The Top 52 Hiker Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

1. BURYING YOUR RESERVOIR

Few flubs are more irritating than a leaky water bladder that soaks your pack on the drive to the trailhead. It happens when the pressure of other gear against the bite valve pops it open. So place the reservoir atop everything else en route to ensure it doesn’t get squashed. If your plastic bladder has a leaky seam or small puncture, you can repair it with Seam Grip—the waterproof sealant designed for tents. Empty the bladder first, and allow 24 hours for it to dry.

2. NOT BAGGING DEET-BASED BUG SPRAY

Deet melts nylon and polyester and can damage harder plastics like buckles and water bladders, so toss repellents in a zip-top bag.

3. OVERCONFIDENCE

According to a study of SAR missions in Utah national parks, fatigue, darkness, and insufficient equipment accounted for about 42 percent of rescue calls. Such mishaps, at their root, stem from foolhardy planning. So set sane goals and honestly estimate your hiking speed. Typically assume an average speed of 1 to 2 mph, then adds 30 minutes for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain.

4. NOT SETTING A TURNBACK TIME

This is a recipe for unplanned bivies. If you don’t reach the goal by the turnaround time, go back anyway. Note: The descent often takes half as long as the ascent but that depends on terrain.

5. CAN’T FIND THE TRAILHEAD

The more accessible the trailhead, the more crowded the trail. So finding solitude often means navigating remote, maze-like dirt roads. “For turn-by-turn directions to a trailhead, visit or call the local park or forest recreation managers.”

See the entire list here…

 

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