Hiking with camping in the backcountry, carrying all necessary equipment in one's backpack.

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6
votes
8answers
790 views

Carry a larger water bottle or a smaller water bottle for backpacking?

I'm debating between carrying a larger water bottle and a smaller one. A larger one means I'll have to stop less to filter water, but it means I'll be carrying more, at least for a period of time. ...
14
votes
2answers
479 views

What foods should I avoid when backpacking?

Are there any foods that should be off-limits when backpacking because they have a negative impact on performance or well-being? I am thinking that candy-bars and very greasy foods might be ...
15
votes
7answers
445 views

How can I boost morale on long backpacking trips?

Not just children can be whiny on long backpacking trips. I am interested in learning how to boost morale with both, adult groups, or when hiking with children.
8
votes
4answers
451 views

Is caffeine helpful or hurtful when backpacking?

When backpacking for several days, is there a benefit to drinking coffee and the likes in the morning, or does the crash that comes later in the day hinder the progress of a group in the back-country? ...
9
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it ever safe to let a hypothermic person sleep?

My understanding is that with severely hypothermic patients you want to keep them awake if possible. I'd heard moving a hypothermic patient is risky as you dont want to jostle them, some wilderness ...
17
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the difference between external and internal-frame packs?

I am starting backpacking and there are both internal and external-frame packs. What is the difference, and is one recommended over the other?
21
votes
7answers
4k views

What is the best way to cross streams while backpacking?

I'm curious of a good technique to cross a stream while backpacking that's above the boot's waterproof line but no higher than the knees. I typically face upstream and use my hiking poles for ...
3
votes
2answers
550 views

Where can you find an online elevation profile of Tahoe Rim Trail?

Where can I find a good elevation profile of Tahoe Rim Trail? This website has an elevation profile based on GPS data points. However, it is not laid out in a very useful format. I'm looking for ...
6
votes
2answers
157 views

What to do when a black bear got a hold of an open bear can?

When an adult black bear without cubs in sight got a hold of an open bear-can, is it advisable to try to scare him/her away (with noise, or by approaching him/her as a group?) I am asking both for ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Do kevlar sacks work against bears?

We ran into a hiker on the AT last year using a kevlar back to keep out bears and rodents. He said the product was an Ursack and seemed very happy with it. However he'd never had a bear try to get ...
10
votes
1answer
217 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?
3
votes
3answers
94 views

Backpacking in southern NY or PA

All- I'm looking for a good 25-30 mile backpacking trail in southern NY or PA. I've looked into Allegany State Park and National Forest, but couldn't find a loop that would keep us out of ...
5
votes
2answers
704 views

Which is more durable: Hard shell or soft shell?

From my experience, I've only ever used hard shells simply because I've always thought they were made for more treacherous weather. However, I recently saw a video by Patagonia that claimed soft ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Why don't we apply the principles of layering when it comes to pants?

Whenever I see clothing articles geared toward hiking and backpacking that discuss layering (base layer for wicking, mid layer for insulation, etc.), they always seem to discuss these things in terms ...
4
votes
2answers
155 views

Recipe for backcountry ice cream?

In honor of National Ice Cream Month, does anyone have a good back-country ice cream recipe they could share? Bonus points for ones that don't require ice (ice field, glacier, etc.)
3
votes
1answer
348 views

Improvising Heavy Rain Protection for a Backpack

Heavy rain can soak all of your gear. There are some things that you don't ever want to get wet, like your camera. I've learned to protect those things with string bags, which are light and I always ...
9
votes
3answers
615 views

How much warmth dead leaves add if placed under your tent/pad?

During the fall season, fallen leaves from deciduous trees such as maple, oak, etc. can be found in abundance. Dead leaves can be gathered and placed under your sleeping system in order to sleep more ...
8
votes
3answers
315 views

Logs & Rocks - Step on or over?

Growing up we were always taught to never step straight over a rock or log because it is a good way to step on or startle a snake that you cannot see. However, on a lot of hiking forums I see it ...
3
votes
2answers
225 views

What style of camelback hydrating systems exist out there?

For an incoming trip, I am considering buying a camelback hydration system. There are two options available at my local preferred dealer, and I would like some advice on which one to choose. The main ...
4
votes
1answer
445 views

How to clean the ceramic filter of a water pump?

We used a Katadyn Vario filter during our last hike in Scotland. It uses a ceramic filter when used in LONGER LIFE modus. The waters in Scotland however have a tendency to be brown (due to the peat ...
4
votes
2answers
397 views

How can I keep my backpack safe?

I went on a hike with my wife the other day in Norcal. This place had a creek that led into a cave that you can swim in. We both left our backpacks at the cave entrance and then swam through it to the ...
4
votes
1answer
223 views

Precautions needed to be taken regarding bee hives (honey) during Climbs

I am a regular climber and a hiker. Having an experience of more than 600 hikes and around 30 technical climbs, I have realized that during rock-climbing, the climbers are bound to face Honeybees ...
6
votes
3answers
245 views

Where to keep valuables when separated from them

I just had a thought after buying a couple of money belts for my girlfriend and I.. Where should we keep them when we are swimming for example? I know this seems like a simple problem but is there ...
3
votes
2answers
505 views

Two to four day backpacking trip in Washington State for May [closed]

I am looking for a backpacking trip somewhere between two and four days long in Washington State that is possible to do under current conditions (May). Any recommendations?
2
votes
1answer
120 views

How to prevent bear bag line from tangling? [duplicate]

While backpacking, I usually carry 50 feet of spectra cord (2mm) to be used as part of my bear bagging system. More often than I would like, I end up having to untangle the line before being able to ...
16
votes
3answers
893 views

Washing dishes with seawater or freshwater?

When backpacking in a coastal region, you sometimes have access to both fresh water (e.g. a stream) and salt water (sea, bay, etc.). If you do not treat the water used for washing dishes, what are ...
4
votes
4answers
760 views

While backpacking, should one bring hand sanitizer, soap, or both?

What are the advantages of hand sanitizer over soap on a backpacking trip? Do they fulfill the same purpose? What would you recommend for hand sanitization?
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Selecting backpacking cooking pot – teflon, aluminum, steel, titanium, or cast iron?

What are the relative advantages / dangers of different cooking wear? I'm a one-pot gourmet that has been using the same stainless steel pot for 15 years, but am considering an upgrade. Some things I ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Should food be in a bear bag/canister even when I'm hiking?

I've read that in the western US, backpackers need bear canisters or bear bags, for bears or for other animals. For example, a post comparing different methods is here. I must admit I'm a bit ...
11
votes
2answers
247 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

How small is “too small” for tent guylines?

In my ongoing effort to cut tent weight we have replaced stakes, changed ground pads, and we're looking at replacing the guylines (no really, it's amazing how much cordage weighs!). At what diameter ...
4
votes
3answers
379 views

How should we split up a 3 person tent?

If carrying a three person tent when backpacking, what's the recommended way to split it up so that the weight is balanced out among all three people going?
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Rapid backpack readying

I have noticed that preparing a backpack for a 1-2-10 day trip can take up to 3 hours. I would like to cut this time way down. Concerning this, I have had several ideas: Have a the pack outfitted ...
6
votes
1answer
703 views

What is a “fast pack” setup for a tent?

Reading around forums and in products, I see descriptions and weights for a "fast pack" setup for tents. What does this mean and what is it used for?
15
votes
3answers
947 views

What do you do if the fire does get “out of control”?

Let's say you are camping with a large group, and someone starts a camp fire. You're away for a bit and come back to find everyone panicking and the fire to be much larger than actually planned (ie, ...
8
votes
2answers
569 views

Do bag liners add the same warmth value to all sleeping bags?

I have a bag liner that claims to add 15 degrees to the "range" of a sleeping bag. Is it reasonable to assume that it would work the same for all bags? For instance, would it extend a 40 degree bag ...
7
votes
1answer
169 views

Trekking Pole Length

I was recently convinced to buy a pair of trekking poles for backpacking. But how long should they be? What is the optimal length to adjust my trekking poles, when carrying a heavy pack? I have ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

What are a few backpacking foods that have the calories yet are lightweight? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the most efficient food to take a for a 12-15 day hiking trip? A list of suitable foods for a long hike I normally carry brown rice, oatmeal, instant potatoes, ...
2
votes
1answer
198 views

Art supplies on backpacking trips

I have always been inspired by the sketches and watercolors of explorers, cartographers and scientists who lived before the invention of photography. I have tried bringing watercolors myself, but ...
5
votes
2answers
97 views

Minimizing impact of small groups on wilderness areas

I have been given conflicting information for how to minimize the impact of traveling in small groups in wilderness areas. For groups traveling off-trail in areas where it is appropriate I have heard ...
21
votes
5answers
14k views

Tent and sleeping bag: pack inside or strap outside a backpack?

When I bought my pack, we were told to always pack the tent and sleeping bag in the pack. Since then I have seen a lot of articles and hikers doing the outside. What are the benefits on packing the ...
7
votes
5answers
113 views

What can I use to label my medicine tubes?

For my first aid kit, all of the medications are repackaged. I use nalgene snaptop vials like these. I have found that even permanent sharpie marker rubs off fairly quickly when hiking. I can ...
10
votes
5answers
525 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
10k views

How long does mayonnaise last unrefrigerated in the back-country?

Yes, mayonnaise. It is sold unrefrigerated, and is an essential component of any back-country sandwich. Has anyone reached its limit and had it spoil on them? (I haven't. Of course, I've never had an ...
10
votes
4answers
400 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
555 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
119 views

How do you determine current trail conditions before going on a hike?

In addition to getting the current weather report on the day of a hike, how does one find out if the trails are currently in good shape and what kind of gear may be necessary that day (i.e. crampons)? ...
5
votes
3answers
765 views

Are 35mm film canisters safe for holding spices?

Some of you may remember 35mm film** and the black cases it came in. I have a few lying around, and have seen people use them as backpacking salt and pepper shakers. I have also heard that's a good ...