Even though not all novice hikers make these blunders, however, the most common ones and the most easily fixable ones are:
1. Not eating and drinking enough
Most of the time, the hikers become so tired that they don’t even cook food for eating or retrieve water for drinking. In that time, he or she just pulls on the sleeping bag or bed and go to sleep.
It is very important to eat after a long day of tiresome hiking or should keep snacking the whole day. Always keep a record of the food and water intakes. Don’t make your amazing hiking trip into an exhausting spree due to lack of nutrients.
2. Bringing too much
This is the most infamous blunder of a newcomer hiker. You must learn to evaluate the contents of your bag before you head out, whether it is food, gears or clothes. Don’t over pack. Take one shoe for all terrains. In case that you don't know, please read our guide on how to pack equipment. Pack light by acknowledging the weight and necessity of the items you want to carry.
3. Not considering the weather
Always check the weather forecast before you go on a trip. Many times you may start off with a sunny day while you may have to return soaking wet upon the persistent down pouring of rain. Go on a smaller hike than playing around the weather. By doing a little bit of research in advance, you can avoid rain, lightning and other unexpected weather.
4. Bringing cans of food
As a college student, it may seem okay to bring cans of food on the trip, but as you grow older and become an experienced hiker you will realize how problematic it is. Can foods become boring, tasteless and unappetizing after some time?
You’ll feel homesick to eat steaming hot, freshly cooked food. Also, the cans add extra weight to your bag. Instead, you can try cooking something simple on the trail. If you don’t have any option other than can food, then transfer them into plastic bags to reduce weight.
5. Not using trekking poles properly
Being able to use the trekking poles properly will increase both your efficiency and your speed. The secret is to use the straps. You can hike on a snowy mountain just by grasping the poles below the hand grips. Using straps will give you more stability. Depending on the hike (ascending, descending or flat), you can use poles in various ways.
6. Wearing cotton
Cotton clothes are perfectly fine for day hikes. However, it is not the best option for traveling a long distance or for a multi-day hike. The fabric absorbs odor and retains moisture. Polyester is great during a cold downpour as it dries faster. Choose wool socks over the cotton ones and leave the jeans at home.
7. Forgetting something essential
Don’t forget to bring toilet paper. It is very important for this kind of trips. In emergencies, you may go for leave approach but that will cause discomfort later on. Always check to pack necessities and toiletries.
8. Not knowing your pack
Some packs can hurt you and you may have bruises on your back if they are not your size. Your bag packing and hiking will become more efficient if you know your pack inside and out. You must learn how your pack needs to adjust to your body after adding some weight to it. Pack your bag properly for long or short trips. Your pack will be a part of your body during the trip. So know it well and be happy.
9. Not following leave no trace
Beginners may trash campsites or leave human litter on the trail. The first thing that you must learn as a newbie is ‘leave no trace’. Always throw away your trash or litter in plastic bags or something and bury your waste away from the path and campsites.
10. Not considering time and pace
Beginners’ pace might not be as quick as the experts’. So you must calculate an achievable timetable of when you’ll be reaching your target. Evaluate the day’s hike based on weather and difficulty. It is easy to evaluate by calculating for one mile per hour at first and then increase the numbers. You don’t want to reach the mountaintop lately due to your slower pace because then you’ll be miles away from your tent at night.
11. Not hiking your own hike
Hiking your own hike can be associated with any hike. If you like to go on a hiking trip, don’t let others influence you negatively. Hike the way you like and the time you want. Now this motto can be taken into account for all types of hiking.
You might think that ‘hike your own hike’ does not include group members, but actually, you can. Many beginners try to follow the same route as someone with different body strength or of more experience.
You must always evaluate the type of route according to your body strengths and dimensions. Group members tend to follow their leader blindly, but the leader’s path may not be the best for your body structure. Determine your surroundings and your own route suited to your body type.