Top 5 Backpacking Tips I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me


I’ve made a lot of mistakes in life.

Luckily for me, most of them have to do with backpacking. So I’m here to tell you the top 5 things that I wish someone had told me when I first started out.

Have any tales of woe or mistakes that you’ve made? Leave a comment down below!

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49 comments

  • Toilet paper tablets are a thing. Look them up.

  • been outside all my life at least 45 years of it in the hunting world – hunting is the best thing u should do in back packing anything up first you always think someone is watching or could be but listening to the air for any types of noises plus be careful in where you go in the world don't have head phones on in the woods this is important note you need to know firstly- you never want to be sorry even experienced hikers are in a pickle most times
    a raging bear is not good or even a black bear coyotes if two of them watching out they can become dangerous this is my rules i listening to in my hikes
    you don;t want to be sorry in the first place

  • bear spray works on all animals please use it or get some – now pa holds mountain lions i seen three of them its not fun to see these animals with out a cage period
    watching the snakes is terrible if bitten it not good –
    no fun getting bit by something –

  • I am with 45 years of hiking/climbing and 28+ years of wild camping experience. The technology of the equipment changed a lot and I am lightweight today comparing the situation some decades ago… but there it is one permanent problem which I can't overpass: water. My prime destinations are karst, limestone Alps, steep slopes… and my average/work-related hikes are 2-3 nights, that's 9l of water or 9 kg of the additional weight to my backpack weight. I am watching and listening to thru-hikers boasting with their lightweight but nobody considers the weight of the water. Someone needs 3 l of water/day to survive without the damage… now imagine the one week of the hike in the area without the water… starting with 21 kg + gear weight, … there are not always easy trekking "highways" as AT or similar… (?)

  • u make great points ty 4 ur vid
    almost 20 years of watching all the vids (and books) on off grid or survival… and almost non of it is practical or cheep. i live off grid now for 4 years and the shock of learning that youtube ppl are selling something. with that said, is it off grid or sustainable if you have to buy something. short term survival is all i ever see on youtube.

  • I've learned to master the 'buttrace' in nice, dewy grass. Works wonders.

  • I like to go big in my backpacks because I'm an urban explorer so I carry a full sized Laptop on top of a Tent, Sleeping Bag, Sleeping Pad, 2L Water, Some clothes etc. etc.
    I have a 75L Osprey Farpoint Trek and it works really well. Also if it's Winter you have to include winter clothing, Puff jacket and other stuff so don't try to go small and err on the side of caution. It's better to go too big and strap it down, than go too small and have to return the backpack.

  • The First backpack I bought was a 300e 85l that I used 2 times than forgot it in the cellar 😞

  • Liked and subd, I am getting ready to start backpacking. Thanks for the info.

  • My nickname growing up was bear, I have no problem s$%&&ing in the wood.

  • Lifestraw changed my water fears forever

  • 3 months hitchhiking Europe: 20 L.
    18 months hitchhiking China and SE Asia: 20 L and an umbrella.
    7 nights in Greenland: 40 L.
    Winter adds puff only.
    What y'all carrying?

  • I wish you could list your tips in writing as well, visuals ie writing on top of vids are really informative

  • Lots of good advice. However, cotton has a time and place. Decades of experience backpacking in Grand Canyon and desserts taught me a light colored, long sleeve cotton shirt is life saving when kept damp. Acts like an air conditioner!

  • 1:15 – still you have not started. When you will stop talking and talk to the point?

  • I have a 70 liter Gregory and it is perfect size

  • Play it at 1.5x speed, thank me later

  • I've worn these special wool socks, etc. They are horrible. You will smell BAD and stay wet. I've never smelled my own feet before. Until I traveled in wool socks. Suddenly my feet smelled so bad you would think you just stepped out of the Bog of Eternal Stench. Stopped traveling, hiking, walking, etc with them. No longer smell my own feet.

  • My biggest things are: 1) get an inflatable sleeping pad, not the foam ones. 2) down bag, Kelty dridown or something, does not have to be super high end. 3) carbon tent poles. 4) Light boot gaiters to keep rocks out. 5) light waterproof outer shell, then down pleated jacket, then nike long sleeve running shirt first layer for crazy warmth. 6) boil water and fill camelback water bottle with it right before bed if cold. Put down at calf level in bag, will keep you warm til 4:00 am in nasty cold conditions. 7) fish "fly and bubble", don't waste time on lures on lakes.

  • You have to learn as you go.

  • V T

    What if a snake crawls in your butt while your poopin

  • I had a group trip in collage with a guy who was 6'9" and as a poor collage student he couldn't afford any trail clothes so he went in his sneakers and jeans. after multiple trail crossings his jeans were literally frozen solid (this was in early March) and his shoes were ice blocks.

  • My god, THANK YOU for not making over the top cringe intros.

  • Am I dumb or did he just not tell us how he gets a better night sleep?… all he said was that it’s possible to sleep well…

  • I will not hold it in no matter where I am. 🚽 😆

  • I bought (teton 3400 explorer backpack with internal frame) and it had never let me down

  • What do you guys recommend for sleeping pads?

  • Making plans for my 1st backpacking trip this summer…
    Thanks Eric, ❤ the show

  • My biggest mistake was having zero backpacking experience and hiking John Muir trail for 55 miles in 4 days carrying a 55lb pack. I packed too many clothes. Gear was too heavy etc. for example…I now have a 28 liter pack that holds all my gear and can get me through a weekend including food. And that’s with a 2 man tent and not an ultralight one at that haha. I could probably get my 28 liter to last me 5 days including food if I changed my tent and sleeping pad to more compact options. I learned to go light first and ask yourself if some other comfort items are worth it

  • I.e. buy the most expensive gear, always, and you'll be just fine.

  • I made the huge backpack and cotton clothing mistake. Now I have a zpacks Arc blast and wear synthetics. Man, what a difference. I'm still dialing in my pack to this day.

  • Cotton is GOOD in the Australian outback.

  • It took three trips to realize my feet problems were from my socks. I went form cotton to darn tough wool with injinji liner socks and have never had another blister or issue. Wish someone would of told me that years ago. The next one is 1 layer on top is worth 2 layers under you. I swear by my XTherm sleeping pad. Finally, less is more. If you didn't touch an item the whole time out on your trip (minus first aid, etc.), don't take it on your next trip. Great video!

  • Here in our country everyone's expert in pooping outdoors🤣

  • Love how much you reference leave no trace…….. please teach more useful things like that and how not to be a shitty person…. also if you could cover the car camping asshats that cut fences and move barricades to so park their sprinter/subi it would be great, Mother Nature needs a hand…. also I’ve watched hundreds of theses what you need to know vids. and everything you said could be leaned from a mod 90s vhs tape, common man there’s new Tec!!!!! shoootttt I’ve got a poop Shuvel…… it’s relatively inexpensive and if you (helped) sell 50x you would literally be helping soooooo many camping areas….. pls push products like that and not more z-crap

  • Wet is cold!
    If your feet are cold, put on a warm hat!
    Spend time and money buying the best, most versatile, most comfortable footwear you can afford.
    Wear a sun hat.
    Long pant and long-sleeve shirt trumps sunscreen every time.

  • Ah pooping in the great outdoors, my arch nemesis

  • So ridiculously on point.

  • Cowboy camping, that's the ticket! I rarely use a tent and sometimes I don't even take a tent.

  • Instead of picking a too big pack i picked too small. 40l pack over packed was the worst mistake ive made. The damn thing didnt carry the weight at all and pretty much destroyed my shoulders and back. Also i had way too thin sleepingbag and every morning (around sunrise) i woke up freezing. The good thing about that was i got on the move early and reached my destination well before anyone else was on the campsite lol

  • Nice vid bro!! Great camera work!!!

  • This is what I learned over the years. The size of your pack doesnt matter. How the pack fits is what matters. Also dont think you have to fill the pack up, if you have some left over space, that is OK. My pack is rather large and looks empty in the summer/short hikes, but it is stuffed in the winter/long hikes. If you have a pack you cant wait to throw off at every break. your trip will not be a good one. If you have a pack you can wear all day, you have a winner. BTW have a professional fit your pack until you learn how to do it yourself. Learn map and compass. Nothing is scarier than being lost and nothing is more of a bummer than having to backtrack. No matter how bad the day is, if you have a good place to sleep (tent, bad, pad) you can face the next day refreshed. Learn some back country first aid. The general first aid is worthless for back country use. Get a good quality stove and learn how to maintain it and fix it if need be. A trip is shot if you cant melt snow or cook your planned meals and it really sucks when you get home and realize all you needed was a new o ring and the stove would have worked. Know the water sources and plan on filtering every drop. Fluids shooting out either or both ends is a miserable trip. Get a good filter and know how to use it. Blisters suck. Stop sooner rather than later to take care of hot spots on your foot. Learn how to deal with blisters and how to avoid them. A boot that fits with your preferred sock routine sounds easy but usually takes a lot of trial and error. Dont plan on breaking the boot in as usually it is the boot that will break you in. Experiment with different food. not every meal has to come from a dehydrated pouch. Most importantly, pay attention to other backpackers and dont be afraid to ask questions. Just take what they say with a grain of salt because in backpacking nothing is one size fits all so what works for some just might not work for you at all. Lastly, never lose sight over why you are out backpacking in the first place. It doesnt matter that others can go farther each day or have 10k dollars of gear. That is them and they have their own reasons for being out. Get what works for you and what makes you happy, and you are ahead of the game.

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