Dumb trail mistakes—we all make 'em. Why, in my foolish youth, I can fondly recall busting out off-trail in the foothills of Denver only to find myself cliffed out as the sun was setting. I had to navigate by cell-phone light around drop-offs covered in ball-bearing slick pebbles, even as I could hear the gentle hum of cars from a nearby highway. I was less than three miles from a coffee shop. Embarrassing.
Luckily, I'm not alone, and BACKPACKER fans in the Twitterverse decided to share some of their backcountry blunders, too.
Explore_It: "(I) Put a flat rock in the fire to use as a hot plate, rock exploded, sent shards at my 2 buddies while I was gathering more wood."
veela_valoom: "When I went hiking in Cumberland Gap, me & my dad were hiking along just following the trail, ignoring our map & guide book..We reached a rest center. We looked around, got some maps, went to the restroom. We thought we were close to our car....so we were taking our time & relaxing. However, when we looked at the information display we noticed a "You are here" dot...And discovered we were in Kentucky, but our car was in Tennessee. We had unknowingly hiked two trails. So we had to hike all the way back to Tennessee, to drive back home to Kentucky. (Wasn't too bad b/c not a long hike)"
juskuz: "mixing instant oatmeal in the pouch = good... well ok idea - mixing hot chocolate in the pouch = bad idea"
All in all, these mishaps weren't soooo bad; nobody ended up in The Pulse, after all.
Anybody else have a particularly funny or instructive backcountry blunders? Let us know in the comments section below, or follow us on Twitter and contribute to the stream.
And remember: What doesn't kill us makes us stronger (if not necessarily smarter).