Top 12 Beginner Backpacking Blunders

If you’ve spent any time in the woods, you’ve probably made some epic backcountry blunders. I certainly have. In fact, the only reason I’m able to give any “clever” hiking advice is because of all the laughably bad mistakes I’ve made over the years. At one point or another I’ve fallen victim to every one of the blunders listed below (and then some!).

I’ve made every backpacking mistake in the books, but I’ve learned my lessons and I keep coming back for more. Because no matter how bad the slip-ups have been, the good trail times always outweigh the bad.

 Cooking In Your Tent

Cooking dinner in your tent might seem like a cozy idea, especially if it’s wet and cold outside. But there are serious consequences to consider before lighting up a stove in an enclosed area. The obvious danger is that you could burn down your tent, which would suck. The less-obvious danger is that the carbon monoxide fumes from your stove are poisonous and they could kill you, which would suck more.

There may be scenarios where you need shelter to cook a meal – like winter camping on a mountain in a snowstorm. So if you MUST, cook in the vestibule of your tent (not inside your tent) and make sure to have lots of ventilation. If you can’t do those things, don’t cook at all.

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