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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9
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3answers
372 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
1k 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
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
3answers
837 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
164 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
8answers
6k 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
4answers
316 views

How do I protect my book(s) while backpacking?

I recently started backpacking in the Olympic Mountains. While camping, I usually bring along a trade paperback for light reading before bed or during a lunch break on a day-long hike. Up until now, ...
8
votes
6answers
597 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
119 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
2answers
647 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
274 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
2answers
828 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
3answers
561 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? ...
8
votes
2answers
153 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
222 views

What are the main differences between dehydrated foods and freeze-dried foods?

What's the big difference between Dehydrated and Freeze-dried foods? What are the pros and cons to choosing one over the other for backpacking?
8
votes
1answer
191 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
139 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
510 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
569 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
678 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
389 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
594 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
260 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
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
217 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
843 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
651 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
1answer
390 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 ...
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
47 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
92 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
2answers
526 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
8answers
880 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. ...
6
votes
3answers
278 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
100 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
117 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
196 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
132 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)? ...
6
votes
3answers
212 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. ...
6
votes
2answers
280 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
163 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
92 views

Trekking Har ki doon (India): Permits and Guides

We are going to Sankri-Har-ki-doon trek. So, from various sources in internet we found a that a forest permit is necessary for the trek. From where should we obtain this ? And is it mandatory to hire ...
6
votes
2answers
362 views

Solo-backpacking in mountain lion country

I've read that to take precautions in mountain lion country, people should hike and camp in groups. Does that mean solo-backpacking is not advisable in mountain lion country (Rocky Mountains in my ...
6
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
73 views

Are there something like student mountain guides clubs in Western Europe?

Student mountain guides clubs are very active in Poland. They are organizing non-commercial mountain backpacking trips, where participants have to pay only their part of costs, such as when you travel ...
5
votes
4answers
720 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
898 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 ...
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 ...