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How to Do Everything Wrong

10 rules for blowing an epic adventure

5. Bail at the first sign of trouble. Determination is a fine trait amongst terriers and pit bulls, but it can be downright dangerous in an adventurer. There’s no need to be overzealous about actually completing your adventure. If you have the opportunity to, say, take a shorter trail that leads to a Taco Bell, you should take that trail. If you’re in the middle of a century and you get a flat, by all means, hitch a ride. You’ll make more friends and have a better story to tell.

6. Ask no one’s advice. The mountains are literally filled with experts who’ve hiked the exact trails you’re looking to hike, fished the rivers you want to fish, biked the roads you’re determined to bike. The knowledge they have could fill volumes. Do not ask them for help. Why would you want to go into a multi-day road ride with first-hand beta of the route and restaurants along the way? That’s practically cheating.  You may as well be carrying a GPS.

7. Ignore the weather conditions. Sure, it’s 2 degrees and dumping snow, but you’ve got a brand new three-season tent and a 45-degree bag you’re itching to use. Go for it. Frostbite isn’t as bad as people say it is. It’s actually kind of tingly.

8. Leave your significant other a detailed plan. This is my favorite note: “Honey, I’ll be right back.” Then disappear for three days into the woods with no cell service. All those calls to the emergency room and rescue squads will make your relationship stronger. I promise.

9. Plan all your meals and snacks in advance. Then cut those meals in half. Then cut them in half again to save weight. Yes, you’re burning 5,000 extra calories a day, but you want to know how to get supermodel thin real fast? Get two-days deep into the woods on a five-day trip and realize you’ve eaten all your food. You’ll be looking like Kate Moss in no time.

10. Spray big.
Talk up a big game at the local hydrating hole about how you’re going to knock out the entire A.T. in two months while tweeting haikus from every mountain summit. The next morning, pull a switcheroo and decide to spend a weekend car camping at the nearest state park. But still tweet the haikus. Haikus are cool.

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