5 mistakes to avoid on your first backpacking trip

DDiana August 22, 2023 7:07 AM

Thinking about heading out on your first backpacking trip? That's exciting! However, knowing what to do and what to avoid can be a bit overwhelming for beginners. So, let's go through the top 5 mistakes to avoid on your first backpacking trip to make your adventure safe and enjoyable.


One of the most common mistakes beginners make when planning their first backpacking trip is overpacking. It's easy to think you need to prepare for every possible scenario, but in reality, this usually leads to a heavy and unwieldy backpack. Keep in mind that every extra pound will weigh you down, making your journey more challenging. Stick to backpacking essentials and minimize what you bring to what is truly necessary.

To help you avoid this mistake, here's a basic list of backpacking essentials:

  • Backpack
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag and pad
  • Food and water
  • First aid kit
  • Map and compass
  • Multi-tool
  • Clothing

Remember, the objective is to pack as light as possible while ensuring you have everything you need.

Neglecting to plan your route

Another common mistake is failing to plan your route properly. It can be tempting to go wherever the trail takes you, but getting lost or ending up in a dangerous situation isn't fun. Use a map and compass and plan your route carefully. Always tell someone where you're going, and when you expect to return.

Disregarding water and food importance

Underestimating the amount of water and food you'll need is another common blunder. Make sure to pack enough water and snacks, and remember that backpacking is physically demanding, so you'll need more food than you might think.

Ignoring the weather

Ignoring the weather is a recipe for disaster. Always check the weather forecast before you leave, and prepare for the possibility of weather changes. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

Forgetting about leave no trace principles

Finally, many beginners forget about the leave no trace principles. Always remember to respect nature and leave your campsite as you found it. Pack out all trash, don't disturb wildlife, and respect other hikers.

Avoiding these backpacking trip mistakes will help you have a safer and more enjoyable adventure.

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