Top 12 Beginner Backpacking Blunders

Filleting Your Feet

 Photo: Lance Sullins

Few things can ruin a backpacking trip as quickly as bad blisters. When you’re traveling by foot and every step hurts, it’s pretty tough to enjoy your surroundings.

Blisters are caused by friction – wearing footwear that is too tight, too rigid, or rubs against a particular area of skin. They can develop easily when your feet are clammy and soft.

That’s one of the reasons I prefer to pack light and wear trail running shoes instead of boots. They keep my feet ventilated, comfortable, and blister free no matter how far I want to hike.

If you do plan to wear hiking boots, take lots of time to break them in well before your hike. Also, whatever footwear you choose, always stop immediately if you feel a hotspot and address it. Hiking through initial blister pain is easy, but you’re doing damage that will be much more painful over the following days.

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