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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5
votes
3answers
2k views

Best lightweight pole for tarp

I'm considering starting to use a bivvy bag/tarp combination for solo backpacking in the UK (read: no trees where I'll be walking!) Most people seem to use trekking pole(s) for rigging these up which ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How much does it cost to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail?

It's been a dream of mine to thru-hike the AT ever since I first discovered it. I'm hoping to plan a trip one of these days, but honestly don't even know where to start as far cost. I imagine it could ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Am I likely to need multiple pairs of boots on the Appalachian Trail?

Reading up on a hiking boot size question, I came across this review from Silver Spring, Maryland for a wide hiking boot. This boot has a "lifespan" of 400 miles. Is that typical of a hiking boot? ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Are portable solar panels useful on pack trips? [duplicate]

Have you used portable folding solar panels (5-20W) like Anker or GoalZero with much success? It seems like they would really only work well on a pack trip if you have a day off periodically to ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Tips and tricks for backpacking with a guitar

There are numerous compact and travel guitars that exist, some of which are designed specifically for outdoor pursuits like backpacking. Being a musician, music is one of the things I miss most while ...
35
votes
6answers
1k views

Backpacking or hiking in areas open to hunting

A lot of areas that are good for hiking or backpacking are also popular hunting grounds. I am an avid backpacker and hiker, but I do not know much about hunting. How do I find out what is the ...
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, ...
12
votes
2answers
813 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
686 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
599 views

What should I look for in hiking binoculars

I'd like a pair of binoculars for hiking. I don't have a specific use other than for looking off of overlooks, at animals, etc. What are the important things to look for in a good set of binoculars? ...
18
votes
3answers
492 views

As an experienced backpacker in the Eastern US, what should I know before hiking in the Western US?

I have done a good deal of hiking and backpacking in the Eastern US (mostly in New England), but I recently moved to California. What are the major differences in terms of preparation or equipment ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I locate the leak in a inflatable pad

I went camping last trip and my nice inflated pad... deflated. I always carry a patch kit but I discovered another issue: I couldn't find the leak. The leak was small. It took quite a while of me ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

In what conditions is a four-season tent needed?

Growing up hiking the southern Appalachians, I've never actually needed a four season tent. However we are starting to look at hikes around the country where the temperatures and conditions get worse ...
6
votes
1answer
155 views

Tying up a tent to the sack

How to tie up a tent to a sack in order to carry it over a long distance? I recently bought this sack, and I carried it over this weekend with my 4-men tent, and it was damn bad a day to have it ...
4
votes
4answers
716 views

Bare Essentials for 2-3 day Hike

My story I like to hike and pack light. Lately I have been experimenting with various setups for making a 2-3 day trek along the Appalachian Trail. I have tried a few different methods of carrying ...
10
votes
5answers
676 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
729 views

Backpacking propane canister too tall and unstable

My propane/butane/isobutane canister with stove top attached is about 6" tall. When I put a cookware filled with liquid on top of it, the center of gravity seems very high and the whole system seems ...
17
votes
2answers
4k views

Should I be worried about bears when sleeping in a hammock?

I'm going on a multi day backpacking trip and I am planning on taking only a backpacking hammock instead of a tent. When I mentioned this to a friend of mine he jokingly referred to me as a bear ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What batteries would make sense to power 12v devices (e.g. blankets, lights) for camping?

I have looked into a number of solutions to power 12v devices: Goal Zero battery packs (too expensive? $300+) 12v sealed lead acid battery with adapter (too dangerous? impractical to recharge? ≈$50) ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
745 views

How should I pack for a week of backpacking in the rain?

So, next week I will be leaving on a hiking trip, which was supposed to be in the middle of summer whilst it's at its hottest, but instead it will be raining all week. Luckily there are public use ...
4
votes
2answers
80 views

How much spare strap should I leave when trimming a pack down?

I'm finally going to take the plunge and trim all the excess cordage and belting off of my pack. How much strap material should I leave to allow for adjustments in gear (adding layers for cold, ...
8
votes
2answers
298 views

What permits and reservations do I need for the Adirondacks?

I'm considering to go on a multi-day backpacking hiking trip in the Adirondack Mountains, New York, USA, soon. In Canada one must often purchase a permit and reservations, and one can only camp on ...
5
votes
2answers
205 views

Footprint or no Footprint in a TNF Assault

I'm planning to camp over rocks and snow in a The North Face Assault (TNF Assault). It's necessary to buy or make a footprint? There's not one for this model at their website. What you recommend?.
6
votes
3answers
242 views

Comparing 2-person, three-season backpacking tents

I'm looking for a good starter tent for my wife and I. We primarily do light backpacking (anywhere from 3-5 day trips in summer/fall) and would like a tent that balances comfort, weight, and space. ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I mix fuels when using the MSR whisperlite international stove?

I have an MSR whisperlite international stove. Can I mix fuels when both require the same jet? Background: When backpacking I often just carry one fuel bottle, filled with white gas. On my last trip ...
11
votes
1answer
537 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
785 views

How to cheaply introduce someone to backpacking

I meet a fair number people who would like to try backpacking. Unfortunately the initial cost seems to be pretty high. Even an overnight requires a lot of big ticket gear (tent, sleeping bag, etc). ...
12
votes
1answer
302 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

Two day hike recommendations in New England area

I am interested in a recommendation for a good hike in New England (MA, NH, ME, VT, etc). We will have Saturday and Sunday and we want to do a long hike/backpacking. Preferably with elevations of 4k+ ...
7
votes
2answers
644 views

To pack Vertical or Horizontal?

I always wonder, in what way I can pack my things so that the weight distribution will be good and I can find it handy to get the things quickly instead of unpacking the entire backpack. I know that ...
4
votes
2answers
283 views

What Canadian national/provincial/territorial parks permit random backcountry camping, if any?

From my outdoor experience in the Nordic countries, I'm used to random backcountry camping. I've never seen a backcountry campground in my life, but I've recently moved to Canada and it seems that in ...
7
votes
1answer
48 views

Is there a Canadian equivalent to Forestry Rangers

In the States, we have a Ranger structure, whereby you can call a ranger district that can answer questions about that district. Similarly, you can call higher up the food chain for questions ...
3
votes
2answers
527 views

Backpacking and primitive camping near Chicago?

I'm having trouble finding parks and forests that allow backpacking and primitive camping near Chicago, IL. Are there any good locations near Chicago for backpacking?
8
votes
1answer
198 views

Maxpedition Condor 2 unresolved questions

I am undecided between sitka and condor 2 packs. Can you please answer few of my question so I can deicide on my purchase. How much can condor 2 be shrunk when all 4 side compression straps are ...
6
votes
2answers
315 views

How are backcountry campground reservations enforced?

It seems that in the backcountry of Canadian parks, one may only camp on campgrounds, and reservations are required. For example, in Jasper National Park, one must camp on campgrounds to be reserved ...
9
votes
3answers
380 views

Depth Perception in the Mountains

I'm not from the mountains. Every time I go into the mountains I lose all depth perception. I can't tell by looking if a peak is 100 meters or a 1,000 meters above me. I have to stare hard and look ...
3
votes
3answers
307 views

Memorial Day Backpacking in the Northwest

I've been set on getting my feet wet with backpacking this year. I did my first overnight trip along Thunder Creek a couples weeks ago, and was hoping to do a 3-day trip for Memorial Day weekend. My ...
17
votes
5answers
5k views

How to preserve cheese while backpacking?

Are there specific techniques for carrying/storing cheese while backpacking for a longer time so it doesn´t spoil? This question is related, but different: Cheese and eggs on backpacking trips
7
votes
1answer
90 views

Effective technique for crossing high and dense mountain pine

Is there any special effective technique (parkour or something similar) for crossing very high and dense mountain pine? Those ones can be really dense, and sometimes the only possibility to cross them ...
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
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 ...
13
votes
6answers
5k views

What is the proper way to tarp tent to avoid condensation?

I tried pitching a tarp instead of a tent this weekend. In worked well, kept off the rain etc, except for the condensation. It was far worse than any condensation I've ever had in a tent. We had ...
7
votes
3answers
768 views

Strengthening exercises for a backpacking trip?

I just finished a 22.4 mile hiking trip, which was spread of two days and it's the furthest I've ever hiked. When I finished my body was killing me, apparently taking long day hikes is not a ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

Lowe Alpine - TFX Cerro Torre: pack is moving to sides

I bought a new pack Love Alpine TFX Cerro Torre 65:85 (this one). I am quite satisfied, but have one problem. The pack is moving to sides and isn't very stable. On begs it fits really well, bat the ...
7
votes
8answers
948 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. ...
16
votes
7answers
529 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.
9
votes
4answers
655 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? ...
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 ...