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.
A 20% DEET Premium Controlled-Release Lotion will work well against mosquitoes, but Dr. Zimring says he prefers the 20% Picaridin lotion since it also protects against ticks, gnats, chiggers, and flies. (In both instances, he recommends Sawyer brand.)
Part of spending time outside means battling ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects. For this, Nelson swears by permethrin.
And out of the products we tested, Dr. Zeichner highly recommends Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent.