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.).

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10
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1answer
521 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.
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votes
2answers
232 views

Is a mountaineering tent necessary for backpacking Iceland?

I need a tent that will work in snow, sand storms, lots of wind, rain and sun(UV). Temperatures I'm expecting are -2C at night to 15C during the day. I will be backpacking, so the tent's weight should ...
10
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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3answers
515 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 as ...
9
votes
4answers
699 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
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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 ...
9
votes
4answers
277 views

Backpacking in the Winter (Michigan)

Winter is quickly approaching, and my friends and I (relatively inexperienced backpackers - only been on 2 trips of 9 days each) were wondering how much experience is necessary to safely backpacking ...
9
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4answers
697 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?
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3answers
424 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 ...
9
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3answers
390 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 ...
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5answers
362 views

Protein-intake on extended minimal-weight treks

I enjoy doing quite extended treks in the backcountry that rely on us (mostly 2-4 people) being independent from any kind of civilization for up to two weeks. For me the foremost problem in these ...
9
votes
3answers
755 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 '...
9
votes
2answers
141 views

Quality of duck vs goose down

While searching for a sleeping bag I was told that goose down is clearly superior to duck down in terms of quality. I guess that means e.g. the fill power (measured in cuin). What exactly are the ...
9
votes
3answers
611 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? ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

What kind of Tyvek is suitable for footprint material

When buying Tyvek online, there appear to be a myriad of options and numbers. Which numbers are suitable for making a tent footprint? Known numbers: 1443R, 1622E, 10G, 10GX, 1460, RV, 14M... (may ...
9
votes
1answer
99 views

Which size back pack if between sizes

I am looking to get a new Day/Weekend Pack. I have been looking at few in the 32-35L range but I a noticed that at least with Osprey packs I am right in between their S/M and their M/L. I have a 19in ...
9
votes
2answers
143 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
950 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
4answers
690 views

Does a pound on your foot equal 5 pounds on your back?

I have heard a number of people say that a pound on your foot equals 5 pounds on your back. Is there any hard evidence to support this claim and how does the terrain affect it?
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votes
8answers
8k views

How do I fold in / tidy up the straps on my rucksack?

I bought a new rucksack. However, how can I tidy up and hide away the myriad straps so they don't flap about and get caught in things?
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votes
6answers
652 views

What's a good, lightweight solution for portable cookware?

If I'm going on a four-day hike, I don't want to lug around a 15-lb cast iron dutch oven. I've thought of graniteware, but the handle on a saucepan is a bit bulky and makes packing it awkward. What ...
8
votes
5answers
121 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
240 views

What qualifies as a bear bag?

Hi I'm going on my first backpacking trip in April on the Appalachian Trail. I can't seem to find a bear bag. I see bear canisters but they're far too big and bulky and the other bear bags I found are ...
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votes
2answers
675 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
312 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
254 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
135 views

ultralight backpacking in snow and preparing for wet gear

So I was backpacking up in Sequoia national park this past weekend and there is still a lot of snow. I following some ultralight gear lists, which were good, but I ran into problems with gear getting ...
8
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2answers
888 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
338 views

What to look for in an Umbrella for Backpacking?

I recently took a short camping trip with a couple of friends when we encountered some intermittent showers. I foolishly forgot to check the forecast and forgot my waterproof jacket. I was handed an ...
8
votes
2answers
240 views

Storing food in the desert

I'll be doing some backpacking in sections of desert in Eastern Washington, U.S. and I was wondering if anybody has tips on food storage while hiking? There will be no trees to hang the food in. I'm ...
8
votes
1answer
170 views

How much experience is needed with llamas to hike with a llama, on one's own?

I've seen people on multi-day hikes with a llama, and the llama seems docile and easily led. It seems too good to be true. I would never go out with a mule or a horse on my own. If my husband and I ...
8
votes
1answer
199 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 ...
7
votes
8answers
969 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. ...
7
votes
3answers
794 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
431 views

what are the differences between high-end sleeping pads and cut to fit foam mats

I'm pretty tall and I find that to purchase a brand-name sleeping pad means shelling out serious $$$. To solve this I have always just purchased a roll of foam padding that I could cut to make sure it ...
7
votes
2answers
659 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
338 views

Protecting Food Supplies from wildlife animals While Backpacking

A group of 4 plan on hiking across Michigan's UP's Ottawa National Forest. We are finishing up our plans and have one last issue with food that we aren't sure how to handle. We know you are supposed ...
7
votes
2answers
220 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 ...
7
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3answers
132 views

Quick release knot for attaching kit

I'm currently using a double fisherman's bend to tie my kit together but it's a bit fiddly to take apart. Is there a better knot for the task?
7
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3answers
1k views

How to prevent chafing in my lower regions [duplicate]

I'm training currently for a long distance walk (the welsh 15 peaks in 24 hours) and I'm doing some long days (12 hours plus). I'm having some real trouble though with quite painful chafing in my (...
7
votes
2answers
336 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
986 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?
7
votes
2answers
181 views

How is “pack weight” measured

In ultralight or lightweight hiking, "pack weight" is a very common number to discuss. What does pack weight exclude? Is it limited to just what's in your pack, or does it also include clothes, ...
7
votes
2answers
765 views

What is a good (and affordable) sleeping bag for someone who is beginning to backpack? [closed]

Out of all the equipment that I have been looking at in order to get started backpacking the sleeping bag is the one that I have been completely blown away by prices. I just would never expect ...
7
votes
3answers
151 views

Where can we go backpacking out West under 8,500 feet that has much of the feel of much higher altitudes

My husband I have been backpacking in the Sierra and Rockies since 1972. We are bare granite freaks, and have always gone high. Alas, time is catching up with us (we are over 70), and we are now ...
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3answers
4k 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How to reduce pain of wasp stings

Assuming I am not allergic, or showing signs of allergic reaction, what's the best way to treat multiple yellow jacket (a type of wasp) stings in the outdoors while hiking/backpacking? My key concern ...