5 Common Mistakes when Backpacking for the First Time

Backpacking for the first time? Congratulations. You took the first step towards adventure and self-discovery. Besides being one of the best ways to see the world, make new memories and friends, and gain strength and confidence, backpacking can be a little bit tricky for beginners. And that’s because it requires proper preparation, good physical condition, and great adaptability skills. However, things are not as complicated as they might seem. In this guide, we’re going to show you the most common backpacking mistakes so you can avoid them and enjoy your first experience to the fullest.

Not Choosing A Route Appropriate for Your Level

One of the most common beginner mistakes in backpacking is not choosing an adequate route or destination for your level. As a beginner, it’s a good idea to start with a shorter, easier trip before attempting a longer and more challenging one, whether is traveling in a new country or conquering the trails. When backpacking for the first time, you can opt for day hikes close to home, urban backpacking in a nearby city, or a city break in a new country. These are the best trips to test some important travel skills such as navigation, time management, planning, packing and, of course, your physical condition.

Not Choosing the Right Backpack

If you think any backpack works when backpacking, you’re wrong. You need a backpack that’s spacious enough to hold all your essentials, keep them safe, and help you stay comfortable throughout your first trip as a backpacker. 

And if you think a bigger backpack is the best choice, you’re wrong, again. The bigger the backpack, the more you’ll want to pack all the unnecessary stuff. Choose a bag with multiple interior and exterior pockets – they will help you keep your gear organized and easily accessible. Also, make sure the backpack you choose has comfortable shoulder straps and additional sternum straps – you’ll probably wear it all day long, so you want it to feel good on your back and shoulders, just like an extension of your body. 

Not Considering the Weather

Not checking the weather at your destination might ruin your trip or put you through risky situations. Plus, you’ll pack the wrong clothes which leads to another common backpacking mistake people often do and you’ll experience discomfort since you won’t have the proper clothing for that temperature. Make sure you always check the weather before embarking on your trip, pack accordingly, and stay prepared for any situation.

Not Setting A Budget

Not setting a budget when backpacking for the first time can lead to overspending and financial strain. Managing your finances can be a challenge if you’re traveling for the first time, especially if you’re visiting a foreign country. The first step in solving this problem is to determine a budget for the whole trip. Then, set a daily spending limit and stick to it. Yes, sometimes is so easy to overspend, but there are also many easy ways to save money, such as using public transportation or cooking your meals. However, it is always better to be prepared for unexpected expenses.

Not Eating Accordingly

When backpacking you need a lot of energy and not eating the right food will make you feel uncomfortable, tired, sluggish, or even sick. Having a healthy diet when traveling will make you feel physically energized and will improve your mental well-being, helping you to feel more focused and alert. Make sure you pack healthy and nourishing snacks such as fruits, dried fruits, granola, crackers, dried meat, or beef jerky. And don’t forget to stay hydrated!

Are you ready for your first backpacking adventure? With these tips, you’ll surely avoid the most common beginner mistakes in backpacking and enjoy your trip to the fullest.