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My son Tyler went on his first hike at age 3, up Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania. I had to bribe him with chocolate at every step. He grew up, became a mechanical engineer and outing club jock, and now spouts all sorts of explanatory and corrective information, based on “science.” One day recently, while I was lacing my boots before a Father’s Day hike up Mt. Galbraith, in Golden, Colorado, he spoke words that froze me mid-knot: “Dad, you’re doing it wrong.” Then he knelt over his own trail shoes and made a beautiful bow that laid flat and resisted unraveling. He was right. After 40 years of thinking I knew how to tie my boots, I learned a better way. It made me wonder what else I’d been doing wrong. That’s why I consulted a dozen-plus experts for tips and tricks on the right way to do nearly everything in the backcountry. Knowing what I do now, I too can indulge in one of life’s elemental pleasures: Telling others that they’re doing it wrong.
You’re Doing it Wrong: Gear
Your gear is your lifeline. Pack it right and maintain it correctly for a fun, hassle-free trip. Read more
You’re Doing it Wrong: Wildlife
Stay away from bears and show some respect for the humble mouse. Read more
You’re Doing it Wrong: Safety
The wilderness can be a hazardous place, but the biggest danger to you is, well, you. Read more
You’re Doing it Wrong: Health and Hygiene
Battle blisters and learn to pack a sensible first aid kit. Read more
You’re Doing it Wrong: Social
Plan your trips better and enjoy yourself more. Read more
You’re Doing it Wrong: Quick Fixes
Got five minutes? Then you have enough time to shore up your backpacking skills. Read more