Backpacking Wisdom

as told by the posters at the Backpacker.com Forums
The more you scratch, the more it itches.
Never EVER shortcut the switchbacks.
The only weather report that matters is the one the night before you leave. A lot can change in
two days. ~ Ardsgaine

Don't try to ignore it, you can't. Just get up and go pee.
Mother Nature has a sense of humor. Acorns on a downhill for instance.
What toppings to get on your pizza can be the most important decision ever made in the history
of human civilization around day 5 of the hike. ~ Spindle

Don't select more to take with you than you can carry. ~ Bill Speers

Just keep going, you'll get to the top eventually.
When you come to a water source, filter. ~ Roam Around

Happiness can be found a newly constructed privy.
If the weather forecast calls for 10% chance of rain pack a rain jacket. If it calls for a 30%
chance, pack a boat. ~ Lumberzac

Every step brings you closer. ~ TreebeardIM

Know your limitations.
Don't be fooled by false summits. ~ Woodswoman

Yes, those are rain clouds. ~ Big_load

If it doesn't make you love the outdoors, it will surely make you appreciate the indoors. ~
fifeplayer

Never hike with the, "Hey y'all, watch this!" crowd.
Never send a Boy Scout out on the trail with a pack his mother loaded for him. ~ Delynn

Never be the slowest runner in the group in bear country. ~ TDale

Even freeze-dried food tastes great when prepared in a campsite next to a beautiful Sierra
lake at 10,000'. ~ me

Food is fuel. Any food. Even that washed out M&M sitting in the middle of the trail. ~
lilmountaingirl

The end of the trail is always waiting, but this moment of perfect light is fleeting. Enjoy it. ~
CajunHiker

Waterproofed clothing has its limits.
Bear bells are not to be worn by bears. They are too hard to put on.
Any stone in a hiking boot migrates to right below your heel.
The distance to a campsite remains constant as twilight approaches.
In a mummy bag, the urgency of ones need to urinate is inversely proportional to the amount of
clothing worn. It is also inversely proportional to the temperature and the degree to which the
mummy bag is completely zipped up.
The sun sets 3.5 times faster than normal when trying to set camp. ~ Lost Sheep

Mud puddles in a rain forest are deeper than they appear.
The biggest rock in middle of a stream is also the slipperiest.
The one thing you need in your first aid kit is the one thing you didn't replenish from the last
hike.
You can own 50 pairs of hiking socks, but if you look for them 5 minutes before you are to head
out the door, you won't find a single one.
Keep an extra spork in the truck. You'll remember you forgot yours when you hit the trailhead.
~ Ldyblade

Don't forget to look up! My hiking boots aren't that amazing... ~ WVnON

The growl you heard outside the tent is just a leaf blowing in the wind. ~ keithd

Bring an extra memory card...1,000 photos might not be enough.
Journals are cool, especially 6 months after the trip.
Alcohol is twice as potent at 12,000 feet.
Stop to admire the view now, not on the way back.
A friend who spends a week alone in the wilderness with you and still talks to you in the truck
on the 1,000 mile ride home is a true friend.
Toothpaste is not a luxury item.
Relish each trip, the world is a strange place and this could be your last time out. ~ Ruffster

You need less stuff than you think. ~ BoomerHiker

Take your time. ~ Clockwork

Weather reports don't count over 11,000 ft (If the weatherman says a 30% chance of rain,
that means you're going to get wet). ~ Lamebeaver

Don't follow people who always seem to get lost. ~ Whistlepunk

Don't forget to turn off ALL your truck lights at the trailhead. ~ Marmotstew

Always place your stove on level ground unless you enjoy pine needles in your dinner.
Always check the lid on your water bottle
You can still get poison ivy if the plant has no leaves and looks like a dead twig - don't drop your
pants in it.
The backcountry is not the place to find out you are lactose intolerant.
When checking the privvy for spiders be sure your headlamp is secure on your head.
Watch the mossy green rocks - they try to trip you.
Sometimes what seems like solid ground isn't so solid. ~ WildChild

Never step on what you can step over. Never step over what you can step around.~ Desert
Dweller

In the desert everything is farther than it looks. ~ RichardG

It is never "flat along the ridgeline"
Too much wine is never enough.
You don't smell your own stink after about the third day out.
Uncontrollable giggles result from too many miles before dinner. (this is a good thing)
Kids ask the best questions of you on the trail. They also notice the coolest stuff.
That "extra mile" to reach the view is *always* worth it.
The best trips get planned on the car ride home (yet another reason to carpool!). ~ Dicentra

Water flows downhill. Except in the Adirondacks where it flows to the nearest trail. ~
WalksWithBlackFlies

Mosquitos hone in on the biggest whiners. ~ Double Cabin

Always make sure EVERYTHING is zipped and clipped! ~ Hikingurl

When you think you're about to reach a pass, get ready for at least two more switchbacks. ~
War Eagle

No matter how tough the climb, each step is one step closer to the top.
Funny stories from the backpacking trips don't translate well when told to non-backpackers.
The emergency rate at which you HAVE TO dig the cathole is proportionate to the amount of
effort it takes to get that FLIPPIN HOLE 6 inches deep. ~ MsKatiebear


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