeks ago and went over some of the most egregious mistakes they made as beginners and the most common beginner backpacking mistakes they see at the start of every hiking season. Here is an abridged version of the list of the nine biggest backpacking mistakes they compiled, read it here.

LAST UPDATED

May 8, 2022

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

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My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!

Anna Hamrick

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Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

Pete Ortiz
Writer

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The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

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