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First Night Out: Top 10 Rookie Mistakes

Dodge these common errors with our prevention primer.
contest_-346_toptenmistakes_445x260.jpgTop 10 Rookie Mistakes (Photo by Jeffrey Dmytrowich)

»6. Overpacking Resist the urge to haul extra pants or excess meals and fuel, “just in case.”

»7. Taking a shortcut It’s too easy to get lost when you leave the trail, and cutting switchbacks causes erosion.

»8. Not packing spares Always stash extra batteries (for headlamp, GPS) and a firestarter (like waterproof matches) in your pack.

»9. Getting gear wet In the rain, keep essentials dry by packing items inside waterproof stuffsacks. Open your pack only if absolutely necessary.

»10. Storing gear incorecctly Stuffing a wet tent in its stuffsack is an invitation for fabric-ruining mildew. Always thoroughly air-dry at home before storing. Get more tips in our Complete Guide to to Outdoor Gear Maintenance and Repair ($20;

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