Use this tag for questions related to backpacking equipment, routes, safety concerns, or issues related to traveling on foot while carrying all of one's equipment (such as accessibility of certain regions to foot travelers, weather affecting backpackers, etc.). For questions specifically about ...

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13
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4answers
643 views

Bear bags vs Bear canisters: which is better?

Most people I know and myself store food in bear bags. However, I have heard that some parks have banned bear bags and require canisters. I've also heard there is a bear in New York that has figured ...
13
votes
4answers
7k views

Are there any low sodium freeze dried meals?

For health reasons, I usually try to keep my sodium intake fairly low. However, most freeze dried dinners offered in camping stores contain an more sodium than I'm looking for. I consider 800mg a ...
13
votes
3answers
757 views

What are the vitamin considerations for extended backpacking

For short hikes you can generally ignore nutritional concerns, because you don't generally become malnourished in two days. However, for a long trip like the Appalachian Trail or other long hikes (at ...
13
votes
1answer
914 views

Minimum equipment recommendations for hammock camping

I'm looking to try out some hammock camping on our next trip to the wilderness, but I don't have any of the gear yet. I could buy it all, but as it's a trial run it might not make sense to pour a ton ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Where can I find an iodine crystal water purification product?

For years I used a product called Polar Pure for water purification when weekend backpacking. It was an iodine based solution, so not great for a thru-hike, but fine for a week or less. Specifically, ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a good material to patch holes in backpack?

I have a backpack with rip-stop material that is quite beaten up from scrambling over granite boulders. What are some good materials for patching the holes, what kind of thread should I use, and how ...
12
votes
2answers
675 views

What dried vegetarian foods have the highest ratio of calories to volume?

I mostly hike in bear country, which limits how much food I can take to the volume of my bear canister. This excellent question dealt with foods that are great on a trip where food-selection criteria ...
12
votes
2answers
777 views

Group Trips: 1 Large cook group or smaller cook groups of 3 or 4?

On trips I lead, we always split up into smaller cook groups, yet I did have one occasion a long time ago where we cooked as one large cook group. Long enough that I don't remember if it worked well ...
12
votes
2answers
348 views

How do you best treat a turned ankle in the back country?

Possibly the most common injury I see when hiking with groups is when someone turns or rolls their ankle. Assuming that access to a vehicle is not feasible, what is the best way to deal with the ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Trekking poles: what are the pros and cons of Anti-shock vs standard designs?

This is not a shopping question just to preface that issue. I'm not looking for a specific brand or model of trekking pole. Also to add some background information, I have borrowed trekking poles ...
12
votes
1answer
856 views

How to treat shin splints while backpacking

It's been a couple of years since I last had bad shin splits but I can still recall how painful they can be. I was able to heal them before mostly with a couple weeks rest. If the pain came back ...
11
votes
4answers
518 views

How do I protect my book(s) while backpacking?

I recently started backpacking in the Olympic Mountains. While camping, I usually bring along a trade paperback for light reading before bed or during a lunch break on a day-long hike. Up until now, ...
11
votes
6answers
6k views

How can you make a MSR WhisperLite stove simmer?

MSR WhisperLite backpacking stoves are ubiquitous, but they lack a key function: the ability to simmer easily. How can you set a WhisperLite to simmer without having to constantly watch the stove and ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Dog Breeds for Backpacking and Trail Running

Which dog breeds are best for backpacking? I know malamutes do well in the cold and on mountains, but what if I'm backpacking in the summer? Which dog breeds are good for daily trail runs? I would ...
11
votes
3answers
277 views

When is it too cold for Tarping?

I'm looking to get a tarp, and considering when I want to go out with it. My three season tent with the rain fly has pretty good heat retention, and while it doesn't get toasty, it does stay warmer ...
11
votes
4answers
480 views

What are the key factors when choosing a sleeping bag for backpacking?

I'm preparing to go on my first ever backpacking trip and do not have a suitable sleeping bag. What are the factors I should consider when choosing one? Personally I'm looking for the best value I ...
11
votes
4answers
172 views

How do you lower a backpack over a cliff without damaging it?

I was backpacking in Coyote Gulch, Utah this past week and ran into an issue with my 70 liter backpack. The entrance to the gulch through "Crack in the Wall" was a narrow "slot" entry, so the ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Backpack strap chafing

I have relatively sensitive skin. I have an osprey waypoint 65 backpack. Photo source The shoulder straps chafe my shoulders, especially if I go without a shirt. Is there a softer fabric I can ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Is drinking water containing dirt harmful?

I noticed that if I collect water from a stream dense of small debris/thin mud, if I keep the water bottle close to the surface, while it takes a longer time to fill the bottle, the water is cleaner ...
11
votes
3answers
909 views

Solar Power While Backpacking

I am planning a multi-week backpacking trip (the JMT in California), and want to bring a real camera. What are some good solar power options for charging my camera batteries on a long backpacking ...
11
votes
1answer
346 views

What are the main differences between dehydrated foods and freeze-dried foods?

What's the big difference between Dehydrated and Freeze-dried foods? What are the pros and cons to choosing one over the other for backpacking?
11
votes
1answer
523 views

How can I make Tyvek less noisy?

So I've made myself a handy dandy tent footprint out of Tyvek. It's durable, packs easy, cheap to replace.... and NOISY. My entire camping group has complained that it wakes them up when I roll over ...
11
votes
2answers
512 views

How are backpacking conditions at Yosemite in April?

Looking at the webcam, it looks like things are still pretty wintery in that area. Being Michiganders, some snow is not going to deter us (we love winter camping), but we at least want to be prepared ...
11
votes
3answers
343 views

What are the pros and cons of a digital altimeter over an analog altimeter for backpacking?

Our analog altimeter, which we had had for over 20 years, was stolen this summer. We are now faced with a choice between digital or analog altimeters. What are pros and cons between the two? (e.g., ...
11
votes
4answers
332 views

How to grade a trek?

What are the criteria used for grading a trek? One article that I came across provided the following set criteria for grading: Duration. Terrain (includes altitude). Exit routes. Weather/Climate. ...
11
votes
1answer
202 views

The re-hydration time for deydrated foods

I've got a lot of backpacking trips lined up this summer, including one multi-week one. I'm considering picking up a dehydrator because: It probably would be more cost effective than buying freeze ...
11
votes
1answer
386 views

How does the Esbit stove perform in cold & wind?

I was on a group trip this weekend where a fellow hiker brought an Esbit stove which uses hexamine fuel tabs. The temperature was not what I would consider extreme. Temperatures in the high 30s to ...
11
votes
1answer
267 views

How to deal with unethical campers?

Earlier last month I witnessed someone fell a tree in the Eagles Nest Wilderness while I was on a backpack trip. Its quite obvious that you're not supposed to cut down trees in a national forest, in ...
11
votes
1answer
468 views

Train yourself to need less water

I'm interested in doing multi-day hikes (i.e. backpacking) in the desert where water sources are not readily available, thus requiring one to carry in enough water for the duration of the trip. On ...
11
votes
1answer
204 views

What are the best methods for hanging food in a tree?

My friends and I are planning our first backpacking trip and the date is less than a month away. We just have a couple of loose ends to finish up on. We were wondering what the best method to tie ...
11
votes
1answer
288 views

How well does solar recharging work when strapped to the backpack?

This answer recommends solar cells to recharge batteries. However, this likely works best during a layover day. I usually don't have those. For a nice-to-have situation, how well does it work to ...
10
votes
2answers
6k views

Tips for travelling through Europe with just a tent

Myself and my girlfriend are hoping to start off in the Netherlands and hitchhike our way down to the south of Spain through various French towns / cities. We are planning on just bringing sleeping ...
10
votes
3answers
661 views

What do you call the bags which help organize items inside a backpack?

I'm a beginner to hiking. Last time, I had trouble easily accessing my stuff. Putting things inside the pack was also taking nearly an hour of my time. The problem is that I have to empty the ...
10
votes
5answers
686 views

What type of pole can be used for trout while backpacking?

Several of the places we hike every year have trout. I'd like to have some fresh fish on a couple of those hikes but I'm pretty new to trout fishing and I don't want to carry the weight of full ...
10
votes
5answers
932 views

How do you avoid Norovirus on the AT?

Every year on the AT (Appalachian trail) Norovirus sweeps through like wildfire and the problem only increases as trail density increases. What are the best methods for minimizing risk of contracting ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the true risk of suffocation from different combustion sources in a tent? (CO2, CO)

Aside from risk of fire (which for this question we will assume has been fully mitigated) what is the real risk of suffocation if one were to use a stove, lantern, or candle lantern in a tent? There ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

What are some good gluten-free foods for backpacking?

I have quite unfortunately found out several months ago that I'm gluten sensitive. Nearly all my meals I've planned and eaten on the trail have included wheat, and thus gluten, in them in some ...
10
votes
3answers
225 views

Proper food storage against black bears on a LONG (e.g., 14 days) trip, partly in black bear country? (enough bear canisters not practical)

This question is prompted by the replies to Questions about specifics of black bear encounter with mother and yearling cub. That question was about an encounter over 30 years ago, before the era of ...
10
votes
3answers
275 views

Keeping Single Item Cold While Backpacking For 2 Days

My friends and I are going backpacking and want to keep a single item cold for 2-3 days. Freezing is not a problem - preferably the closest to being frozen as possible. It is medication that may be ...
10
votes
5answers
669 views

Is there a portable / comfortable pillow suitable for camping / backpacking?

I quite like my pillows to give a lot of lift - I usually sleep with two relatively beefy ones. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a good equivalent whilst camping, with the normal pillows ...
10
votes
5answers
572 views

Can I replace Dish soap?

I have been trying to get my weight down on longer backpacking trips. I have already taken to buying very strong soap and using very little, but I was wondering is there something I can replace the ...
10
votes
1answer
237 views

How do female-urination-devices perform on long backpacking trips?

How do female-urination-devices like the Shewee and the GOGIRL perform on backpacking trips that are at least a week? Do they start smelling? Do they attract bears?
10
votes
3answers
5k views

What sleeping bags are needed for a northbound thru-hike of the AT

If you were attempting a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, starting roughly now (being mid to late March) and going northbound, how many sleeping bags and of what types would you need, assuming cost ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What can be safely trimmed on a backpack

When trimming weight there are a lot of options. Lighter gear, less gear, etc. One of those options is to take an existing pack and trim off "unnecessary" extras. For instance, I have (no kidding) ...
10
votes
1answer
471 views

How long should you leave a synthetic sleeping bag compressed?

How long can you leave a synthetic sleeping bag in compressed its stuff sack before you lose insulation? 2 days? 2 weeks? 2 months? The manufacturers say "long periods", but don't define it.
10
votes
1answer
905 views

What is the best way to re-waterproof a nylon tarp?

I have a ProForce All Weather Shelter, which is listed as being "210T rip-stop nylon". On a recent outing, we had four hours of rain overnight and it leaked on me the entire time. Upon closer ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

Is a smartphone or dedicated gps receiver better for navigation in the desert?

For most backcountry navigation I use a topo map and compass when necessary. Generally I'm following known trails and combined with some basic awareness of cardinal direction and land features I don't ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Walking trailers

Heavy backpacks can spoil the pleasures of being in the outdoors. There are two ways to resolve this: Carry less Find an alternative to the backpack While the first option is usually the best one, ...
9
votes
3answers
341 views

Effective way to carry a sleeping mattress with rucksack?

I am going for four day hike in Western Ghats. The terrain is rocky humid and It is one of the eight "hottest hotspots" of biological diversity in the world. I am trying to pack my rucksack ...
9
votes
4answers
662 views

Advantages to hammock camping on multi-night trips

This question asks what the downsides are to hammock camping, but doesn't really address the reasons why you would want to sleep in a hammock to camp. Let's say I'm backpacker new to the idea of ...