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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11
votes
4answers
335 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. ...
14
votes
3answers
648 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
633 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? ...
16
votes
7answers
521 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.
7
votes
8answers
933 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. ...
19
votes
6answers
1k views

How safe is it to hike alone?

Should a woman legitimately fear to be assaulted or raped on popular backpacking trails in the US when hiking by herself? How common are attacks of that nature? How does it compare to residential ...
14
votes
7answers
442 views

Splitting up weight hiking as a couple/mixed gender group

Assuming equivalent fitness, what is a fair way to split up weight when hiking as a couple/in mixed gender groups? Should the weight be proportional to the individuals weight? Are there other ...
7
votes
2answers
216 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 ...
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?
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
873 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
103 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
485 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
194 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
2answers
261 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
662 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
1answer
313 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
289 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
775 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
268 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
146 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
601 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?
9
votes
3answers
918 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
907 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?
15
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
469 views

Can I get away with less advanced food storing methods if backpacking in areas where meeting bears is unlikely?

A page like this one, as well as a number of questions on this site, discuss how to pack food safely from bears. What about other animals? This post advises a pretty sophisticated way to protect ...
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
403 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
2k 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
433 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?
17
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
130 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
592 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? ...
7
votes
1answer
922 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
1k 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
663 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
665 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
140 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
331 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
167 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, ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
676 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 ...
21
votes
7answers
5k views

Cheese and eggs on backpacking trips

I have taken some hard cheeses onto backpacking trips quite successfully without spoilage, but I have not dared taking more than I can eat in about 3 days. Eggs I have not dared to take. I am ...