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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82
votes
15answers
16k 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 ...
54
votes
8answers
17k views

What are good knots to know for camping and backpacking?

I once tied a bear bag with a haphazard bundle of knots, and despite being seemingly impossible to untie, it came loose when lowering the bear bag and nearly smoked my friend standing under it. What ...
36
votes
7answers
4k 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?
35
votes
6answers
1k views

Backpacking or hiking in areas open to hunting

A lot of areas that are good for hiking or backpacking are also popular hunting grounds. I am an avid backpacker and hiker, but I do not know much about hunting. How do I find out what is the ...
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 ...
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 ...
23
votes
7answers
5k views

What is the best way to cross streams while backpacking?

I'm curious of a good technique to cross a stream while backpacking that's above the boot's waterproof line but no higher than the knees. I typically face upstream and use my hiking poles for ...
22
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 ...
22
votes
8answers
11k 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?
22
votes
5answers
17k 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 ...
21
votes
7answers
5k views

Cheese and eggs on backpacking trips

I have taken some hard cheeses onto backpacking trips quite successfully without spoilage, but I have not dared taking more than I can eat in about 3 days. Eggs I have not dared to take. I am ...
21
votes
2answers
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 ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

How to calculate backpacking food requirements for a dog

So I know how to calculate how many additional calories a day I need while backpacking. My question is how do I calculate how much food my dog will need while backpacking. I'm hoping for a general ...
20
votes
6answers
781 views

How to cheaply introduce someone to backpacking

I meet a fair number people who would like to try backpacking. Unfortunately the initial cost seems to be pretty high. Even an overnight requires a lot of big ticket gear (tent, sleeping bag, etc). ...
19
votes
12answers
7k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
6k 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?
19
votes
2answers
728 views

What to look for in a durable, 3-season sleeping bag?

I'm looking to purchase a camping sleeping bag. I'd like one that's high-quality, durable, and suitable for weekend hiking/camping trips during spring, summer, and fall in New England. (Most of my ...
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 ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Why don't we apply the principles of layering when it comes to pants?

Whenever I see clothing articles geared toward hiking and backpacking that discuss layering (base layer for wicking, mid layer for insulation, etc.), they always seem to discuss these things in terms ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

Selecting backpacking cooking pot – teflon, aluminum, steel, titanium, or cast iron?

What are the relative advantages / dangers of different cooking wear? I'm a one-pot gourmet that has been using the same stainless steel pot for 15 years, but am considering an upgrade. Some things I ...
18
votes
6answers
1k views

Repair broken plastic buckle in the middle of Hiking or alternative way to fix it

A month ago while hiking my 60 liter bag packs main Shoulder strap got broken at the very first hour of 4 day high altitude trek in a dense forest. I have tied a knot in that area and because of that ...
18
votes
3answers
484 views

As an experienced backpacker in the Eastern US, what should I know before hiking in the Western US?

I have done a good deal of hiking and backpacking in the Eastern US (mostly in New England), but I recently moved to California. What are the major differences in terms of preparation or equipment ...
18
votes
2answers
948 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
5k views

How to preserve cheese while backpacking?

Are there specific techniques for carrying/storing cheese while backpacking for a longer time so it doesn´t spoil? This question is related, but different: Cheese and eggs on backpacking trips
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it ever safe to let a hypothermic person sleep?

My understanding is that with severely hypothermic patients you want to keep them awake if possible. I'd heard moving a hypothermic patient is risky as you dont want to jostle them, some wilderness ...
17
votes
3answers
374 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
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 ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

The best solution for carrying a D-SLR when hiking

I am planning a multi-day hike in the Drakensberg area of South Africa. This is a beautiful landscape with interesting flora and fauna. Consequently I want to have my Digital SLR close to hand. I ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Am I likely to need multiple pairs of boots on the Appalachian Trail?

Reading up on a hiking boot size question, I came across this review from Silver Spring, Maryland for a wide hiking boot. This boot has a "lifespan" of 400 miles. Is that typical of a hiking boot? ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Washing dishes with seawater or freshwater?

When backpacking in a coastal region, you sometimes have access to both fresh water (e.g. a stream) and salt water (sea, bay, etc.). If you do not treat the water used for washing dishes, what are ...
16
votes
7answers
520 views

How can I boost morale on long backpacking trips?

Not just children can be whiny on long backpacking trips. I am interested in learning how to boost morale with both, adult groups, or when hiking with children.
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How to store a backpack while sleeping?

During a recent backpacking trip, we hung the bear bag and got ready to set in for the night and I realized I wasn't sure what I should do with my backpack. Technically the backpack was carrying the ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

What do you do if the fire does get “out of control”?

Let's say you are camping with a large group, and someone starts a camp fire. You're away for a bit and come back to find everyone panicking and the fire to be much larger than actually planned (ie, ...
15
votes
5answers
940 views

What are the Pros and Cons of No-Cook Backpacking?

While perusing my gear this morning, it occurred to me that I hadn't bothered to buy or make a stove for backpacking. On the whole, I'm not a big fan of hot food, even when I'm a mite chilled. What ...
15
votes
3answers
338 views

What are some proven methods of training for week long backpacking trips in high altitude?

I'm going to Colorado to visit a friend and we will be going on a week long trek across a couple of 14'ners. I'm looking for some ways to help prepare my body for trip.
15
votes
4answers
229 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Do kevlar sacks work against bears?

We ran into a hiker on the AT last year using a kevlar back to keep out bears and rodents. He said the product was an Ursack and seemed very happy with it. However he'd never had a bear try to get ...
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 ...
14
votes
7answers
435 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
772 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
706 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
798 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
3answers
429 views

Stuff or roll a tent for storage?

When packing a tent, is it best to stuff it in its sack or roll/fold it? I always stuff my sleeping bag so I wasn't sure if it was the same for tents.
14
votes
3answers
644 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
664 views

Will Iodine Tablets Ruin My CamelBak?

In the past, I have gone backpacking with some fairly expensive, heavy water purification tools. But the more I read about water safety in California's Sierras (here and here), the less I think these ...
13
votes
6answers
18k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a good tool for minor trail maintenance while hiking?

I hike a few trails in the lower Appalachians which are very infrequently traveled. Maintenance when it happens, is performed by hikers. I much prefer to just clear smaller blowdowns as I come to ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the proper way to tarp tent to avoid condensation?

I tried pitching a tarp instead of a tent this weekend. In worked well, kept off the rain etc, except for the condensation. It was far worse than any condensation I've ever had in a tent. We had ...
13
votes
2answers
9k views

What makes nylon an effective material for hiking pants?

I often see 100% nylon pants a lot in stores. What properties does it have that make it effective when hiking? Is it effective in all seasons or just under certain conditions?