|Tica the alternate pounding on some cave snakes|
Cave snakes are good for leveling between levels 20 and 40. Find them by going north in Arkim's "Bat cave." Why are cave snakes so good? You only need 20 cave lamps to do the Doug quest which adds 5k experience and 5k gold. Cave snakes also occasionally drop jean shorts. Jean shorts are one of the components needed for jean chaps. And here's the kicker, you don't need to fight mountain snakes to get skins for jean chaps - just be sure to visit Aidan and Ishi when you start your character to collect monster points. Trade in monster points and sometimes you get snake skins (and other goodies like Iron Ore).
As long as you don't create a new login your stash is shared between characters. This means your level 1 character can have decent armour, helmet and perhaps weapon if you've not traded everything away with your main character. I equipped Tica with chain armor and a crusade helmet.
When you reach level 40 make sure you do the Bone Knife quest, even if you already have one from another character. The bone knife quest is worth 50,000 experience. At level 40 this is almost half a level for you. Probably your other character already has the components (black scorpion tails and mushrooms), Tarq did (actually he needed a couple of scorpion tails).
I also noted that at level 40 there are significantly more points available to be put into stats. I think I had something like 60. Be sure to use them wisely.