Beginner Photos

10 Things You Should NEVER DO

Avoid these 10 embarrassing gaffes at all costs.


10 Things You Should Never Do

Bring bear spray on a plane. Especially an international flight. Don’t ask me how I know, but there’s a good chance you’ll end up in that small, white, windowless room with those large men who have handcuffs, nightsticks, and no compassion. —Maren Horjus, assistant editor

10 Things You Should Never Do

Danny Kramer, Boulder, CO

10 Things You Should Never Do

Yank too hard on a bear bag. A nanosecond after I pulled, before I could even register the impending doom, I took a mental screenshot of the ’biner whizzing toward my forehead, green string curling and whipping behind it like an advancing snake. Then, all the blood. —Casey Lyons, senior editor

10 Things You Should Never Do

Blow on a fire at high altitude. Then stand up. Fast. —Chris Stocker, Columbus, OH

10 Things You Should Never Do

Pee into the wind. Terrible idea. — Jason Robert Schultz, Wasilla, AK

10 Things You Should Never Do

Think that mixing milk and strawberry Crystal Light will make strawberry quick milk. —Will Wirick, Murfreesboro, TN

10 Things You Should Never Do

Let newbies pack by themselves. Newbies often have wacky packing ideas. You’ve seen them Bring: jeans; Mountain Dew; extension cord; jar of mayo; bed pillow; axe; phone charger; 700 ft. of paracord; Comet cleaner…even while Forgetting layers; rain shell; sleeping pad; matches; tent; socks; spork; boots; and permits.

10 Things You Should Never Do

Forget a candy reward for your 6-year-old who makes it to the top of Mt. Whitney. —Thomas Bloess, Centennial, CO

10 Things You Should Never Do

Brush your teeth in the dark. Mistakes happen. —Paul Bunker, Southern Pines, NC

10 Things You Should Never Do

Undercook the chili. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. —Rachel Zurer, senior editor

Mistakes, we’ve made a few. It sounds like our readers have too. Take it from us: these are the 10 things you should NEVER do in the backcountry.

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