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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

9
votes
4answers
690 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
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
276 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
votes
4answers
660 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
3answers
410 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
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
5answers
331 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
748 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
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
602 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
87 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
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
141 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
934 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
673 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?
8
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?
8
votes
6answers
631 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
120 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
205 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
669 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
299 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
249 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
126 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
votes
2answers
881 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
1answer
454 views

Stove/fuel setup for harsh conditions

We already have topics on fuels here and here which give quite an overview. Also REI gives some info how to choose your stove and fuel properly. Still I would like to know what are the best options ...
8
votes
2answers
293 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
233 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
148 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
954 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
774 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
425 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
646 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
314 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
217 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
votes
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
1answer
945 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
173 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
734 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
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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
114 views

Shoulder season backpacking near Whistler (early June)

I will have a work trip in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada early June, and I'm seeing if I can combine this with a backpacking trip in the nearby coast mountains for 2–3 nights. However, it's very ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
580 views

How do I reseal a tent bottom with many pinprick holes

Our tent pan has a LOT of very tiny holes in it. We've never had to use a footprint, and our tent has always kept water out, but that is no longer the case. I don't want to carry a footprint due to ...
6
votes
4answers
223 views

What's the best way to store/carry olive oil for hiking?

Bottles of olive oil often have special caps that help prevent drips/etc. when pouring the oil, but an entire bottle of olive oil is far to heavy to carry for a hike. What's the best method for ...
6
votes
3answers
293 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
115 views

How many clothes should I bring to Philmont, or any long backpacking trip?

What's a good ratio for clothes to days on a long backpacking trip, or to Philmont? For instance, how many clothes should I bring for two weeks?
6
votes
2answers
144 views

Best method of carrying fruits over a period of 3 days while on a trek

While trekking, I prefer having fruits in the real form, not dried ones and no pulp or juices. When carried without being squished fruits like apple, litchi and strawberries don't rot in a couple of ...