My worst hiking mistakes – Backpacking tips for beginners


I had absolutely no idea what I was doing! If I didn’t go into that store and got that hiking advice I may have lost my life due to one of the worst backpacking mistakes I ever made.

So, instead of you making the same mistakes while you’re hiking out in the wilderness, here are my top 5 worst backpacking mistakes which at this point.

This video is aimed at beginners looking for tips when just starting out.

I touch upon some hiking gear mishaps, some stupid trekking decisions I’ve made and also about hiking too fast and pushing myself too hard to reach some big miles, which isn’t all that important at first.

I used to overpack my backpack, bring too many luxury items which I just didn’t use and way too many clothes.

I didn’t properly test out my gear, nor did I build myself up for big miles properly.

My deepest thoughts go to the family and friends of Kyle Knox. If you’d like to read more about his tragic story please see the article here.

Here are the awesome boots and crampons I used for Ben Nevis in the snow.

Grade A mountaineering boots
Scarpa Manta Pro GTX:

Grivel Crampons:

BTW, I MADE THIS INCREDIBLE BIT OF GEAR
Check it out!

Kit list as of June 2020:

Backpacks
Atom+:
ULA Circuit:

SHELTERS
Stratospire 2:
Zpacks Solplex:

SLEEP SYSTEMS
Katabatic Sawatch:
Katabatic Palisade:
Neoair Xlite:

FOOTWEAR
Altra Lone Peak 4.0:
Gaiters – Altra gaiters:

CLOTHING

Waterproof shells
Rohan Helix:
OR Helium 2:
Frogg Toggs:

Insulated jackets
Patagonia Micropuff Hoodie:
Trespass Rustler:

Base layers
Ice Breaker base layer:

Shirts
Rohan Expedition:

Shorts
Patagonia Striders:

Hats
REI desert cap:
Berghaus beanie:

Sunglasses
Sungods:

Gloves
Salomon gloves:
Ski gloves:

Socks
Injinjis:
Darn Toughs:
Sealskinz:
NB Flat Knit:

Mosquito net
Smidge:

Buff
Camino Buff:

FILM AND SOUND

Phone
iPhone 11 Pro Max:

Drones
DJI Mavic Air 2:
DJI Mavic Air 1:

Cameras
Canon M50:
Sony RX100V:

Mics
Röde Micro:

Tripods
Gorilla Pod 1K:
Gorilla Pod 500:
Manfrotto Action:

NAVIGATION

GPS units
Garmin InReach Mini:
Garmin GPS Map 66i:

Compass
Silva Field:

WATER TREATMENT

Filter
Sawyer Squeeze:

Purifying drops
Aquamira drops:

Water storage
Cnoc Vecto 2L:

ELECTRONICS

Power banks
20,000mah:
13,000mah:

GPS tracking watch
Garmin Forerunner 35:

Wall chargers
UK :
US :

Data
Apple SD reader:

EQUIPMENT

Lights
NU25:
H2R Nova:
Tiki:

Ice axe
Grivel Helix:

Trekking poles
Alpine Carbon Cork:

Traction
Microspikes:

Stove
MSR Pocket Rocket 2:

Spoons and knives
TITO titanium spoon:
Victorinox mini classic:

Poop trowel
Deuce of Spades trowel:

Sit pad
Kumfie pad:

Tent stakes
Tarptent stakes:
MSR Mini Ground Hogs:
OEX Y-shaped stakes:

Tent poles
Zpacks carbon fibre tent poles:

Ground sheet
Polycryo ground sheet:

STORAGE

Pack liners and pods
Atom Packs DCF pack liner:
Heacy-duty rubble sacks:

Dry bags and stuff sacks
Sea to Summit 4L Nano:
OEX 2L dry bag:
Katabatic Gear silynylon stuff sack:

Pouches and wallets
Zpacks DCF Wallet:
Zpacks DCF utility pouch:

Food storage
Loksak OPSak:
Ziploc freezer bags:



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27 comments

  • People really don't need to have the overpacking message beaten to death into them. It's 99% self-correcting. It's simply part of a beginner learning for themself. It becomes an issue when a hiker violates mistake #1 in a big way thinking they are ready to tackle really big adventures when they are still beginners. That dynamic is like cutting a switchback…bad idea on more than one level.

    Ironically, going too light is actually a big contributor to injuries which don't happen so much with traditional pack loads. The more traditional loads slow a hiker down. Fewer miles/Kms per day means fewer injuries. A hiker who does 1000 miles / 1600 Km in 100 days does not experience less than a hiker who does 2000 mi / 32000 Km in the same 100 days. Typically, the faster hiker sees little more than the trail, a strip of beaten earth which is nothing much to brag about.

  • Ambition does not require ego, and sesible humility does not mean that you can't still be abitious.

  • Great tips thanks 👍😁

  • I see some hikers wash their underwear. I would throw them away and leave one on the last day to return home.

  • He said on one of his videos that he could not finish hiking to the top of Kala Patthar because he felt his feet and toes were frozen. He should have learned from that experience that those soft fabric high top waterproof hiking shoes he loved were not good enough for rough terrains especially in severe icy cold weather. All the professional hiking leaders of well established trekking companies suggest leather, well constructed hiking boots to reinforce the protections around your ankles, toes and soles. It seems that he hasn’t learned enough from that experience. On another video after his EBC trek, he still recommended his hiking shoes to the viewers. He is not a professional after all. LISTEN TO THE PROFESSIONALS! He said he didn’t like stiff leather hiking boots because they were too heavy. When you think of those young soldiers who carry heavy loads of equipments on their backs and wear strong leather, heavy combat boots to trek in mountainous and forestry regions during wartime, then you know how those leather boots protect their feet during those challenging and dangerous times.

    He didn’t suggest trekking poles. Trekking poles are important for multiple days hiking. They reduce the pressures on your joints, hips and legs and help balance your body as well.

  • As I know the weather in mountain region can change dramatically. It is silly to hike alone. It’s better safe than sorry. There’s no need to push oneself too hard or risk one’s life to prove to the others on the media who even don’t really know you. The people on social media can forget you really fast. Why are many young people still doing silly things on the social media?

  • It’s better to play safe. Be careful with your dear life.

  • South west coastal path is currently where I'm doing all my practice walks, mostly on the dorset sections! Leaving for my first solo hike away from home on the brecon beacons next month

  • 7:00 I had to ask… how did you get them out?…. sho, sho!!!! 🤣

  • Backpacking tips: don't be an idiot

  • Did you let the guys in the hiking shop know that it wasn't you who lost your life?

  • I have a few failed wildcamps due to being unsafe to do so . glad I didn't take the risk.

  • I'm a bit of an overpacker too, practice makes perfect

  • Million percent the first one , I go walking in the mountains u have to be so carefull the weather can change in seconds, so anyone reading this please check the weather before going. It really can be fatal. Great video

  • Did you ever hike the Kungsleden? I'd like to try my first hiking experience by hiking from Abisko to Nikkaluokta in early winter. I would like to do it with a friend and hike it in about 8 days, sleeping in a tent along the way. Any tips?

  • you weren't overly ambitious – you were irresponsibly unprepared

  • "I just wanted to climb this mountain, not do any mountaineering or anything!"

    😂😂

    Hope you bought those guys a drink.

  • Yep, I did the sock thing as well. I must have taken 12 pairs of socks for 6 days. Actually only used 4 pairs of them. I remember taking loads of useless junk with me. Lessons learned, and they have to be learned, not instructed! Only you know what you really need!

  • I have an emergency distress routine when in the wilderness. Drop your trousers to have a pee! Before you know it, a party of ramblers will appear from nowhere!

  • i never hiked before and then set out to do the Anglesey Coastal Path (140miles) in 6 days, first day i ended up doing 46km in 11 hours… my first day of walking/hiking anywhere! it absolutely bounced down with a storm on the way and everything was soaked. i should have got a better tent, with a better waterproof backpack cover and better boots!

  • Such a great channel! Great humble guy that is great at storytelling. My new favorite YouTube channel along with Jupiter

  • only idiots would try that.

  • Really wish I had watched this video before embarking on my first ever long-distance hike!

    I planned to hike The Ridgeway, which is 139km/87 miles long, having never been out on a long-distance hike before. I watched some videos of hikers saying they regularly cover 25-30 miles in a day and I assumed this was the usual/expected distance to cover, so I planned to complete the hike in 3.5 days (with the option of an additional 'buffer' day as I wanted to reach the end in daylight then get the train home).

    My first day I arrived at the start of the trail in the early afternoon and set off, covering 18 miles with a 15kg backpack. I was feeling a little sore that night but I just assumed this was the norm and to be expected. The next day I set off however I was really feeling the effects of the previous day's hike and it was more of a slog than an enjoyable hike. The final 3 hours on the trail that day were brutal as I had the hot evening sun on my back the entire time on a particularly exposed section of the trail and I had not packed sunscreen as the weather forecast was cloudy! Needless to say my calves and neck were burnt to a crisp. I finally made it to the next town after 25 miles on the trail that day, albeit in agonising pain and barely being able to stand. My shoulders, knees, hips and the soles of my feet all felt like they were on fire and I was not enjoying myself, to say the least.

    Unfortunately I knew I would have to give up then as there was no way I could carry on. I got the train home and limped back with my tail between my legs. One day I will go back and pick the trail up where I left off, but this time with a more realistic mileage estimate!

    Thanks for your videos, I find them inspiring and very informative!

  • I've only just discovered your channel. So informative and so humble! Very refreshing. Solo hiking is a long-time passion that I've only just recently started taking seriously with a view of over-nighting. Videos like yours are fantastic guidance and motivation!

  • Those guys should never have sold you the kit near Ben Nevis! They should have called the police and had you sent home.

  • I hope the people who gave you advice in the Fort William outdoor shop know that you made it back safely!

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