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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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
129 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?
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 ...
28
votes
1answer
860 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
337 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
2answers
65 views

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

Is it possible to recycle or refill small (disposable ­čśë) propane cannisters?
20
votes
3answers
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 taco....
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 ...
17
votes
4answers
832 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?...
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 ...
86
votes
16answers
18k 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
132 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
98 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
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?
17
votes
3answers
390 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
738 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
36 views

Lapland UKK hike in late-May

My dad and I are planning to hike the Lapland UKK from Aittajarvi to Kiilop├Ą├Ą in late-May (22-30).We are planning to drive from Helsinki to Saariselk├Ą, about 12 hours drive. Is it possible to drive ...
13
votes
4answers
686 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
236 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
91 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
969 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
401 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
733 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
202 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
560 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 ...
22
votes
8answers
18k 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
20k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
798 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
152 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 ...
26
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
357 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
844 views

How precise is a pedometer for estimating on a backpacking trip?

In practice, how precise is a pedometer for estimating your progress on a trail? For example, if I'm to hike 10 miles, how far should I expect to be from the 10 miles marker? Is there data comparing ...
14
votes
7answers
473 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
332 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
268 views

Stoveless/fireless hiking food suggestions

In light of the recent forest-fire qualms that have arisen all over the globe (not to imply that any of y'all are irresponsible enough to have the capacity to start any, and hopefully that same would ...
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 ...