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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33 Comments

  1. jennifer alexis frees on November 18, 2020 at 8:44 pm
  2. Alida Mau on November 18, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    I absolutely made the mistake of getting a giant pack for my first solo trek. I used it just the one time and never again.

  3. The Biegel Family channel on November 18, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    Really appreciate the sleeping and clothing tips. Thanks from Northern Alberta.

  4. Philip Buckley on November 18, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    for ten years you were unprepared…..

  5. Daniel White on November 18, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    I have the wrong pack, did exactly what you said. It just doesn’t work like I thought

  6. JAS KRUEGER on November 18, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    I’m learning so much from your videos! Trek on with more subjects such as the use of hiking poles, the truth about cougars and bear safety, how to grow into a more experienced hiker and backpacker. I’ve been hiking for four months now averaging 20-25 miles a week on moderate to difficult trails, female, live in the PNW and am in my upper sixties. I love experiencing what I call, “discovering nature’s treasures!” Thank you for such interesting brilliantly communicated videos!

  7. Merrick Dugger on November 18, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    One of my mistakes was rolling a boulder off a cliff… I created a rock slide.

  8. MyKuL1990 on November 18, 2020 at 8:48 pm

    Hey buddy, on your first tip, I was thinking I’d need bigger than a 65L because I wanna get all my stuff in one bag, including tent, sleeping bag and mat, do you do that or somehow attach them to the outside of your bag? Or should I get a bigger bag to fit it all in?

  9. Mariam Mosashvili on November 18, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    Do you have a video for summer backpacking? I’m planning a backpacking trip through Colombia next summer. Love your vids!

  10. Digital Nomad Journey on November 18, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    Helpful tips! My sense is that backpacking will continue to grow in popularity when people are looking to be active but are less likely to do team sports or attend large gatherings. Backpacking sounds like the perfect solution!

  11. Jon Allen Outside on November 18, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    One awesome tip I picked up on going #2 in the woods is to dig the hole well before you need it. Dig it at night, that way it’s ready for you when you get up in the morning. It’s much easier to dig a hole under "non-stressful conditions" as well.

  12. Mike Hernandez on November 18, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Poo…….let it go.

  13. Manda Hi on November 18, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    I really prefer my bigger pack. I agree with everything else though. 🙂

  14. Michael Harris on November 18, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    Wonderful video Eric. We should all be raised wearing merino wool socks and thermal underwear… 😉
    I learned the hard way as well.

    With the ultralight trend upon us, I have been saving and buying a little bit of gear/ kit at a time… a lighter weight is easier to endure during the hike part of the day, so long as it’s comfortable when you need to rest/ sleep.so I test a little bit of gear at a time

  15. George Bertram on November 18, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    I use a 65 L pack for 30-40 lbs worth of ultralight gear so that I have spare space for lofty light weigh items and to bug out fast and messy especially if in the rain where things are wet and should not be compacted. Also if someone has issues, I can take an extra load both inside and lashed outside. Comfort Sleep system is paramount.
    I agree 65 L is the biggest one I would ever need unless in the army.
    Agree treking poles for uneven terrain can save you a ton of pain.
    MSR Guardian is water purifier of choice, much less water to carry, pump very quickly and no waiting plus self cleaning.
    Cotton long sleeve in hot summer always, soak it wring it out and wear it, it’s like air conditioning with a wet bandana around neck to keep Carotid artery cool and wet hat to help head cool.
    20 L mesh bag for wet items you want to dry out, carabiners can go through the mesh and lash well to outside of pack.
    Quick dry sandals with heel strap for camp or water crossing/bathing shoes

  16. leavesfalldown on November 18, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    love it. if I get a chance to listen to some music when on my hiking trips I always choose music like Delta Parole or Guns N Roses, the rawness is the best with nature.

  17. Starr & Daniel on November 18, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    Great video

  18. John Hawks on November 18, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    It actually was great when I started out because I just trusted in what seasoned backpackers said to do regardless of how I felt.

    Advice I’ve told people before is to understand how backpacking isn’t always pretty. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns out there. Lol Do your research, but prepare for things to turn out differently than you hope for.

  19. Opal Preston Shirley on November 18, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Yeah, a good mindset makes a big difference.

  20. Lori Smith on November 18, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    I would recommend renting gear for beginners to give them a chance to see if it’s really for them….if not then they haven’t paid a lot of money for gear etc
    I was young and foolish once lol; and had an external frame pack, food; roll of toilet paper and jeans and a T-shirt – hit the trail loaded down with way more than anyone should bring….had a great time
    No whoah everything is high tech….pushin’ 60 and have learned to go light weight….bought really great mattress therm max plus a quilt and sleep so well in the back country….
    So important to buy good quality gear that will last a long time….it’s been great getting back out there again!!!

  21. Tom Beckett on November 18, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    Just great information thanks.

  22. Stoney A.K.A. James on November 18, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    Good advice! Lessons are learned from EXPERIENCE!!

  23. A Smith on November 18, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Funny video. You can preemptively cure a lot of this by joining a military branch where you spend time in the dirt. You can sleep on anything, under any conditions, eat anything, poop anywhere, no problems! LOL. Good tip on the pack, a big pack will make you over fill it!

  24. Wendy S. King on November 18, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    For my solo wilderness survival overnight in the Escalante Canyon, I was a terrified college student. Our professor made sure to tell a lot of stories about mountain lions tracking people thru the wilderness to their sad and grisly demise before he sent us off on our Vision Quest, required to finish the course with credit. I set up my tent next to a large bush at my back and thot I was safe, but all night there were rustling, and cracking and creaking, and scurrying sounds and weird chirping! . I was scared to death and thot a mountain lion was right outside my tent. I couldn’t sleep all night. When I came out in the morning, I discovered that the bush was full of hundreds of little lizards about the size of skinks! And it was the lizards chirping, rustling, jumping and creaking the branches that had scared me so badly. They were really cute, and I felt so DUMB!! Two summers ago I made the same mistake at Whatum Lake, Oregon, setting up in front of a big bush to protect me from bears. Bears were not the problem in the morning! My tent was covered in ticks! and so was the bush! Be sure to set up an hour before dark! If you have to move, you have time to do that.

  25. Johnny Apple Seed on November 18, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    #1……Don’t buy a 50 inch wide quilt if you’re a tent camper.
    It’s much more efficient to carry the extra Down that a wider quilt offers, rather than 3 useless pad straps.

  26. Milad Vafakhah on November 18, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    1. Wearing a rugged and heavy bombproof leather boots…that’s a difference between a comfortable and miserable hiking…and also fight with blisters.
    2. Sacrifice comfort and safety for lightweight backpacking . Leave your full med kit and your camping chair or warm tent and extra clothes in home
    3. Forget that quote : you know more you less to carry. It’s not about "backpacking" .hike your own hike and enjoy the nature. For example I’m a medium torso guy but I always have problems with my shoulders so I choose a bigger backpack to send all weights to my hips also a bigger backpack good for hunting and game gatherings…

  27. tarrantcountykid on November 18, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    I’m seeing that bushcrafters and backpackers have similarities but in many ways are quite different!

  28. Christopher Haak on November 18, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    I think even that pack size you recommend is too big unless you’re winter camping. If you just pack what you need, a 45 l pack is good for 4 or 5 days in most places, especially if you are going with others and can share some gear.

  29. Andy G on November 18, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    Great video fella
    Always very informative for all types
    👍👍👍

  30. Rhett Collins on November 18, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    6:40 where is this kind sir?

  31. Andrew Wilkinson on November 18, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    This was helpful! Thanks

  32. Enrique Bendicho on November 18, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    I’ve learnt by a few falls the importance of having trekking poles.

  33. Kerri Thompson on November 18, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    Thanks Eric, I have watched your videos for a couple of years now…always very helpful.. Thank you for great stuff..

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