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If backpackers have something in common, that’s it. We were all beginners at some point. Fortunately, we all took the first tentative step, a month ago or half a century ago, and didn’t realize what we didn’t know yet. And many of us make it difficult, whether it’s by hiking in soaked clothes or having to choke the same nasty energy bar for days in a row. I learned at. We asked our readers what they need to know when they are just starting backpacking. If you share their answers with new backpackers, you can save them a lot of trouble.

Not planned in advance

How many mistakes can I make in a single trip?His father took me when he was 9 years old Smoky’s backpacking.. He had no experience. He invited three friends, one of whom was an expert because he used to canoe in Minnesota.

My pack weighed 35 pounds. Adults each carried £ 65. For a 3-day trip. There was a hatchet, a tripod, an iron skillet, and enough food for the army. For some reason, with all that gear, we weren’t ready yet. We packed burgers, but there was no stove. So I lit it and fry the meat in a frying pan, but because there was no oil, the hamburger came out like briquettes. At night the temperature dropped to 25 degrees, but the sleeping bag was rated at 40 degrees. I couldn’t sleep much.

At least I woke up to a beautiful sunrise at Myrtle Point. On the next hike to the campsite, one of our companions needed to take care of the business, so he posted me as a watchman along the trail. What he didn’t know was that the trail was looping. While hiking for privacy, he unknowingly set himself about 20 feet away from the trail. At the worst moment, three female hikers climbed the trail from the opposite direction, creating an embarrassing situation for everyone.

The second night’s supper was a dry mix of beef and gravy, which was too salty to eat. We were so tired, painful and disillusioned with backpacking that we abandoned the route, hiked to the road via the fastest route and then hitchhiked into the car at Newfound Gap. did. On our way home, we vowed never to backpack.

But our determination didn’t hold up. My dad continued hiking over 900 miles of trails in the Smokeys, and I accompanied him on many of those trips. Since then, he and I have been hiking in over 15 national parks. We will soon take my kids to their first backpacking trip at Smokeys — the hamburger briquette is not on the menu. — Jim Ahman

Jeans backpacking: Not a good idea. (Photo: Chris Ubach and Quim Rosa via Getty)

Don’t bring real gear

The alcohol stove made from cat food cans and punch holes was light, simple and cheap. It worked like a crap. When I touched a match to make a supper in City of Blocks State Park, New Mexico, the trash can burned like a fire. Yes, it boiled my water fast. Then, when I removed the pot, the hair on my arm almost rang and continued to burn until it passed through the denatured alcohol I had poured. Tip: If cheap ultra-lightweight hacks work like traditional equipment, and everyone uses them. Instead, choose a cheap (and fairly light!) Canister stove. — Adam Roy

Don’t eat well

I went on a 5 day hike Ozark Trail in Missouri Get ready for the Appalachian Trail. The only food I packed was a dozen power bars. I didn’t have to eat the PowerBar for another 3 days because I had to quit because I hurt my knee on the second day. I learned two lessons that helped me with AT: pack delicious food and hitchhiking when you need it! — Jason Stanley

Don’t check your campsite first

One of the first camping trips I remember was nearby Lake Petenwell In Wisconsin. I was about 8 years old. Everything went well until my family woke up early in the morning with ants. My father had a tent on the ant hill. Needless to say, I’m always checking ants now. — Katie Thoresen

Do not change clothes according to the weather

Mid-March Hiking along the Appalachian Trail, We were not prepared for wind and rain at 40 mph. Our vinyl rain gear was shredded and soaked in the bones. We were released on bail at the hotel and were forced to hike for the next two days. As soon as I got home, I bought a better shell. — Brad Kroeger