Creating a MySQL dump file of your database can be fairly straightforward, but, if you aren't careful, you could corrupt the character set in your backup file.
I used to created a database dump using a command like the following:
mysqldump -u nathan -p database1 > database1.backup.sql
The above command is very straightforward in that it generates a dump file using default options and redirects the output to a file instead of to standard output.
However, I want all my data to maintain a UTF-8 character set.