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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15
votes
2answers
8k views

Is titanium camping cookware safe for our body?

Titanium cookware seems like a good choice for backpacking, because it's light and easier to carry than some of the other types of cooking equipment. In the questions What's a good, lightweight ...
8
votes
3answers
92 views

What is the best way to manage Scottish midges?

I have seen some posts that mention midges and midge spray. I am wild camping in Scotland in August. Should I be worried about them? Is there anything else a part from midge spray I can use to keep ...
10
votes
2answers
169 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

Lapland UKK hike in late-May

My dad and I are planning to hike the Lapland UKK from Aittajarvi to Kiilopää in late-May (22-30).We are planning to drive from Helsinki to Saariselkä, about 12 hours drive. Is it possible to drive ...
7
votes
1answer
116 views

How to teach situational awareness for the outdoors?

By situational awareness I mean (but certainly don't limit it to): Looking behind to familiarize yourself with the return journey Looking ahead to see what the best route will be Knowing the ...
20
votes
5answers
7k views

What is the difference between external and internal-frame packs?

I am starting backpacking and there are both internal and external-frame packs. What is the difference, and is one recommended over the other?
2
votes
1answer
41 views
20
votes
3answers
1k views

Does any tent manufacturer promise to have replacement parts?

A few years ago I got a 2-person tent for backpacking. At some point, I let the rain fly get too hot. It became sticky and its waterproof coating peeled. I tried to buy a replacement rain fly, but ...
23
votes
14answers
8k views

How can I take duct tape with me backpacking?

I'm going on a backpacking trip later this summer and on the list of things to bring is 3 yards of duct tape. I don't want to bring an entire roll of duct tape because it would be heavy and cumbersome,...
23
votes
12answers
3k views

Toothpaste in the back-country and the principle of leave no trace

I am a staunch proponent of leave no trace. I don't carry dish detergent (sand and small rocks work much better on stainless steel anyways,) and I don't use soap or shampoo, not even of the ...
7
votes
3answers
140 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?
28
votes
1answer
874 views

How are sleeping bag temperature ratings determined?

One things that has always troubled me when buying a sleeping bag is the temperature rating. When looking at a bag that claims to be a +15°F bag (for example) how do I know that it is really good ...
24
votes
5answers
18k views

Tent and sleeping bag: pack inside or strap outside a backpack?

When I bought my pack, we were told to always pack the tent and sleeping bag in the pack. Since then I have seen a lot of articles and hikers doing the outside. What are the benefits on packing the ...
10
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 ...
20
votes
9answers
5k views

Am I packing too much for a 2-3 day hike in the forests?

I have decided that I would like to hike. I have read a bit on hiking, and bought some gear and a backpack to get started. I want to start with backpacking through mostly flat forests, and later ...
10
votes
7answers
373 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
69 views

Where can I recycle or refill small 16 oz propane cannisters?

Is it possible to recycle or refill small (disposable 😉) propane cannisters?
20
votes
3answers
5k 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 taco....
7
votes
3answers
155 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
841 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 candidates?...
86
votes
16answers
19k views

What is the most efficient food to take a for a 12-15 day hiking trip?

Last summer I spent 15 days hiking with my boyfriend, in Sarek National Park, where there are no places to restock with more food. The food issue was a major part of the pre-planning, as weight was ...
8
votes
2answers
138 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 ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Handling feminine hygiene on multiple-month treks?

How can I handle multiple months of menstrual cycles on a long trek like the Appalachian Trail? I am asking about how to handle the mess. Here are my personal considerations: Using hormonal birth ...
19
votes
8answers
10k views

Why do people who backpack sleep in tents instead of tarps?

I know that this has been debated for some time (whether it is better to sleep in a tent or a tarp) but recently this debate came up between my friends and me, and I am just feeling out this possible ...
9
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
712 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?
17
votes
3answers
393 views

where is the optimal place to do dishes in the backcountry

I just came back from a backpacking trip in an alpine area. I was cleaning some kitchen items (pot, spork, pan, etc) with some remnant food particles that were coming off. I use a very small amount of ...
14
votes
6answers
750 views

Tips for a novice backpacker

I would like to get into backpacking and make 2-3 day backpacking trips in moderate climatic conditions in mountainous terrains (mid-Atlantic U.S. or Central Europe, spring-fall). I am looking for ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How to keep your beer cold up to 12 hours?

How can i keep my beer cold up to 12 hours while hiking ??
9
votes
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
713 views

Bear bags vs Bear canisters: which is better?

Most people I know and myself store food in bear bags. However, I have heard that some parks have banned bear bags and require canisters. I've also heard there is a bear in New York that has figured ...
8
votes
4answers
303 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Most common infectious diseases acquired in the wilderness?

People traveling in the wilderness can acquire infectious diseases. These can be caused by organisms such bacteria, viruses, protozoans, or fungi. They can be transmitted through drinking contaminated ...
11
votes
5answers
978 views

How do you avoid Norovirus on the AT?

Every year on the AT (Appalachian trail) Norovirus sweeps through like wildfire and the problem only increases as trail density increases. What are the best methods for minimizing risk of contracting ...
11
votes
1answer
424 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?
10
votes
5answers
753 views

What type of pole can be used for trout while backpacking?

Several of the places we hike every year have trout. I'd like to have some fresh fish on a couple of those hikes but I'm pretty new to trout fishing and I don't want to carry the weight of full ...
29
votes
9answers
4k views

Backpacking Through Rain

My friends and I are setting off on a hike this Friday through Michigan's UP. I've been watching the forecast which, to be fair, is never accurate in Michigan. Nonetheless, it shows a good amount of ...
11
votes
4answers
207 views

How do you lower a backpack over a cliff without damaging it?

I was backpacking in Coyote Gulch, Utah this past week and ran into an issue with my 70 liter backpack. The entrance to the gulch through "Crack in the Wall" was a narrow "slot" entry, so the ...
11
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I test out my equipment before a backpacking trip?

I'm in the slow process of acquiring all of the gear I think I will need to do a week-long backpacking trip somewhere in the Midwest. Many of the more experienced backpackers I've spoken with or read ...
11
votes
4answers
586 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, ...
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 ...
24
votes
8answers
24k views

How much should your backpack weigh?

For a multi-day backpacking trip, what is the ideal weight of a backpack? And what is that max weight that no sane human should go over?
13
votes
6answers
21k views

How long does mayonnaise last unrefrigerated in the back-country?

Yes, mayonnaise. It is sold unrefrigerated, and is an essential component of any back-country sandwich. Has anyone reached its limit and had it spoil on them? (I haven't. Of course, I've never had an ...
15
votes
5answers
814 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
174 views

What is the easiest way to remove creosote from pots and pans?

I just returned from a five day trip during which we used a friend's Solo Stove (wood burner). My pots are now covered with a thick, sticky, black layer of creosote. I've tried steel wool and soap, ...
36
votes
7answers
5k views

What are some good tips and techniques for packing a backpack?

How do I pack a backpack to prevent injury to my back and keep it comfortable while hiking?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What size dry bag is best for keeping and washing clothes?

I want to buy a drybag for washing clothes while backpacking (travelling, not hiking) and also keeping dirty/wet clothes until it is time to wash them. I have available near me 5L, 10L and 20L dry ...
27
votes
6answers
2k views

What precautions should I take to protect myself and my camp from bears?

Most of my prior hiking experience has been in areas that are not home to bears, so what precautions should I take to protect my camp (and myself as I am hiking) from bears. I am aware of a couple of ...
12
votes
2answers
363 views

How do you best treat a turned ankle in the back country?

Possibly the most common injury I see when hiking with groups is when someone turns or rolls their ankle. Assuming that access to a vehicle is not feasible, what is the best way to deal with the ...