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Manwich
04-21-2009, 22:24
I carried 6 "capri suns" on my first 2-night-hike.

I also carried a military-surplus collapsible shovel (which must weigh about 2lbs.)

I insisted on a flint-magnesium lighting mechanism for fire, instead of a bic.

Bootstrap
04-21-2009, 22:49
Mmmmm when I was in high school I used to carry a cast iron dutch oven and an axe, and a huge cotton military surplus tent. I probably carried about 60 pounds.

And that is also about what I carried the first time I backpacked as an adult, about 4 years ago in the Grand Canyon. I remember putting about 10 pounds of tortillas into a pit toilet down near Phantom Ranch when I realized I had packed WAY too much food. On that trip I was also wearing boots that I had bought at REI, but they did not fit that well, and when you add in the extra weight, I had awful blisters. I think I did just about everything wrong on that trip, and had a great time.

Tinker
04-21-2009, 22:53
Cotton sweat shirt and jeans (back in the 70s that wasn't too unusual). Saved by the poncho :D.
Wearing heavy boots that weren't broken in (blisters all over - no problems since I switched to trail runners and sandals).

CrumbSnatcher
04-21-2009, 22:53
wasting money on a dogpack!

Nicksaari
04-21-2009, 23:10
waited almost two years to buy a filter. carried most of my water in.

let some bears scare me out of camp at sky meadows state park. packed all my gear up in about five minutes, which took two loads the first go round, headed straight back to richmond.

these two experiences gave me a herniated disk and horrible back spasms: first, car camping with then girlfriend in GWNF, dry river district- switzer lake. gathered all this firewood, began to chop away with nice axe while wood was on ground. stupid.
second: while camping at matthew's arm in SNP, decided to hike overall run loop- about eight miles, two thousand ft down and back up. did this all in a pair of Vans- the shoes i skateboard in. oh yeah, and i carried eight 16 oz water bottles in a BOOKBAG. W T F was i thinking? this rehatched my spasms from the previous spring, doctor said disk herniated while chopping the wood, closed the deal with that walk back up that ridge.

my back is as strong as ever, pain nonesuch.
and my outdoor skills and common sense have reprised a thousand fold.

Good Thread: look forward to hearing Lone Wolf's newbie hiker faux pas.

Feral Bill
04-21-2009, 23:16
Cotton socks-once:confused:

Heavy stiff boots-for way too long:mad:

Sleeping with my food bag as a pillow, in grizzly country:eek:

Doctari
04-22-2009, 05:13
AT Troll would need to double the bandwidth for me to list them all here, but:

70 PLUS pound pack for a 8 day hike. Full of "What IF?" stuff. AND I was hiking in steel toe work boots, , Yea, that was a joy.

(Some of the stuff I had: steel 2 Ltr pot and lid, Wool long sleeve shirt & matching pants, 2 HEAVY jackets, 1 light weight jacket, 6 days of food to get from Springer to Neels gap, etc.)

Engine
04-22-2009, 05:50
I look back on those days with a certain fondness and complete awe regarding my apparent insecurity. I was prepared for WW III. I started trips with a 70-80 pound pack (carrying food for multiple family members). We carried things like landing zone strobe lights and signal mirrors, emergency blankets and a 3 pound first aid kit. A kite, frisbees, and other games for things to do in camp...I was hiking "to get away from it all" and I was bringing it with me. :)

Mrs Baggins
04-22-2009, 05:59
First long day hike - - in brand new Wolverine boots (1979), huge blisters and infected feet

First overnight hike - - everything too heavy and didn't bring any pain killers. Had to go begging at the shelter to get some Advil. Now I bring enough for everyone!

Egads
04-22-2009, 05:59
My 1st foray into winter hiking included leather slick sole shoes, winter weight carhardts, a wool sweater, and a yellow rubber raincoat. Managed ~6 miles in this set up.

russb
04-22-2009, 06:01
I wasn't hiking, but water-walking... I was 8 years old in the bow of the canoe with my father in the stern. I noticed something floating in the water amongst all the "muck". It was an egg. I was told to leave it alone, instead I wanted to chuck it at a tree. I retrieved it and was winding up and it slipped out of my hand and broke in the canoe (aluminum). The stink was nauseating. Since we were in a place where getting in/out of the canoe would have been difficult at best I had to live with that stink for at least an hour. Gawd I can still smell it 30 years later.

Summit
04-22-2009, 06:48
I took almost all food that had to be cooked and forgot a lighter. I took wooden matches that require a striker but no striker. Luckily, the first night I found a soggy book of matches down in the nearby shelter (Plumorchard - old shelter). The matches were ruined, but not the striker.

CowHead
04-22-2009, 06:49
Mine was a 62 lb pack I think I even took the kitchen sink

steve43
04-22-2009, 07:28
canvass boy scout backpack, k-mart 3 person tent and lots of cotton clothing. it was an overnighter in the linville gorge in nc, and it literally changed my life.

fifo

JAK
04-22-2009, 07:35
Bought a 6 pound $300 backpack, twice. Now finally I have a 20oz 3100ci $100 pack.

First few hikes, summer or winter, I carried spare clothing, basically 2 of everything, and twice as many socks as I really needed. Figured out that it is easier to keep one set of clothing dry than two.

kayak karl
04-22-2009, 07:46
Mine was a 62 lb pack I think I even took the kitchen sink
same here, did u have fold-up steel shovel with the canvass pouch, with matching axe and canteen on other side. i did:confused:

Seeker
04-22-2009, 07:52
was about 9 when i did my first multi-overnight backpacking trip with a friend and his parents... had a cotton batting sleeping bag (didn't get wet, but man was it heavy!), and those plastic-leather work boots from kmart. ouch.

first time i ever set up a tarp, it was in a compacted tentsite depression that filled in when it rained that night. miserable.

gear:
clothespins (***?)
3-man tent. for me. (ok, in fairness, it was all i had)
extra underwear (what was i thinking?)
2lb stove

Cabin Fever
04-22-2009, 07:56
Hickory handle tomahawk. Hey, it's lighter than an axe!

Lyle
04-22-2009, 08:00
I started my first long-distance hike carrying two one-liter Sigg bottles filled with white gas for my SVEA.

bloodmountainman
04-22-2009, 08:49
My first few week long trips I carried way more food than I actully needed. It's a long learning curve to get your food- time/distance ratio "just right".

Gray Blazer
04-22-2009, 08:54
Wore steel toe boots once. After a few miles down hill, my big toes felt broken.

Had to call the toe truck.

jrnj5k
04-22-2009, 09:10
I was wearing sweatpants, used a white gas stove, used an army A.L.I.C.E pack with an old pair of timberland boots.

Chaco Taco
04-22-2009, 09:11
Had a five pound pack, 3 change of clothes, huge sh** kicker boots, 2 person tent, deck of cards, 10 days of food for Smokies!

barefoot
04-22-2009, 09:34
Fish hooks and line in my "survivor" kit. I always thought I needed stuff if I got lost for a week.

Two Speed
04-22-2009, 09:37
Man, this is bringing back some bad memories. I think my classic mistake was wearing Levi's with a spare pair in the pack. Even better I thought things had gone pretty well if I stayed clean enough not to need the second pair.

Sooo, what does a pair of Levi's weigh? :-?

Homer&Marje
04-22-2009, 09:54
Definitely went out with a 50lb plus pack. Didn't weigh it, Mistake one. Cotton Flannel combo pants (really warm though) Mistake two. Hatchet and collapsible bow saw, mistake 3. Food bag was mistake 4....lets just say the 2 lb bag of white rice might have been enough for the week...had it not had many friends.:D

mister krabs
04-22-2009, 10:27
First time I went hiking as an adult I used all my canoe gear.
In a 7000ci duluth pack.

http://duluthpack.com/ecomm/img/lg/1202.jpg

FlyPaper
04-22-2009, 10:41
My first time ever strapping on a fully loaded backpack was at the trail head preparing for a 42 mile hike.

flemdawg1
04-22-2009, 10:54
Single burner propane stove, cans of corned beef hash, poptarts, tuna, bread, 4lb sleeping bags, no pads, all in a large military duffel.

Pootz
04-22-2009, 11:18
I carried 6 "capri suns" on my first 2-night-hike.

I also carried a military-surplus collapsible shovel (which must weigh about 2lbs.)

I insisted on a flint-magnesium lighting mechanism for fire, instead of a bic.


Lets just say I am lucky to be alive after my first winter hike. Closing tent vents to keep in warm air, Lighting Coleman lantern to create warm air. All kinds of heavy gear. We all lived and it is a funny story to look back on.

Reid
04-22-2009, 11:58
It maybe not be a mistake. But I take my PSP in the woods all the time and watch movies after dark.

Worldwide
04-22-2009, 12:20
64lb pack that was enough food to get me from Amicalola to N.O.C what a buffoon

Toot
04-22-2009, 12:25
My first overnight hike was with a few friends, I took 2 cans of soup for dinner to heat up over a sterno stove. I also forgot breakfast for the next morning.
Then I "wised up". I planned a 10 day trip. Took the dog (who gave me a horrible case of poison ivy so I had to go home 5 days early), 2 ponchos, everything I had double bagged in Ziplocks (weighed them when I got home - there were 6 pounds of ziplocks). Made Logan Bread for lunches - 10 lbs worth, 1 lb for each lunch. First day out, the Logan Bread made me gag - I hadn't eaten it at home to try it out. I was still rockin' the Sterno stove from my last trip and took 7 cans of Sterno in the bottom of my pack. Oh, and who could forget my 4 rolls of TP. I don't know what I was planning on catching in the woods, but by Golly, I'd be able to wipe it up! :)

GoldenBear
04-22-2009, 12:41
Where do I start?

I've made more mistakes than Private Snafu. And, after forty years of hiking, I've barely started backpacking!
1) I estimated time for a day hike in Rocky Mountain NP, based on the distance of the hike. Was 2/3 of the way done when I realized that I made my calculation using the ONE-WAY mileage. Got to Bierstadt Lake when it was pitch dark -- without a light, of course -- walking around it by looking where the sky was reflecting off the water. Continued on the trail, and followed the trail down the mountain by noting where the path was lighter than the other ground.
2) Thought I could purify water by boiling it with a kerosene store. Getting a filter became a big priority after that trip.
3) Took my brand-new filter on an over-nighter during a drought. Got to the shelter when I realized I had left the intake hose back home. Fortunately, I had completely filled my canteen.
4) Thought I FINALLY had it all on an over-nighter last year. Thank you again to the person who loaned me his spoon for my meals!

Omarwannahike
04-22-2009, 12:43
Not enough water, once.
No gloves, in winter, twice.

BigCat
04-22-2009, 12:45
I walked from Springer almost to Neels without using my hip belt.

rhjanes
04-22-2009, 12:47
1972 or 3. High School (ex-boy scout), climbed Old Rag Mt in VA, carrying a case of beer (we had a reason for doing this). The descent was much better!

Lilred
04-22-2009, 14:12
My first time ever backpacking I didn't make any mistakes. Learned all I needed to know right here on Whiteblaze.

Gray Blazer
04-22-2009, 14:18
My first time ever backpacking I didn't make any mistakes. Learned all I needed to know right here on Whiteblaze.

Tell us again about the girl who thought the alchohol was water.

Two Speed
04-22-2009, 15:32
Ouch and damn, that had to hurt.

Darwin again
04-22-2009, 15:59
Back in the day, used to carry a two quart Revereware copper-bottomed steel cooking pot and canned food, MSR coleman fueled stove, among other things, in a milsurplus large ALICE pack. urgh. Didn't use hiking poles.

Decades later: First night off Springer, cooked some noodles in my pot using my alcohol stove, they didn't look to be enough noodles, so I added some more, stove went out before the water boiled, had a hot mass of starchy glop, which I could not even eat and later buried in the woods. That night I ate a pouch of cold meat for dinner. :rolleyes:

ChinMusic
04-22-2009, 16:12
Cut a piece of Tyvek 2" LARGER than the footprint of my tent instead of 2" smaller. Rain led to water pooling under my tent and a soggy night.

Homer&Marje
04-22-2009, 16:43
Cut a piece of Tyvek 2" LARGER than the footprint of my tent instead of 2" smaller. Rain led to water pooling under my tent and a soggy night.

Yea the two inch larger footprint goes nicely on the inside of the tent though.:D

SteveJ
04-22-2009, 17:22
Bought a 6 pound $300 backpack, twice. Now finally I have a 20oz 3100ci $100 pack.

First few hikes, summer or winter, I carried spare clothing, basically 2 of everything, and twice as many socks as I really needed. Figured out that it is easier to keep one set of clothing dry than two.

chuckle...I still have that pack, only it was $350 and over 7 lbs!

http://www.rei.com/product/766117

Bearpaw
04-22-2009, 18:51
It was too far back for me to really remember being a newbie (November 1982 Mammoth Cave National Park).

I don't think I had any rain gear, but the coat I used kept off the worst of the rain. I didn't have a pad, but I was able to lay out my spare clothes beneath me to stay fairly warm. I remember thinking sterno was the coolest thing ever, after a dinner of warm canned mac 'n' cheese and beanie weenies.

There were lots of other first-time mistakes. But the scout troop I was out there with took great care of me, and I learned from it.

TrippinBTM
04-22-2009, 21:20
My first backpacking trip, didn't bring enough food. I did my first successful yogi-ing before ever setting foot on the AT. Saved my dad and I a hungry last night. Didn't have any rain-gear either, so I was lucky it didnt rain.

Actually, though, it isn't so much about me being a newbie, usually; more like me being a total moron. Like, on my thru, in PA, I'd been using a tarp since Fontana, but still managed to pitch it in a nice hollow on a night of rain. If doing that with a tent is bad, imagine that, but without a floor. It was on a huge slag heap of some sort, so it didn't drain at all. Misery.

Many times I would forget to get [enough] water, and suffer. Or food, even. Could never figure it right, and would have too little or too much. As far as dumb footwear, I started the AT in some cheap running shoes. I actually had blisters before I even got to Amicalolla Park, from the 50 miles of walking/hitchhiking from Dalton to there. Had no Ibuprophin until after the Smokies. Just dumb stuff.

Old Grouse
04-22-2009, 21:28
I remember, as a young boy scout, bringing a raw rock cornish game hen to cook for dinner. On a campfire. Kept it frozen until I left that March morning so it wouldn't spoil. What on earth was I thinking?

fancyfeet
04-23-2009, 00:35
I thought butter-flavored cooking spray would add some nice flavor to my noodles, so I brought a can. Unfortunately, riding under the Greyhound added pressure, so I ended up with an empty spray can and a greasy pack.

Oh, and it was a 67-lb pack, about half of that was food. I went 23 days without resupply. No kidding.

fehchet
04-23-2009, 05:20
Let's see. In 1970 my new bride and I went base camping. We headed 6 miles straight up to a secret mountain lake. My pack weighed 70 and hers 50. We made a wrong turn and found ourselves 2 miles down in a gorge totally lost. I took her pack and dragged it with one arm as we bushwhacked straight up again. God was with us because the lake appeared. We set up our tent and crashed for 10 hours straight.
The good part is we got organized the next day and then spent 10 glorious days hiking around the surrounding peaks and swimming naked in our almost private lake. (Another couple arrived around day five. We ended up hiking with these folks for a number of years.)

SunnyWalker
04-29-2009, 23:58
I think my blunders were and have always been too much food.

The Mechanical Man
04-30-2009, 00:20
On our first ever hike on the AT, way back in 1984, on an 18 mile, 2 day hike from Delaware Water Gap to Wind Gap PA,........... My wife and I each carried two 1/2 gallon GLASS orange juice bottles full of water.

Did I forget to mention I also carried my shotgun and extra shells, completly across Pa. on the AT?

Gaiter
04-30-2009, 00:35
shoes: went w/ new balances that backpacker gave a great review on and i thought new balances just fit me 'well'.... no i should of spent more time trying on shoes

Mags
04-30-2009, 00:47
My buddy Tim and I have done a lot together, including my first backpacking trip. If we survived Catholic school..we can survive anything. ;)




An account of my first backpacking trip in 1996. I did not know what I was doing to say the least! But, everyone has to start somewhere. With me on that first trip was my buddy Tim. We both went to the same Catholic elementary school, worked in the same hospital, and (along with our other buddy Leo) probably spent enough to money on beers and wings in “Dave’s Bar and Grill” to pay for the addition they put up shortly after I moved to Colorado. I do doubt Tim’s sanity since he left a lovely, intelligent, attractive girlfriend to join me for the last stretch of my Appalachian Trail thru-hike. His sanity was further questioned four years later when he left his a lovely, intelligent, attractive WIFE to join me for the last stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail. This letter was published in the September 2001 issue of Backpacker Magazine.



A Thru-Hiker is Born.

Years ago, my friend Tim and I started our summer with a trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I had done dayhikes and camping while in the Boyscouts, but no backpacking. I was 25 pounds overweight, and my gear included a Rambo-sized knife, a flashlight with a big 6-volt battery, and enough canned goods to stock a 7-Eleven. But we planned to only hike 12 miles, so how difficult could that be?

The first day, I was out of breath as we hiked, but enjoyed the sunshine and the fantastic views-until we realized we'd forgotten the map. Tim said he remembered the way, so not to worry. Around 6 PM, we saw the same campsite we had used the previous night. We'd hiked in a 12-mile circle! We set up the tent, didn't bother to eat dinner, and collapsed in our sleeping bags.

Skip ahead two years to a sunny August day. I'm on the summit of Kathadin, Maine, a big smile on my face because I had just complete a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. On that first, mistake-prone, trip, I got lost, carried too much, and in the end enjoyed myself thoroughly. Out of th adventure came a love for backpacking.

http://www.magnanti.com/miscwritings/aab.jpg

A view of the Carter-Moriahs in New Hampshire on my first backpacking trip. With views like this, how could I not fall in love with backpacking?

Funkmeister
04-30-2009, 01:23
Hey, Mags: I used to work at Dave's Bar and Grill. Until I got tired of Dave.

I have too many embarassing moments long ago to mention. Sterno. Yucca pack in Scouts. Jeans, two pair. A quart of Gas for Peak One stove. The $350, NINE pound, 6900 ci pack. Actually, I used that last time in Baxter Park. It held a lot of alcohol and food.

Does using hiking poles count as foolish? How about tarps?

Press
04-30-2009, 08:59
Way way back when I hiked in the early 1970s we packed a cast-iron frying pan. Maybe that's why I quit hiking for many years.

bonnermc
04-30-2009, 12:00
First overnight, I didn't waterproof my tent. It poured all night long at the Mount Rogers Shelter. 50 mile per hour winds, thunder etc...DRENCHED.

The other big mistake other than wearing Jeans was packing Military MREs and choosing the Mexican one to eat first. It remains the only time I have ever had heartburn. I couldn't eat for 3 days until I got into Damascus and got a Rollaids. Then I had a chili dog. :)

Mags
04-30-2009, 12:03
Hey, Mags: I used to work at Dave's Bar and Grill. Until I got tired of Dave.

From 1994 - mid 1999 or so, I was there at least 2-3 times a month. Sometimes for the whole evening, sometimes before heading out to go to Providence in my (thankfully brief!) somewhat-guido era. Good times. (Well, not the guido era. My first serious girlfriend bought me a gold chain at the time. What a man will do to er..never mind)


I haven't been there in perhaps 4 or 5 yrs. When I went back, I was disappointed. The wings were skimpier, the burgers were less filling, the food was not as good. The vibe was different too. All things change I guess. My new "Daves" is the Southern Sun in Boulder. :) (http://www.mountainsunpub.com/)

I am in Rhody currently for family reasons. My brother, who lives in 'Gansett is all about Mews Tavern. I suspect the Magnanti Bros and friends [1] will have a pint or two down there.


[1] Sounds like some odd goombah variety show! :)








Does using hiking poles count as foolish? How about tarps?

Oddly, many people start with tarps for budget reasons when younger and/or in Scouts. Then they get a "real" tent (i.e. HEAVY) because..hey, that is what you are supposed to get. Then, they switch to tarps again when they go the lightweight route.

As for poles..read HIKE MY HIKE - DAMN IT! :D
(http://www.pmags.com/joomla/index.php/Outdoor-Writings/hike-my-hike-damn-it.html)

Captain
04-30-2009, 13:08
5 full changes of clothes (jeans the works) , camping chair , a full size cd player radio cassete player about 3 pounds of jerky annnnnnd....oh yeah no sleeping bag... cuase it was too much wieght

Desert Reprobate
04-30-2009, 13:14
Jeans do have their uses. I was so excited to get my girlfriend alone in the woods, I forgot to bring a pack. Stuffed everything in a pair of jeans and used the legs for straps. It turned out to be quite a trip. I've learned a lot in the last 40 years.

Captain
04-30-2009, 13:21
Jeans do have their uses. I was so excited to get my girlfriend alone in the woods.


And is this poor girl alive today?

Desert Reprobate
04-30-2009, 13:23
I haven't seen her in 30 years.

Tipi Walter
04-30-2009, 13:23
I think the biggest mistake I ever made was trying to convince a series of girlfriends to live outdoors and live out of a backpack.

Redfish
04-30-2009, 13:34
My 3rd or 4th hike, and first hike more than 3 days long, was on Isle Royale. We all had too much of everything and the route taken had tons of ups and downs. The 5th day of the hike we had planned to walk 12 miles on a ridge, in the heat. So, in my infinite 14 year-old wisdom, I ate all of my snack food, no-cook food, and heavy food the night before. For the next 2 and a half days I ate 3 bags of oatmeal in the morning and cooked stuff for dinner; no lunch, no snacks. 13 years later and I still refuse to eat instant oatmeal.

Redfish
04-30-2009, 13:41
2 days prior to the same trip one of my boots disentegrated so I was forced to decide betwee a) tennis shoes b) leather timberlane boots - you know the pretty kind of boot with no functionability c) duck boots. HUGE mistake to wear duck boots for a week of backpacking - my feet were never dry from leaving camp to setting up camp, and blisters formed instantly on the 1st day....instantly. Glad I had moleskin and duct tape though.

Captain
04-30-2009, 13:43
And is this poor girl alive today?


waka waka waka

Analogman
05-03-2009, 09:17
You know, the kind with a Rambo-sized blade and matches, a compass, and fishing gear in the handle. The thing must have weighed four or five pounds. Utterly useless, but it sure looked impressive...or so I imagined. It made exactly one four-day trip and then never saw the trail again.

Analogman
05-03-2009, 09:22
I look back on those days with a certain fondness and complete awe regarding my apparent insecurity. I was prepared for WW III. I started trips with a 70-80 pound pack (carrying food for multiple family members). We carried things like landing zone strobe lights and signal mirrors, emergency blankets and a 3 pound first aid kit. A kite, frisbees, and other games for things to do in camp...I was hiking "to get away from it all" and I was bringing it with me. :)

I'm guessing you have adjusted your idea of "need" vs. "want".

The Solemates
05-03-2009, 19:11
i wore soccer cleats the first overnight backpacking trip i can remember. dad thought it would 'give me better traction'. musta been 8 or 9.

Trailbender
05-03-2009, 20:49
I carried 6 "capri suns" on my first 2-night-hike.

I also carried a military-surplus collapsible shovel (which must weigh about 2lbs.)

I insisted on a flint-magnesium lighting mechanism for fire, instead of a bic.

I carry the flint mag as my backup, but I have practiced extensively with it. It is just as easy to me as using a bic.

Pirate
05-04-2009, 07:27
Carrying Wingfoots book.

warraghiyagey
05-04-2009, 07:29
wasting money on a dogpack!
I could never get those things to fit me either. . . .

warraghiyagey
05-04-2009, 07:30
Carrying Wingfoots book.
Nice. . . :)

zoidfu
05-04-2009, 07:35
i wore soccer cleats the first overnight backpacking trip i can remember. dad thought it would 'give me better traction'. musta been 8 or 9.

I ell oh elled

LaurieAnn
05-05-2009, 09:27
lol - I am laughing even before I can get the words out. Let me set the scene. It was my first backpacking trip and I had chosen a 3 day hike on Ontario's Bruce Peninsula. I was extremely overweight both bodily and with my pack. I had purchased an Arc'teryx Bora 90 and loaded it with about 75 pounds of gear including a mini espresso maker. To top it off I had picked the wrong torso length for my pack and the hip belt hung below my bottom.

It gets better. I bought some packaged cheese pasta from a line of backpacker meals for my dinner and that didn't sit well at all. You get the picture.

Then... at some point I must have sat my pants in dormant poison ivy while I was washing in the woods. I ended up with a rash from my bottom to the back of my knees.

My friends and husband were surprised I ever wanted to go backpacking again. I figured that it couldn't get any worse that that trip was.

The morals of the story... well, you can figure those out.

YoungMoose
06-13-2009, 13:46
The first time i ever did a overnighter. I carried 25 poland spring water bottles. it was horrible

Ranc0r
06-13-2009, 14:26
Jeans. Sterno stove with 2 spare cans for a weekend trip. 2Qt steel BSA canteen (the one with the steel chain attached to the screw top and steel belt clip welded on the side). Double wall two man tent and no partner. Canvas Coleman sleeping bag that I couldn't figure out how to attach to my welded frame pack, so I carried it in one hand, the cooler full of bacon and eggs and a frozen foil dinner in the other hand. Someone said it was only half a mile to the campsite - I swear it's at least 2 miles - in boots I only wore at school for a break-in period. :mad:

Nowadays, mistakes come in the form of impulse purchases for which I can find no practical purpose that never leave the gear closet. No, I'm not selling, I might figure out a use someday. Meanwhile, buy more gear! :banana

Ranc0r
.

ShelterLeopard
06-13-2009, 16:46
Wow- great post. Can't even name everything.
My first solo two week hike I carried two large canisters of unleaded gas for my whisperlite stove (which stopped working), a heavy solo tent and hammock, I realized that I HATE granola, which is pretty much all I packed for breakfast. So I sent home the tent, made a tarp out of duct tape and my emergency blanket, and picked up about 20 snickers bars. Now I have a pretty good grasp of it all!

Nean
06-13-2009, 17:13
I carried 8 rolls of TP, a 15lb. walking staff, and was never w/o at least 2 gallons of triple filtered, boiled and treated water.;)



I really don't consider it a mistake!:eek:


Plus :p , I fell in love w/ all the attention it caused!:banana



Wont someone please remove this transparent post?:D
I sorry....:o

saimyoji
06-13-2009, 17:22
I carried 8 rolls of TP, a 15lb. walking staff, and was never w/o at least 2 gallons of triple filtered, boiled and treated water.;)



I really don't consider it a mistake!:eek:


Plus :p , I fell in love w/ all the attention it caused!:banana



Wont someone please remove this transparent post?:D
I sorry....:o


Are you related to MinnieSmith?

saimyoji
06-13-2009, 17:27
ok...not a newbie mistake, but i often forget my spoon. it doesn't always matter but on one rainy overnight i had planned lentil curry for dinner. it had rained for hours before i set up camp so i just cooked in my vestibule and ate in the tent but...... no spoon. i did have pretzel sticks, so i used those as chopsticks to eat the curry. problem was the pretzels kept melting into the curry (which was nasty to begin with). i got tired of it and was pissed so i just put it outside my tent, and drank and ate pretzels. luckily no night visitors. or maybe there were but they couldn't stand the smell of the lentil curry. i think it was BP. never again.

Erin
06-13-2009, 22:09
Way too much food including gorp which I hate and a can of baked beans. Between three of us in four days in Colorado we must have had a pound of peanut butter. The best was the real noodle dinner. Cooking noodles at 11,000 feet...takes forever.
But it was a wonderful trip and got me hooked.

quietly
06-14-2009, 01:29
ok...not a newbie mistake, but i often forget my spoon.

Oh good grief, I have done that! Lol you find out who your friends are when you ask to borrow their spoon when they are done with it...

stranger
06-14-2009, 02:08
OK, my first overnight hike by myself (without my father) consisted of:

- Hatchet
- Collapsable Saw
- The LARGE Duraflame log, the one about a foot long
- 12 pack of Budweiser
- Stainless Steel Grill
- Canned food and Frozen Meat

That's all I can remember, Oh my, the memories!

modiyooch
06-14-2009, 07:36
Among many blunders, I started SOBO Oct 20, 1980 in SNP. I only lasted 3 weeks.

modiyooch
06-14-2009, 07:59
I have a neat picture of that first debut hiking day with visible blunders, but I don't know how to upload to the message. My pack is huge and so full that I have things hanging aroung my neck, off my pack, and in my hand. I am in jeans and a flannel. You can't see the italian hiking boots. I had food that lasted the entire 3 weeks and I was feeding three the last half of the hike. Fortunetly, I had two sobos stop and take pity on me. They were entertained as they went through my pack. They made me send a large pack home at Waynesboro which included my hiking boots. I subsequently bought sneakers. I had been hiking 6-8 miles a day, and they taught me the ropes and got me up to 17 miles a day.

vonfrick
06-14-2009, 08:11
wacking myself in the head wwith a rock trying to hang my food :o

Grinder
06-14-2009, 08:45
sneering at the "great cotton conspiracy" as a marketing ploy, I wore jeans and cotton flannel shirt my first time out.

New Years weekend on Springer mountain. It rained most of the weekend, including all night (my first in a hammock)/ I bailed after the first night.


got damp and stayed damp all the way back to Florida, including a night in a Motel.

TIDE-HSV
06-14-2009, 08:48
Mine goes all the way back to the early '50s, as a Boy Scout - hiking into the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge, carrying wooden frame cots and heavy sleeping bags (it was summer), and finding out the swarms of mosquitoes were dense enough to carry us off. We had to spend the night buried down in our bags, in a puddle of sweat. Even the the little brochures in the HQ building had warnings about the mosquitoes (think of hundreds of flooded acres)...

Doctari
06-14-2009, 10:55
wacking myself in the head wwith a rock trying to hang my food :o

Ouch. Yep, thought I was going to get a scar from doing that, but I wasn't bleeding so no scar.

Same trip with the super heavy pack: I was going up the hill from Woody Gap, had 2 ltrs of water in a water bag (filled up at Woody gap), plus 1 in a old style Nalgene. I was having a tough time so got the brain storm: "water is heavy at 3.75 Lbs / gallon, I'll dump out the excess water & have it easier." Yea right, "Excess water" LOL. I was sooooo thirsty by the time I got the chance to refill the next day. I did a dry camp half way tween Woody & Dan gaps, used ALL my water for dinner.

My one walking stick weighed 4.25 Lbs!

I mostly don't get cold, tee & shorts down to 35F regularly. Yet I had on that trip: 2 medium weight jackets, a full set of cotton long johns, a heavy jacket, etc. Nope, never wore any of it.

Some not so new hiker blunders & stuff I learned to not do but still do anyway:

Left my only hat in the shuttle car, remembered it 0.002 seconds before the car was out of sight.

I have gotten: over tired, under fed wich usually results in getting homesick. Not a problem if I fix it soon enough, if not: I end up going home early. I KNOW THIS, I KNOW THIS VERY WELL But I still from time to time do it.

Last trip (OK, pre-hike I had over 400 miles on the AT, plus over 800 on other trails, so I know better) I started a 20 day hike with shoes that I had "broke in" for one, one day hike plus a few days pack free at home & stuff. You guessed it, I got blisters.

I am never staying at the Cosby knob shelter (GSMNP) again! I have stayed there 3 times, left something there every time, not something i could do without, like my spare lighter, but something important: #1 my only hat, #2 & #3 my sleep/town tee. So, I had to go back & get them. Thankfully I always rememberd them by the gap so a short trek back.

TIDE-HSV
06-14-2009, 12:09
I guess this is not really "newbie," since I should have known better. My wife and I spent our honeymoon in the Wind River Range, in the South Lakes area. 17.5 miles from Dickinson Park, where our car was parked. We hired an outfitter to "spot pack" us in on horses and we were to backpack out. Well, it's easy to over-pack when horse is carrying the weight one way (I've made the same error bike camping - the bike would carry more). Anyway, the weather started to deteriorate, and it became obvious that we were going to have to hike out in one leg over an almost 12'K pass or get stranded. I'm not sure how we did it, and my wife wanted to stop and make camp literally in sight of the car. When we got to the car, the first thing I did was take our packs over and weigh them on the outfitter's scales. Mine was 65 and hers was 45. The next day there was 6" of snow in Dubois. It would have been crotch-deep up at the pass...

superman
06-14-2009, 12:15
One day I thought I was wrong about something...but I was wrong about that.:)

Stud The Dud
06-14-2009, 12:35
i packed 7 cans of sprite out of buchanon...but that was over 2 months into my hike.

Phreak
06-14-2009, 13:29
wasting money on a dogpack!
I agree - tho I wasted money on 6 dog packs... now collecting dust in my basement.

Pennsylvania Rose
06-14-2009, 18:20
My first trip included: jeans and cotton shirts; plastic poncho so thin you could almost see through it; no shelter except the poncho I expected to be able to use as a tarp; a rectangular bag that got nicknamed "the fifty gallon drum"; a pot big enough to cook for the family of seven I now have; enough quick rice and oatmeal to feed the family for a week; a stove that takes those big green canisters of propane.

Other mistakes: I thought YOU brought the matches; setting up the tent in a ditch that turned into a puddle during a storm; hiking over the top of a mountain during a lightening storm...I could go on and on and on

Wise Old Owl
06-14-2009, 18:52
One day I thought I was wrong about something...but I was wrong about that.:)

"Thats not a confession my son, that will be 7 hail mary's 3 are fathers and 1 novena in the newspaper!"

fredmugs
06-15-2009, 10:21
For my first hike I bought hiking boots from Target and brought no other footwear. Lots of blisters and had to pretty wear the boots all the time.

I didn't read all of these posts but I will mention that I no longer wear any type of hiking sock or liner. I only wear the gray socks that come in a 6 pack from Wal Mart and regular tennis shoes. No more blisters and I can do 25 mile days in them.

Cookerhiker
06-15-2009, 10:36
Not just on my first backpack but for quite a few years afterwards, I wore cotton socks (under my wools) and wondered why I always had blisters.

Also on my first backpack (late May '77) I made the mistake of following Ed Garvey's advice and wearing long pants in spring/early summer conditions. I never made that mistake again.

middle to middle
06-15-2009, 12:02
In grammer school I went for a three day hike and carried canned food. That was worst.

Plodderman
06-15-2009, 16:12
Taking way to much food but I got away with it as I hiked by myself and no one new but me. I went for four days and had enough food for a month, probably.

CowHead
06-16-2009, 11:10
same here, did u have fold-up steel shovel with the canvass pouch, with matching axe and canteen on other side. i did:confused:

yes i did and now i carry a plastic one

superman
06-16-2009, 11:43
"Thats not a confession my son, that will be 7 hail mary's 3 are fathers and 1 novena in the newspaper!"

I never thought anyone would say that to me...again.:D

Monkeyboy
06-16-2009, 14:18
Hiking gods don't make blunders..........

ShoelessWanderer
06-16-2009, 14:34
I carried 6 "capri suns" on my first 2-night-hike.

I also carried a military-surplus collapsible shovel (which must weigh about 2lbs.)

I insisted on a flint-magnesium lighting mechanism for fire, instead of a bic.

Ahh, what a great thread! I lead a hiking group and it's always entertaining to see what "necessities" newbies bring. I had one person bring 6 bottles of power aide (and you though capri suns were bad), I had another person bring 8 cans of chef boyardee (and tried to tell me he'd been backpacking before :rolleyes:). Then we had someone bring 2 HUGE cans of lighter fluid and proceed to almost catch himself on fire.

ShoelessWanderer
06-16-2009, 14:36
I guess this is not really "newbie," since I should have known better. My wife and I spent our honeymoon in the Wind River Range, in the South Lakes area. 17.5 miles from Dickinson Park, where our car was parked. We hired an outfitter to "spot pack" us in on horses and we were to backpack out. Well, it's easy to over-pack when horse is carrying the weight one way (I've made the same error bike camping - the bike would carry more). Anyway, the weather started to deteriorate, and it became obvious that we were going to have to hike out in one leg over an almost 12'K pass or get stranded. I'm not sure how we did it, and my wife wanted to stop and make camp literally in sight of the car. When we got to the car, the first thing I did was take our packs over and weigh them on the outfitter's scales. Mine was 65 and hers was 45. The next day there was 6" of snow in Dubois. It would have been crotch-deep up at the pass...

So I have to ask, are you still married? :p

Old Hillwalker
06-16-2009, 15:23
Last month's 300 miler in Scotland started out with a missing spork. As I had purchased a nice new orange plastic trowel for the trip it occurred to me that I could use it to eat with. As it turned out I found an old tea spoon in a Bothy so was all set. But I still smile to think about the expressions on other hiker's faces when they saw me eating with that utensil had it become necessary:eek:

Kind of like dragging a water bottle containing yellow Gator aid out of your tent in the morning and then making sure someone sees you take a swig and then spit it out. Just for giggles and grins:D

10-K
06-17-2009, 14:12
Major blunder on my first AT hike. Blue jeans, cotton toboggan and cotton Dickie's brand jacket through the snow over Big Bald south of Erwin.

I also had cotton gloves but burnt one up trying to dry it over my stove - no joke.... My hands were *very* cold in this picture.

mudhead
06-17-2009, 14:16
I really think that anyone that has never hiked in jeans is fibbing.

Might be an age bracket thing.:eek:

Bearpaw
06-17-2009, 14:51
I really think that anyone that has never hiked in jeans is fibbing.

Might be an age bracket thing.:eek:

Unless you were an arctic explorer or Everest mountaineer, I don't think you were allowed to hike in anything except jeans before 1990 or so. Just saying.

Red Beard
06-17-2009, 15:22
I never hiked in blue jeans (didn't start hiking till 2001), but I have made some pretty big blunders.

- Carried 22 oz of white gas on a 3 day trip
- Almost 15 pounds of food for a week long trip (didn't use half of it)
- Kept hiking on a "hot spot" without putting moleskin on it.
(had to limp off the trail, next day)

I'm sure there are many more.

ShoelessWanderer
06-17-2009, 16:40
Unless you were an arctic explorer or Everest mountaineer, I don't think you were allowed to hike in anything except jeans before 1990 or so. Just saying.

I agree, 100% with both of you guys. I learned to hike in the early 90s, and we all wore jeans! They didn't have the cool lightweight pants until those "classy" wind-breaker outfits came out.

Doctari
06-17-2009, 20:19
As a kid (50 years ago) I remember going for day hikes with my family, I would be playing in shorts, Dad would say "want to go for a hike?" & I would go put my hiking jeans on. It never occured to any of us to wear shorts to hike in.

Wise Old Owl
06-17-2009, 21:03
Hickory handle tomahawk. Hey, it's lighter than an axe!


What the hell were you doing with that?

superman
06-17-2009, 21:03
As a kid (50 years ago) I remember going for day hikes with my family, I would be playing in shorts, Dad would say "want to go for a hike?" & I would go put my hiking jeans on. It never occured to any of us to wear shorts to hike in.

I have similar memories but I recall the trails weren't so open as they are now. The jeans protected our legs from the brush.:-?

Wise Old Owl
06-17-2009, 21:21
Hiking gods don't make blunders..........

Yea you are right - they do eat eggs....:rolleyes:

J5man
06-17-2009, 21:31
Carried two cans of fuel..........for one night!

srestrepo
06-17-2009, 21:50
i carried a spare coleman sleeping bag. so not only did i carry the first huge bag, i also carried another, huge flannel bag covered in a black plastic contractors trash bag that had a 10-15 liter pot on one end of the sleeping bag that was lashed to the outside of my new REI Trekker wonderland pack that i had stashed two gallons of water in because it was hot and i was (still am) a little fat kid and didn't want to be thirsty. i was 13... not mention spare socks, spare jeans AND jean shorts, 4 t-shirts (all cotton) a huge can of aerosol bug spray - family size. i'm not going to say how much food i brought but me and two tent mates stuffed our faces at night and i was the only one of the three that had food and conversely the only one who brought food home...

TD55
06-17-2009, 22:07
Carried whisky (JD) in a bottle. Took a long time for my pack and gear amd me to stop smelling like whiskey.

Wise Old Owl
06-17-2009, 22:49
Carried whisky (JD) in a bottle. Took a long time for my pack and gear amd me to stop smelling like whiskey.

It's only funny when you get pulled over on the trail!

I bet you were really popular with folks behind you,,,

Please, I am just joking with you...

Doctari
06-17-2009, 23:05
I have similar memories but I recall the trails weren't so open as they are now. The jeans protected our legs from the brush.:-?

Yea, I seem to remember mom going on about ticks & stuff. And the fear of getting scratched or whatever. You should have seen her face when I mentioned that I now hike in a kilt, I'm sure she thought I would die 4' from the trailhead of some horrible something since I wasn't wearing long pants.
I also wore kids version of those light brown work boots.

superman
06-17-2009, 23:33
Yea, I seem to remember mom going on about ticks & stuff. And the fear of getting scratched or whatever. You should have seen her face when I mentioned that I now hike in a kilt, I'm sure she thought I would die 4' from the trailhead of some horrible something since I wasn't wearing long pants.
I also wore kids version of those light brown work boots.

I only had work boots or shoes. They were made to last and be repaired as needed. I think I was a young teenager when I got my first pair of sneakers. We thought nothing of bush whacking to get places...now it's a big deal. Mom could walk through the woods and point out and name all the trees and flowers. Unfortunately all that information that she tried to give me didn't stick.

Wolf - 23000
06-18-2009, 01:55
My first hike, I did everything wrong - carried glass jars of honey, jelly, 5 sets of jeans, cotton sweaters. I had a ton of food that lasted me a month. It took me a while, but I learn that I didn't need all that heavy stuff.

Now I wish the Army would learn the same thing.

Wolf

fredmugs
06-22-2009, 12:30
I really think that anyone that has never hiked in jeans is fibbing.

Might be an age bracket thing.:eek:

I have never hiked in jeans. I don't particularly like wearing them to begin with and would never consider doing anything athletic (even going for a neighborhood walk) wearing them. I'm wearing shorts until it gets below maybe 40 degrees and then it's rain pants and if I need to go warmer I'll bring sweat pants.

I don't think it's an age bracket thing. It might be a can't think outside the box thing though. Like when I thought I had to wear hiking boots because I was hiking.

coss
06-22-2009, 21:52
Good thread.

When my childhood friend and I were 13, our parents let us go on a backpacking trip in the White Mountains without adult supervision. Today, the parents would get reported for child neglect.

We ran out of water because we didn't bother to read the map, which showed no water sources. We drank from a mud puddle with crud floating in it, and we were so thirsty it tasted pretty good. We set up a tent in a low spot and got wet when it rained. We didn't bring enough food, and were too young to know anything about cooking. We smelled like road kill.

It was great.

RockDoc
06-25-2009, 21:51
All those blunders sound familiar....

One that I'm proud to have mostly cured is the idea of carrying liters of water up (usually steeply) to where there's tons of water. This is where some forethought and map reading skills come in handy. If there's good water ahead, I carry only enough to get me there. I only worry about filling up at camp, to get through the night/morning.

This is a significant weight savings, since water is probably the single heaviest item we carry. Yet I see many hikers who fill up all their bottles all the time.

mere533
06-26-2009, 14:46
i forgot tp. lets just say it took me a long time to exit the privy :(

mudhead
06-26-2009, 16:51
I have never hiked in jeans. I don't particularly like wearing them to begin with and would never consider doing anything athletic (even going for a neighborhood walk) wearing them. I'm wearing shorts until it gets below maybe 40 degrees and then it's rain pants and if I need to go warmer I'll bring sweat pants.

I don't think it's an age bracket thing. It might be a can't think outside the box thing though. Like when I thought I had to wear hiking boots because I was hiking.

Ah well. I've done Dickies, too.

johnnybgood
06-26-2009, 17:56
Carrying a 6 lb. tent plus 3lb. hatchet . 'nuff said .

Desert Reprobate
06-26-2009, 19:16
The SC Gov started out for the Appalachian Trail and ended up in Argentina. He needs a refresher course in orienteering.

STICK
06-27-2009, 15:05
My first overnighter with my son, I set up our tent and got our pads and bags set up inside. It was raining a little outside, so I put our bags inside the tent at the foot of my sons sleeping bag, since he was shorter. My pack out pressure on my bite valve for my Camelbak and about 1.5 liters emptied out and soaked his bag and pad. Learning expierence!!

Sleepy the Arab
06-27-2009, 16:01
I've never made a newbie blunder....but I've had plenty of "learning experiences."

In truth, when I was considered a "newbie hiker" I was a little too young to form lasting memories.

Rockhound
06-27-2009, 18:41
All those blunders sound familiar....

One that I'm proud to have mostly cured is the idea of carrying liters of water up (usually steeply) to where there's tons of water. This is where some forethought and map reading skills come in handy. If there's good water ahead, I carry only enough to get me there. I only worry about filling up at camp, to get through the night/morning.

This is a significant weight savings, since water is probably the single heaviest item we carry. Yet I see many hikers who fill up all their bottles all the time.
there are two schools of thought on this. They are both wrong.

DocHolliday
03-06-2010, 06:06
Did a 45 mile over-nighter in Ireland. All I brought was a sleeping bag, a hat, 2 apples, a loaf of bread, 1.5L of water, a flashlight (that could probably kill a rhinoceros if applied properly) and some old beat up casual Nike's.

Good thing it happened to be during the only 4 days of rain free weather Ireland had seen all summer! Lucky me.

Needless to say both of my feet were extensively bruised, but I was happy!

:p

amac
03-06-2010, 07:10
Army ALICE pack, complete change of clothes to include extra boots, MRE's (those things are wicked heavy!!), and a two-man tent. At least I had an alcohol stove and no cotton clothing. Like others have already said, even though some of the mistakes have caused some pain and soreness along the way, I've enjoyed every minute of it.

Roche
03-06-2010, 11:15
Pic Rocks Nat Lakeshore - from the brochure I picked campsites that were NOT marked with "no water available". Great - save money on a filter. Set up camp with the Mrs, but I could not find a pump/faucet. So I asked another camper were to get water: "see that lake (Superior) behind you"? Used a new bandana to filter, then boiled the water. A bit yucking in August. Learned "no water available" means "no access to water". Some campsites did have a pump, just not the ones I chose.

The first time out makes the biggest impact on the learning curve. Anyone want to buy a 1992 MSR Waterworks? :D

thelowend
03-06-2010, 12:46
wasting money on a dogpack!

why do you say its a waste? i think it would be helpful on a long hike to have the pup help out.. im looking into one and think i am still going to buy it but id love to hear your reasoning.

Hawkwind61
03-08-2010, 11:22
I really think that anyone that has never hiked in jeans is fibbing.

Might be an age bracket thing.:eek:
It was! I started hiking in the 70's. All I wore was jeans or cut-off jeans with my T-shirts or loose flannels with the sleeves torn off!

My biggest mistakes:
Letting my YMCA leaders 're-pack' my pack...
We had a bunch of 13-14 year olds coming up Mt Madison with us on their first trip. The leaders in all their wisdom decided the 15-16 year olds could/should carry the heavier food and supplies the younger kids obviously could not handle...(I still cannot believe some of the stuff those kids mother's insisted they bring with them!)

It became quite amusing to see Mac, Tweety, Bru, Kath and I literally flipping over each time we leaned forward...:eek: Flump! Flump! Flump! Right down the line. The leaders re-packed us three times...after the third flip-over we re-packed our packs!

Next biggest mistake on that hike:
Letting everyone insist that I get 'new hiking' boots as my old, worn and trusty beaters weren't deemed 'heavy' enough for the hike...

So the day before the hike I ended up with a brand spanking new heavy-as-all-hellz parent and leader approved pair of waffle-stompers...
That promptly killed my feet on the way up to our base camp. They gave me foot cramps so bad I could barely stand it. After taking them off for the umpteenth time I finally tied the laces together and tossed 'em over my shoulders.

I continued up, over, and back to camp barefoot and was happy as could be despite the cooler temps at the top of Mt Madison. Everytime a leader tried to convince me to put my boots back on I literally growled at them and threatened them with bodily harm when they went to sleep later that night. They all decided to leave the crazy growling 15 year old alone. :D

tuswm
03-08-2010, 12:00
4. carried too much

3. did not carry enough

2. left zipper slighly open in tent. Skunks are good at getting in but bad at getting out of tents when head lamps are in there faces.

1. 2 time ever backpacking, solo, in yosemite, left bear canister in tent vestibule.

JJJ
03-08-2010, 12:44
....

2. left zipper slighly open in tent. Skunks are good at getting in but bad at getting out of tents when head lamps are in there faces.
......

:D:D:D
That's Classic!

prain4u
03-08-2010, 15:14
I don't know if I made many actual "blunders"--because I had good mentors during my first decade of camping and hiking. They saved me from making many mistakes. I just did what was considered "normal" 25-40 years ago. (My first dayhike was 39 years ago). However, many of those "norms" from 25-40 years ago would be considered major "blunders" today.

1. Almost everything that I carried was WAY too heavy (but most people were carrying stuff that was way too heavy). At first, I used canvas tents that were made of a lighter canvas. Then, later, nylon tents--still heavy by today's standards--but light for us. I remember half-inch to inch diameter aluminum tent poles being considered "light". I occasionally carried a cast iron Dutch oven. Sometimes I had a cast iron frying pan to fry fish in (because people in my area believed using cast iron fry pans caused things to "taste better"--especially fish and pancakes). I remember people (competitively) bragging about how HEAVY their pack was--in the same way that we now (competitively) brag about how LIGHT our pack is.

2. I wore heavy leather hiking boots. The heavier and sturdier the better. Again, that was somewhat of a "norm".

3. Cotton denim and similar heavy clothing. Blue jeans, sweatshirts, hooded sweatshirts, thick sweaters, cotton T-shirts.

4. I wore heavy socks (always wearing at least a cotton pair next to the skin and a thick wool pair over the top of the cotton ones)--even in summer. That was the norm mentioned in hiking books and outdoor magazines.

5. Lack of sun screen. (You need it as much--or more--on overcast days and winter days). A tan was considered healthy--and a slight burn was not considered a bad thing.

6. Digging a trench around our tents to have rainwater runoff. This was a "normal" practice 25-40 years ago in some camping circles. It was taught in the military and in Scouting for many decades. Thus, millions of younger people were taught that same method by people who had learned it themselves in Scouts or in the Army. Many of my earliest camping and hiking books taught trenching your tent, digging big holes for latrines and burying your trash. The Leave No Trace people would have a heart attack over what we did back then! We also carried a folding Army-surplus shovel for all of this digging.

7. I carried WAY to much "stuff". It was pretty normal to carry enough "stuff' to be prepared for any possible eventuality. I carried a heavier than needed rope--especially for my bear bag. Emergency whistles and emergency signal mirrors. Shaving mirrors. Big cook kits--at least 2 pots, cooking spoon, plate, bowl, cup, fork, knife, spoon. An actual hand operated can opener--because we sometimes carried stuff in cans. I once carried (and cooked) a big canned ham 20-30 miles away from the nearest road. I carried more changes of clothing than is the norm today. I carried a saw and a hatchet (sometimes an actual 3/4 ax). We built big fires--year round. Cooked 2-3 meals per day over a big fire (or coals). I thought it was weird to switch to these "small" (at the time) hiking stoves and having no campfire.


Were there people who were doing lighter weight hiking 25-40 years ago? Sure. However, they were not considered the norm among the people that I was hanging out with--nor were they the norm in the books and magazines that I was reading.

I remember, in 1978, reducing my cooking and eating stuff to just one "small" aluminum pot, an aluminum cup and a spoon. That was considered minimalist and "odd" in the circles in which I traveled. (I sometimes carried a luxury item of a Frisbee to throw around with friends in open areas--it sometimes doubled as an eating plate). Now, I usually carry just a pot half the size of that 1978 one--and much lighter. I also have a lightweight spork. No cup and no Frisbee either! Sometimes, I will go "no cooking" on a hiking trip and eliminate all of that minimal cooking stuff too.

Early blunders? Not many. However, the hiking world and the hiking culture sure have changed since my first hike in Spring 1971! Most of the stuff that was considered normal back then would be viewed as a big blunder today.

beakerman
03-08-2010, 15:32
i love how everyone says jeans is a newbie blinder...there is nothing wrong with hiking in jeans. If you know how to stay dry.

When i was growning up jeans or shorts depending on the weather and if it was real cold then you broke out the ski pants or snowmobile suit.

That's not newbie blunder that's making due with what you have in your closet at the time.

Newbie blunder is packing cast iron, a full sized family/car camping tent or a lounge chair.

fredmugs
03-08-2010, 18:01
Cotton socks-once:confused:



That's funny because my biggest blunder was having only hiking boots with no alternative footwear for camp and hiking with liners and wool hiking socks. That's what you're supposed to wear right???

Now I only wear the cheap grey socks you buy in a 6 pack. That and cross trainers. No more sore feet and rarely a blister.

Sarcasm the elf
03-10-2010, 00:35
Not too many gear mistakes at first, however planning for 15-20 miles per day on weekend/multiday hikes was my big mistake my first year...So glad I had friends who were willing to drive two and a half hours to pick me up in a pinch.

Sarcasm the elf
05-15-2010, 01:18
Alright, as a semi-newbie I was really looking forward to this thread. So please come back and post away, or else I'll be forced to add additional useless comments in hopes of getting additional responses.

amac
05-15-2010, 05:03
MRE's. WAY TOO HEAVY for food.
Completely underestimated the difficulty of terrain. Planned 8 miles on day 1 of my first true backpacking trip. Only made it 5.

Egads
05-15-2010, 06:35
took a 50* bag & a hammock on a 35* weekend

safn1949
05-15-2010, 08:18
Forgot I wasn't a young man anymore and that 40 lbs was heavy as hell when older. I think there is a gremlin that increases it with every year you add,at least it seemed that way.

10 miles a day? Sure,I can do that easy at 54,not having hiked in 15 years and carrying too much weight.I'll just start on the C&O canal Trail section and walk myself into shape.

Except somebody only made that section 2.8 miles long and then put an 800+ ft climb at the end.Then up and down.....boy was my rear draggin'.

Pretty funny in retrospect. :D

TIDE-HSV
05-15-2010, 08:53
My first blunder was on the first backpack I took with my daughter, back in 1972. We started at Clingman's Dome and hiked out to the Deep Creek campground. My pack weighed 58 lb, and I'm not very big.

As far as observing newbie blunders, I led hikes for the Sierra Club for a good many years, and it was a constant struggle to keep the noobies (lots of them start with the SC) educated enough to not injure themselves. Once two older guys (I was younger then) joined together and wanted to go on a hike I led. When we got to the first campsite, they started dragging out their gear. Everything that came in a box was still in the box. At least we had fire-starting material.

Same hike, last day, I was hiking along beside one of the guys and it started to sprinkle. He started crying. I asked him why and he explained that it was raining. I asked him what the problem was about that and he blubbered that he had no rain gear. (The importance of rain gear and the status of the Smokies as a temperate rain forest had been emphasized over and over.) I asked him why and he replied "I didn't think it would rain."

SIAP - I can't be expected to remember back to March... :)

medicjimr
05-15-2010, 09:13
75 lb pack for 5 day trip made it 5 miles pack had

1. 4 man Coleman tent with poles
2. 6 lb kelty 5000 ci pack
3. 3 pots and pans
4. 5 lb self inflating pad

Just over kill now down to 30-35 lbs and loving every mile

Slayer
05-15-2010, 12:28
Done it all... 6lb pack, canned food, warm weather sleeping bag in winter, too much clothing, too much food, Rambo knife.... Still going though, i just try to treat each trip like a learning experience and let my past guide me into the future.

wcgornto
05-15-2010, 12:49
I put a Camelbak upside down in my pack. It was hard to draw water and it ran out surprisingly fast.

Gunner81
05-15-2010, 20:39
1. Taking a 25 degree synthetic sleeping bag out on a 10 degree week. Froze my butt off.

2. bamboo socks - tore the bottoms of my feet up.

3. a 700 page book.

Atreus
05-15-2010, 20:56
65+ Kelty 5600ci pack which held..... large electric lantern using 6 D batteries, Rambo knife, Folding camp chair with attached foot rest, not enough food, a bunch of other necessities, too much clothing, backpack strapped to my chest with a case of beer inside; just way too much crap. Cut it down to 31 lbs now. whew!

maicheneb
05-15-2010, 21:52
I once wore thick, cotton socks and a pair of Nikes on a day hike on the Florida Trail during a particularly cool winter day -- the trail was submerged under 1-2 feet of water the whole 5 miles I managed. On the way back, I just wanted to get back to my car so I 'bushwhacked' through a 1/4 mile of wetland terrain, water up to my hips at times.

To this day, I just don't know what I was thinking (or not).

05-15-2010, 23:58
underestimated the terrain and miscalculated the mileage with some fresh gear last weekend... not too heavy, but could definetly shave pounds off with a few Benjamins...

Wise Old Owl
05-16-2010, 10:36
Confession of an old well established hiker - forgetting the Deep Woods Off and getting Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

TIDE-HSV
05-16-2010, 10:41
Confession of an old well established hiker - forgetting the Deep Woods Off and getting Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Arghh! My wife and I swap off tick inspection on each other. We even have to do it at home, since we live in the middle of a bunch of trees.

safn1949
05-16-2010, 12:52
Lets go back to 1988.A 10 day hike in Alaska with no resupply.
Clothes-cotton ripstop bdu's,cotton t-shirt and underwear,wool long sleeve shirt,lightweight poly longjohns (the only smart thing I did) wool felt widebrim hat.
Down coat with sewn thru seams (breezy :D)
$65 hiking boots,not even waterproof
campmor gortex
60 lb pack with everything I though I needed,used about 1/3 of the stuff.
We had frying pans,pots that would hold 6 quarts easy and so on as we cooked as a group,I will never do that again as the menu was planned by someone else.I wouldn't eat some of the "food",I use that term loosely.
70F days for about 7 days then 30's for the rest with rain,sleet and snow.I froze my tail off.
My feet were bruised on the soles after the first day and from then on,also wet for a lot of the trip,sno seal sucks.I was smart enough to have thorlo socks.
All in all one of the best times I have ever had,great bunch of people and beautiful scenery.

One guy did this trip with a 60 lb pack and military jump boots.

mieos
05-16-2010, 16:20
I readily admit to carrying too much water. But I have been on the trail too many times where every single blue blaze leads to a dry spot.

My favorite blunder was my first overnight trip. Middle of August, along the GA/NC border, how cold could it get? No bag, just a sleeping liner and thin running clothes. I did not get much sleep that night, and the one time I left my tent to relieve myself... it was a good think i didn't have to worry about aiming since i was shivering so bad. Everyone one in camp was surprised at how cold it got. But at least I had a tent, my friend only had a hammock with no bag.

ChinMusic
05-16-2010, 16:31
On one winter trip I wandered away from my tent in the middle of the night when nature called. Once finished I couldn't find my tent and it was dang cold out.

I was thinking "what a stupid way to die" when the tent came into view.

I don't wander far now.

Doctari
05-16-2010, 18:56
2. left zipper slighly open in tent. Skunks are good at getting in but bad at getting out of tents when head lamps are in there faces.




OMG! Memories: My brother (16), my best friend (17) & I (18) were car camping in the Smokies (Cade's cove Campground).
Night 1, Yes we knew better, all 3 of us, but we did it anyway: cooler just outside of the tent door, other food INSIDE the tent. Woke up to all the cooler food, including the canned soda, GONE! And, the pack of cookies 1/2 empty. OK, bear got the cooler, must have gotten a little hungry & ate some of the cookies. No, I don't know how we came to that conclusion.
Night 2, early: sitting around the campfire, we hear from neighboring sites & coming closer, people yelling "SKUNK!" & then it passed through our camp, nosed around a bit & left. Later, after bed time: I hear the zipper of the tent go up, I look down through my feet (was laying feet toward the door) & saw a Skunk come in, execute what I can only call a military precision turn left, to the wall, MP turn right along the wall, MP again towards my head, I slowly sat up & the skunk seemed to not notice or care, walked across my pillow, another right turn back to the front wall, opened the cookies & sat down to dinner. NO, we weren't smart enough to put all the food in the car, yet. The cooler yes, all the rest was still in our tent. The skunk ate his/her fill & left the way she/he entered.
Nght 3: All stuff with ANY scent was in the car, & for the rest of the 2 week camping trip. No more visitors.

Rick500
05-16-2010, 20:51
I started reading here before I set out for the first time, so thank you all for saving me from most of this. ;)

The only thing I can think of so far is that I didn't use DEET several weeks ago and ended up with a tick bite that resulted in a red spot several inches in diameter, and itched like nothing I've ever felt before. No permanent effects (no Lyme), but you can bet that I bring out the OFF before I set out now, and make sure my shirt is tucked in to my pants and my pant legs are tucked into my socks (if I'm not wearing shorts...in which case I wear short gaiters and hit them and my legs with OFF too).

TIDE-HSV
05-16-2010, 21:18
You might be sparing about DEET on nylon and some coatings - it dissolves them, unless they've changed the formulation...

Connie
05-17-2010, 19:30
I had a good income. I purchased a double weight v-neck cashmere sweater.

I thought: now, I will be really "toasty" in the high mountains.

Uh yeah. I was drenched in sweat and ruined the sweater.

My other "big mistake"? I purchased expensive leather boots for mountaineering, big beautiful polished and very heavy boots. I left them in the open jeep and they were stolen the first day! I never got to wear them.

I would say my "mistakes" are around expensive gear.

I buy too many stoves: I think I have purchased every model stove MSR made, the ones for high mountains and alternate fuels.

As a total "newbie" hiker, I used an old Boy Scout pack board and canvas sack. I got rid of that pack board really fast. I used the canvas pack.

I also did Mt. Townsend (Olympic National Park) in "packs" for footwear.

I once wore a heavy Filson outer jacket over an Irish sweater!

Do I really want to recall more of this? No!

I think you know "why" I became an ultralightweight and lightweight backpacking enthusiast.

TIDE-HSV
05-17-2010, 19:37
Connie, you have to be the most wrong-headed gear head I've ever heard of... :)

Connie
05-17-2010, 22:00
And just how do you think I got experience... ?

It's much worse.

I am reading the thread: on "page 6" someone said everyone has hiked in jeans.

I never did.

I hiked in surplus wool serge army pants with suspenders to hold the pants up. Next, I tried wool knickers and long socks. Then, ragg socks. Next, I actually got lederhosen and lederträger at the original REI Pike Street store. I went back to surplus wool serge army pants with suspenders to wear the pants open for ventilation. I wore tall OR gaiters over those pants, for snow. This is gear I actually paid for.

My "best gear" was a mountainclimbing British Ventile jacket (no regrets) over an oiled wool fisherman's Henley man's underwear sweater made for wearing with oilskins.

When I was younger, and had no money of my own, I had to wear my brother's hand-me-down Boy Scout pants. I refused to wear the sturdy fabric Boy Scout's shirt. I wore a blouse and a golf jacket.

I am not making this up.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the great gear we have, now.

TIDE-HSV
05-17-2010, 23:12
I agree. I never wore jeans hiking as an adult.

Marta
05-18-2010, 12:08
When I was 16 I set off on a bike trip around New England, planning to use a poncho as a tarp. The mosquitoes nearly drank me dry the first night out. Fortunately one of my friends had a two-person tent and was willing to share with me for the rest of the trip...

sizemj
05-18-2010, 15:33
First backpacking trip: 6 liters of water, it was a dry camp. No sleeping pad. No stove, (hard to do mac and cheese on a fire.) First trip with my wife, then girlfriend: fleece sleeping bags in May (it was 90 degrees during the day) froze my but off at night.

Rick500
05-18-2010, 15:55
You might be sparing about DEET on nylon and some coatings - it dissolves them, unless they've changed the formulation...

I don't remember the fabric the gaiters are made from, but the DEET can specifically said it was safe. I'll have to look when I get home... thought it was nylon, but maybe not.

Sarcasm the elf
05-19-2010, 21:04
Confession of an old well established hiker - forgetting the Deep Woods Off and getting Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Forget the newbie blunder, I hike almost exclusively in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. I had my second case of Lyme disease last summer and I still refuse to use bug spray (mostly because I hate DEET). Oh well, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice...

TIDE-HSV
05-20-2010, 00:26
I don't remember the fabric the gaiters are made from, but the DEET can specifically said it was safe. I'll have to look when I get home... thought it was nylon, but maybe not.

More specifically, it used to dissolve the polyurethane coating. I have a shop building which doesn't have A/C. In the summers, I'd turn on the fan and the bugs would ride in on the tide and I used a spray with DEET as the main ingredient. I also had a small B&W TV which I'd tune into football games, etc., on occasion. I finally noticed a strange pitting on the plastic cover over the screen and also on top of the set. I finally realized that it was "overspray" from the insect repellent dissolving the plastic. Most of them have warnings, if they'll dissolve anything important...

mudhead
05-20-2010, 04:52
Like plastic lenses.

Jim Adams
05-20-2010, 06:38
In 1990 I started my thru with no info, 10 days of food and a 72 lb pack.....I hiked 2 weeks before I found out that the trail was longer than 1000 miles.

geek

wormer
05-20-2010, 06:47
While hiking the AT Bigelow Range my son decided to go ahead of me on the trail, because I wasn't fast enough. It was 90 degrees that day and when I reached for a drink I realized that his pack had all the water in it.

Monkeyboy
05-20-2010, 12:03
And just how do you think I got experience... ?

It's much worse.

I am reading the thread: on "page 6" someone said everyone has hiked in jeans.

I never did.

I hiked in surplus wool serge army pants with suspenders to hold the pants up. Next, I tried wool knickers and long socks. Then, ragg socks. Next, I actually got lederhosen and lederträger at the original REI Pike Street store. I went back to surplus wool serge army pants with suspenders to wear the pants open for ventilation. I wore tall OR gaiters over those pants, for snow. This is gear I actually paid for.

My "best gear" was a mountainclimbing British Ventile jacket (no regrets) over an oiled wool fisherman's Henley man's underwear sweater made for wearing with oilskins.

When I was younger, and had no money of my own, I had to wear my brother's hand-me-down Boy Scout pants. I refused to wear the sturdy fabric Boy Scout's shirt. I wore a blouse and a golf jacket.

I am not making this up.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the great gear we have, now.

Being in Florida, I have to hike in jeans regularly.

Nothing will cut your legs up faster than hiking through palmetto brush.

It ain't so bad.

But then again, I'm used to heat and humidity.

Monkeyboy
05-20-2010, 12:09
First backpacking trip: 6 liters of water, it was a dry camp. No sleeping pad. No stove, (hard to do mac and cheese on a fire.) First trip with my wife, then girlfriend: fleece sleeping bags in May (it was 90 degrees during the day) froze my but off at night.

Almost every backpacking trip in Florida, you need to take a gallon to a gallon and a half of water for every day. We don't have mountain streams every half mile to camel up on water. If you don't bring it, you don't get it.

And never sleep on a sleeping pad. That's why God created pine needles. :D

prain4u
05-20-2010, 13:43
I was blessed to not make very many, or any. "newbie mistakes" (at least none that would have been viewed as big "mistakes" back in the 1970s). I was fortunate enough to surrounded by good mentors and teachers who kept me from making any major (1970's) blunders.

However, hiking and camping have changed so much in the past 30-40 years. Thus, there are so many things that I did back in the 1970's (which were considered pretty "normal" back then) that I would NEVER dream of doing now:

--Unofficially compete to have the HEAVIEST pack weight in our group. (It was the exact opposite of today's "competition" to have the lightest possible pack weight)

--Carried a cast iron Dutch Oven through the Rocky Mountains. It weighed somewhere around 17 lbs!.

--A cast iron skillet sometimes came along also. (Because EVERYONE knew that food just tasted "better" when FRIED up in good old-fashioned cast iron). I also carried shortening or lard to assist in the frying.

--Wore LOTS of denim and cotton. Had big (water absorbing) sweat shirts.

--HEAVY leather hiking boots. The heavier and sturdier the better!

--Cooked over ("big") open campfires. Sometimes kept fires going all night.

--A lightweight "mountain tent' probably weighed between 5-7 lbs.

--Carried one (or more) pretty good sized cooking pots. I actually boiled water and washed dishes. (Now, I use just one small pot and tend to just boil a little water to rehydrate the food. I eat right out of the disposable cooking bag or eat meals that require no cooking or no utensils at all).

--I disposed of bio-degradable food scraps by burying them or burning them.

--In the early 1970's, people sometimes still "ditched" or "trenched" our tents so rainwater could drain off.

--Carried an ax and/or saw.

It is amazing how much the "normal" or "typical" hiking/camping practices have changed in 30-40 years. Today, I cringe when I go back and review the camping and hiking books that I used for guidance "back in the day".

One quote from an (older) 1959 book, had this to say regarding cleanup after a meal: "Get rid of the garbage. Burn whatever will burn at one end of the fire. Burn out cans and flatten them. Wash out empty jars. Bury the burned out cans and the washed out jars".

Things have indeed changed!

Wise Old Owl
05-20-2010, 21:17
You might be sparing about DEET on nylon and some coatings - it dissolves them, unless they've changed the formulation...


Never heard that before, but I have put on so much weight, I have to trade UP!:eek:

Wise Old Owl
05-20-2010, 21:23
Almost every backpacking trip in Florida, you need to take a gallon to a gallon and a half of water for every day. We don't have mountain streams every half mile to camel up on water. If you don't bring it, you don't get it.

And never sleep on a sleeping pad. That's why God created pine needles. :D

Waterfilter?

Monkeyboy
05-21-2010, 00:10
Waterfilter?

Can't filter what you don't have in water.

There are springs, but few and far between, and almost nothing in central Florida or in the southern most portions, and you can't filter salt water.

Most water needs to be hiked in.

05-21-2010, 14:09
Ok, since we're getting on the subject of old practices, I read (in a boy scout handbbok I beleive) about how in the "olden days" pioneers would chop down a tree just for a picnic table... tut tut tut, what a shame... but I can't see cutting down a tree and making a bench every mile ever-so unreasonable... but whatever... Oh yeah, half of my dad's trail name came from that blunder... see prev. post...

Happy trails and all that...

-Hikes with No-Sweat

chiefiepoo
05-21-2010, 16:46
Can't filter what you don't have in water.

There are springs, but few and far between, and almost nothing in central Florida or in the southern most portions, and you can't filter salt water.

Most water needs to be hiked in.

and many of the ponds are just plain icky with scary amoeba abounding. Then there is the life hazzard from our alligator population waiting at the waters edge for an opportunistic meal. Assume they are there. Now, sit there and pump while your buddy keeps and eye out at this new to you water source. I have a nice pump, but have rearely used it at home here in FL

WalksInDark
07-23-2010, 13:00
I wish I could say that this "Special Trip" happened when I was an absolute newbie....but, truth be told, if was little more than 2 years ago.

Having had my suppossed "Trail Buddy" bail yet again on a weekend backpacking trip, I decided to go solo and do the trip anyway.

By the time I repacked my pack (adding in all of the things that my Trail Buddy usually carried), the morning had gone and so had the first couple of hours of afternoon. Having recently read about some overnighter who decided to save money by not doing the dehydrated food idea, I packed cans of food instead. Temps at the trailhead were mid 90s and humidity was the same.

When I put my pack on, I really noticed the extra weight, but thought that maybe I was just anxious going solo backpacking.

Within 5-10 minutes, my heart was pounding & I was huffing and puffing something awful. Plus sweat was running down my body in streams. I also noticed that I was starting to get a hell of a headache.

Having completed a mile or so of the trail, I decided to sit down, take my pack off, and take a short break. Funny thing was, I noticed that I was shivering slightly. Now that was ODD!

A mile later, I was all in and could walk no furthur. For reasons then unknown to me, I became fixated on the rule that you are suppossed to camp at least 200 feet off of the trail. Seeing what looked like a nice trail to a small clearing, I proceeded down slope.

Long story short: there was no trail; the slope was 20+ degrees down; all of the pretty ---from the top of the trail---mountain laurels kept me from hiking back up; the "clearing" was a pile of leaves 3-5 feet deep. By the time I got to a real clearing I had descended 545', was bleeding all over from briars and bushes and was so dizzy and ready to throw up, the only thing I could do was put up my hammock and crawl inside.

12 or so hours later when I woke up in the valley I figured out that the day before I had: become dehydrated; had a very slow onset...but continuing asthma attack; and had gotten heat exhaustion. All of the foregoing had altered my thinking and perception to the point where going far off trail....downhill....with no path to follow seemed like a good idea.

After losing my hearing aid....and my breakfast, I then spent the next 2-3 hours hand pulling myself and my pack up the slope to the A.T.

Lessons learned: listen to your body, notice how well/poorly it is working; drink water early and often; when in doubt, crash near the trail.....do not go offtrail; never bring canned food.

Nean
07-23-2010, 13:42
This is :o :o :o :o but when I was much younger, lazy, stupid and green I would bury my tp instead of burning it or packing it out.:eek::D

JAK
07-23-2010, 18:47
Winter. Too much nylon, as in pack, tent, jacket. Not enough food. Also, I had a map, but hadn't done the research in terms of what roads are driveable in winter, so I headed in the wrong direction for awhile and had to backtrack. Bunch of other stuff. Oh yeah, water freezes. Who knew?

RedChick
07-30-2010, 05:50
On my first trip (7 days/ 6 nights), I didn't bring TP, but I did (thankfully) bring paper towel. I was limited to 1 towel a day. At one site there was a roll in the outhouse, and that was a luxury!

Also, I wore trail shoes that were already worn out from the GEO class I had just taken through Idaho State. 6 wks. of day hiking 9-10 hours a day completely wrecked my Merrells. I lost 2 toenails in 7 days.

Oh, and not enough cold weather gear. I got to an alpine campsite 3 days in, and really, REALLY would have liked a hat and gloves. Just because it was 80-85 degrees in the valleys doesn't mean squat!

GeneralLee10
07-30-2010, 07:07
Mine was hiking the AT

coyote13
07-30-2010, 08:53
"Thats not a confession my son, that will be 7 hail mary's 3 are fathers and 1 novena in the newspaper!"
How many 2x4's does it take to BUILD a novena....old joke ,sorry

Shiraz-mataz
07-30-2010, 09:08
Though I didn't personally commit the "sins," I must bear some blame for the actions of another. My hiking buddy and I invited a trail-newbie from the office to tag along with us on a three-day section south of HF. This guy has NOT prepared, mentally, physically, or "trail ethically." He had a lot of gear, sporting a shiny new pack that topped out at close to 60 pounds. That in and of itself is not uncommon for a first timer but it is difficult when said hiker is chain smoking Marlboros like they're going outta style, tossing the butts to the ground along the way. We said something to him about the butts - all he did was toss them farther into the woods. This pales in comparison to his worst sin... At one rest stop - right next to a stream - my buddy and I spied him drop trow and commence squeazing out his own personal work of art. It was like a train wreck - it was too late to stop him. Oh the humanity! Needless to say, on our next hike we neglected to invite this guy to go with us.

adventurousmtnlvr
07-30-2010, 10:47
Wore steel toe boots once. After a few miles down hill, my big toes felt broken.

Had to call the toe truck.LOL on the 'toe' truck ... so did someone bring a dolly then?

adventurousmtnlvr
07-30-2010, 11:15
This is embarrassing! I was a tomboy growing up and went camping/hiking 'normal'. But ... in the Army I was the ONLY female with 250 guys on a 2 week Biv wak. Hiked 25 miles a day back then 'playing' war games. In my canvas duffel bag backpak I had a bunsen burner and sterno (hated military food) and heavy cans to cook on them. Here's the kicker ... and a blow dryer!!!!!!!!! that I attempted to hook up to a generator when the heavy equipment arrived ... shorted it out of course and ended up with frozen wet hair which I washed in snow in Germany :o oh ... and had a book of stamps. Guys laughed at me of course but if they needed something .. they came to me lol. Oh the glory days lol.

Bare Bear
07-30-2010, 16:27
Hmmmmmmmm. worst newbie mistake? Please see all of the above.

Franabelle
09-12-2010, 22:15
You guys have shared some great stories!!!

My first 'worst' hiking experience was not really my fault, as I was just a kid. My uncle wanted a bunch of us to hike Rickett's Glen State Park in PA. The group consisted of my uncle, my aunt, my two cousins, and my cousin's friend. (I think I was 11 at the time) I had hiked Rickett's in the past with no major sagas, and I was always in awe of the waterfalls. On our drive to the park, it looked as though it might rain. My uncle was reassuring us, saying that it would just be a passing sprinkle.....

Needless to say, it began to storm with a vengeance! :eek: (And that ain't the park to be when its raining and you could plunge 90 feet to your death! There we were, 5 miles into the hike, soaked to the bone, under tall trees, and hoping the shiny lightning wouldn't get us. My uncle decided that we should just HIKE ON! since we only had about 2 miles to get to the campground. Once we got to the 'ghost town' of a campground, we waited for hours until we saw a woman who was kind enough to give my uncle a ride to the car so he could return and get the rest of us. GOOD TIMES!!!!

And yet, I still love to hike. That trip was both horrifying and comical, and I will never forget my 'not so outdoorsy aunt' telling my uncle that when they got home, she was going to pluck out every one of his chest hairs with a pair of tweezers. lol.

So this isn't a true newbie story, but after reading all of your tales, I just wanted to share this.

TIDE-HSV
09-12-2010, 22:32
I think your uncle deserved the "tweezers treatment." Lucky you that it was a developed campground with road access...

le loupe
09-12-2010, 22:35
I introduced a friend to the AT and he has become a faithful hiking partner. However- for his first 3-day hike he packed:

24, 16 oz bottles of water
2, 2-liter bottles of gatorade
a large glass jar of PB & J
a loaf of bread
4 cans of campbells soup
a sears sleeping bag
two blankets
& a pillow

I got him to leave 10 bottles of water in the car prior to starting but that was all I could convince him to abandon.

Franabelle
09-13-2010, 05:36
I think your uncle deserved the "tweezers treatment." Lucky you that it was a developed campground with road access...

How right you are! I don't like hiking down those falls when there's a drought let alone on muddy one foot cliffs. We lucked out that day for sure.

Jack - Straw
09-14-2010, 20:32
carried my car keys on a thru hike last year. Left my car at Springer, carried a key ring with no less than 12 keys on it thru Erwin TN. Couldn't figure out where to leave them in case I had to get off trail…. I am sure there was an answer. I had a bounce box too!!!

couscous
09-14-2010, 20:44
http://sg.wsj.net/public/resources/images/PT-AP715_PNS082_NS_20100827175402.gif

wornoutboots
09-14-2010, 20:53
First trip was to Red River Gorge in College. I had one hand on one of the cooler filled with about 3-5 cases of iced beer and another guy had the other end. I dont know how we hike the 3 or 4 miles but the beer sure tasted good ; )

Luddite
09-14-2010, 21:09
I used to hike with an old thermarest base camp sleeping pad.

Six-Six
09-14-2010, 21:26
Took plenty of food, pot, burner and........no fuel. Burned wood first night, then it rained. Didn't think to bring wood inside the tent until it was too late. No coffee in the morning, cold breakfast, cold lunch, cold dinner. SOAKING Wet wood all around. Rooooookie!

George
09-14-2010, 21:52
first time hiking I did not bring enough liquor to last the whole trip - never do that again

Torch09
09-14-2010, 22:02
A 65lb, 90L pack is WAAAAAY too large for anyone, especially a 140lb 15 year old. I brought a change of clothes for each of the 4 days plus an extra (all packed inside heavy dry bags), a heavy tent even though i planned to stay in shelters, and each person on the trip carried a fuel canister. My boots were from walmart, my socks were cotton, and i had no trekking poles. Four years later, i returned to the Smokies with half the weight and had twice the fun!

Wise Old Owl
09-14-2010, 22:04
How many 2x4's does it take to BUILD a novena....old joke ,sorry


Its been a couple of months and I damn near fell off my chair with a belly laugh! - fun to see your reply!

Marta
09-15-2010, 07:20
16 years old; Outward Bound solo trip in February in Massachusetts. It was a nice afternoon and the area where I'd been dropped off was mixed woods and scrubby blueberry bushes. I saw a nice open space. A flat-ish slab of granite. Why not camp there? I unfurled the 10x10 piece of plastic I'd been given for making a shelter. The previous user had cut it into pieces, none of which were quite as long as I am tall. I made a little A-frame and spent the rest of the afternoon playing around in the woods.

As dark fell, I lay down on the rock for the first time. It was not very flat and definitely not level. I had to keep my knees bent to keep my feet inside the "tent." But who cared?

During the night the sleet started to fall. Then the snow. It snowed for the next two days. I got very tired of keeping my knees bent, and scooting back uphill to stay under the plastic.

Vow for the future: Check tent before setting off on trip. Check campsite for level. Rocks do not make good beds.

sir limpsalot
09-18-2010, 15:02
Stumbled into camp 2 days ago at crampton gap just at dark. Ate quick and gathered my bear bag together...damn left my trashbag back where I stopped for lunch. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Middle of the night: need to blow my nose....oh look! joy!-there's my bag full of ripe trash in my side pocket where i thought it might be more convenient. just lucky no critters figured it out first.

Cosmo
09-18-2010, 19:52
Gear List for 3 day Mt Washington hike (Dry River to Pinkham via Lake of the Clouds and Madison) in late June:
Wool Sweater
Extra pair of long pants (Blue Jeans, because I didn't think I'd be warm enough with just my nylon hiking shorts)
4 Pairs of sox and poly pro liners(one for each day, plus a spare)
4 Undies (same)
3 Tee shirts
1 long sleeved poly pro
Food with two hot meals a day (Lunch and Dinner)
Water Filter, two Nalgene bottles
Whisperlite + White gas for above.
20 degree sleeping bag
Inflatable sleeping pad
Tent (Clip Flashlight) w/ footprint.
Rain Poncho (coated nylon)
Wind/Rain Pants
Old sneekers (for camp wear--this was pre-Teva)
Folding camp chair that used my sleeping pad.
All in a ginormous Camp Trails external frame pack.

Thank goodness I was as young as I was stupid. Still, I felt crappy the whole hike. Trip was only saved by great weather and amazing views.

Cosmo