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Top Ten Outdoor Oopsies - Moosejaw

Top 10 Outdoor Oopsies

The most common outdoor mistakes and how to avoid them

Recently, we surveyed over 40,000 Moosejaw customers on their biggest outdoor goof. After reading through them all (yes, it took a while), we noticed some common themes and picked some of our favorites that made us laugh. We put together this Top 10 common mistakes list, so you can avoid similar pitfalls and maybe, just maybe, feel a little less alone in the struggle/out there.

Top 10 Outdoor Oopsie Number 1: Forgetting Critical Stuff

1. Forgetting Critical Stuff

1. Forgetting Critical Stuff

Many people have driven hours or hiked for miles only to realize that they'd forgotten a critical piece of equipment. The most common? Footwear – hiking boots, cycling shoes, climbing shoes, ski boots, etc. For some reason, our memory doesn't seem to extend below our knees. It's also crazy the number of people who forgot the most critical piece of equipment for their adventure – a tent for backpacking or even their bike for mountain biking.

#MJProTip: Create a detailed packing list and check items off as you assemble them into one area before your adventure. Research and get advice for your list (we're happy to help). Share it with the rest of your party to make sure you are splitting stuff up appropriately. Always pack your own pack.

Top 10 Outdoor Oopsie Number 2: Not Testing Equipment Before Heading Out

2. Not Testing Equipment Before Heading Out

2. Not Testing Equipment Before Heading Out

Too many people ended up in the middle of nowhere with a not-so-waterproof jacket, a stove that's missing parts, or old boots that literally fell apart. Lots of you have tried setting up your new tent for the first time when you're out on your trip, simultaneously amusing other campers and annoying the heck out of you.

#MJProTip: Test and check all of your equipment before you go:
• Make sure that all new equipment performs as expected, and you know how to use it. If not, return it and invest in quality gear that is up to the task.
• Check that all existing equipment is still in good shape, works, and has all its parts. This goes double for borrowed or used gear.
• Break in new boots before a long hike.

Top 10 Outdoor Oopsie Number 3: Not Doing the Proper Research

3. Not Doing the Proper Research

3. Not Doing the Proper Research

A lotta folks showed up to closed trails, brought the wrong gear for the weather, or attempted stuff beyond their skill level. Oftentimes, this can lead to disastrous outcomes.

#MJProTip: Do your homework before any trip:
• Is your destination actually open when you want to go?
• Does the destination require a reservation, permit, visa, or passport?
• Does the destination allow dogs, bikes, boats, fishing, or camping?
• What's the weather forecast? Look at both the daytime and nighttime conditions. Don't just assume you know and be sure to double check right before you leave.
• Do you and all of your companions have the skill level needed for the planned trail, ski run, climb, MTB descent, etc.?

Top 10 Outdoor Oopsie Number 4: Not Securing Their Stuff

4. Not Securing Their Stuff

4. Not Securing Their Stuff

People seem to continually test Newton's laws of motion. I'm pretty sure he said something about kayaks and cars in there. Also, the whole gravity thing – climbers, and others, won't stop dropping their car keys, phones, and other important gear.

#MJProTip: Invest in the right storage (roof rack, bike rack, dry bag, etc.) for your equipment and use it correctly. Attach securely and pull over after the first few miles to make sure everything is still secure. And always remember to take the stuff off your roof rack before pulling into the garage (maybe put a sign on the garage door before you leave).

Top 10 Outdoor Oopsie Number 5: Picking the Wrong Camp Site

5. Picking the Wrong Camp Site

5. Picking the Wrong Camp Site

Many people found that the right spot for their tent was the difference between a good night's sleep and waking up sore, floating down a swollen river, or caught in the middle of a herd of cattle. They also found that it's really tough to choose the right site after dark, even with headlamps and lanterns.

#MJProTip: Find out as much as you can about your site before you leave (trails, topographic maps, Google satellite, ArcGIS) and plan your trip so you arrive at least 1 hour before sunset. Also, don't set up your tent near the edge of a river, regardless how idyllic. Flash floods are more common than you think.

Top 10 Outdoor Oopsie Number 6: Problems with Pooping and Peeing

6. Problems with Pooping and Peeing

6. Problems with Pooping and Peeing

These were some of the most common (and most hilarious) issues. Although it's unlikely to lead to injuries beyond embarrassment and/or soiled clothing, a little preparation and common sense around the potty process can certainly help you succeed out there.

#MJProTip: Know before you "go":
• Bring the right equipment - TP and a folding shovel are useful.
• Don't leave it too late. Give yourself time to....
• Choose your spot wisely – for privacy, poison ivy, wind direction, stable squat, Leave No Trace, etc.
Avoid unfamiliar foods that may cause issues. This goes for during your trip and right before it.

Top 10 Outdoor Oopsie Number 7: Feeding the Animals (Inadvertently)

7. Feeding the Animals (Inadvertently)

7. Feeding the Animals (Inadvertently)

A lot of people forgot that human food is just as tasty for animals from ants to black bears, resulting in ripped and soiled tents, lost food or scary encounters. There were even a few folks that used a bear bag and then forgot which tree it was on.

#MJProTip: Plan ahead for animal-safe food storage and never, ever, never leave food in your tent. Hanging a bear bag is a great solution, just don’t forget where it is and don’t leave it behind. Also, depending on the area, you may be required to use a bear canister.

Top 10 Outdoor Oopsie Number 8: Not Bringing Enough Water

8. Not Bringing Enough Water

8. Not Bringing Enough Water

People consistently underestimate the amount of water they will need, even for a short day hike. The results can lead to dehydration, disorientation, or drinking tainted water which can lead to a couple of other D-words.

#MJProTip: Bring enough water for the activity planned - generally about 16 oz. per hour or more depending on intensity level, elevation change, terrain, and temperature. You can also pre-hydrate and/or bring a water filter to lower the amount of water you need to carry because seriously, that water weight adds up quick.

Top 10 Outdoor Oopsie Number 9: Not Putting on the Rain Fly at Night

9. Not Putting on the Rain Fly at Night

9. Not Putting on the Rain Fly at Night

Some people like the extra breeze, some like the stargazing, and some just flat out forget. Many campers didn't have left the rainfly off of the tent only to wake up soaking wet from sudden rain or heavy morning dew.

#MJProTip: Always set up your rain fly, even if you're 90% sure of a rain-free night or dew-free morning (after checking weather and dew point beforehand). If you want extra ventilation or stargazing, unclip and roll it back halfway so it’s easy to get covered if an unexpected storm rolls in.

Top 10 Outdoor Oopsie Number 10: Falling into Rivers

10. Falling into Rivers

10. Falling into Rivers

Hiking and rivers go hand-in-hand, so it's not surprising that a lot of people end up getting a little wetter than they bargained for. We've seen slippery logs and rocks, sudden changes in terrain, miscalculation of water depth, and people overestimating their jumping abilities. The results ranged from the uncomfortable to the downright dangerous. Even if you aren't swept downstream by the current, wet gear and clothing is a one way ticket to disasterville.

#MJProTip: Cross all rivers with care. Bring or make a wading staff – a 4 to 5' pole or stick to test the depths ahead of you. Avoid log crossings if possible: logs can be slippery or rotten, and a heavy pack raises your center of gravity, reducing stability.

Thanks to everyone out there for all the great stories and feedback. As always, feel free to hit us up with any questions. Love you.

 
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