Questions relating to any physical gear for engaging in those activities discussed in The Great Outdoors. Examples include packs, knives, bikes, kayaks, and climbing harnesses.

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12
votes
7answers
2k views

Considerations for older campers?

I grew up car camping with my parents several times a year, but as they've gotten older (early 60s), they basically stopped camping. Recently, they've expressed interest in camping again but I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

UV Protection while trekking at 5000m for myopic vision

I have trouble seeing distant things and have myopia. Thus I prefer glasses with my prescription number (which is both cylindrical and spherical). I want protection from UV rays as I am going to spend ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Any reasons not to use 30-year-old ice axe?

I'll be doing a guided tour which includes going up a steep slope on a glacier, therefore I need an ice axe. I could rent one for a couple of bucks from the tour organizers, but I was wondering if ...
5
votes
4answers
120 views

Learning Anchors - How is single cordelette loop anchor redundant?

I have climbed for a long time, but I want to switch to cordelette anchors for speed on multipitch. My main concern is in redundancy with the cordelette. I mentally check the anchor for any problems, ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Does touching the tent outer wall from the inside make it leak?

This question about how not to make anything touch the outer wall of the tent implies that doing so lets the outer tent leak water through. I never head this problem with my vango mirage tent during a ...
5
votes
1answer
51 views

How is a fifi used in aid climbing?

While reading this question it stuck me as odd that a fifi hook is mentioned on par with a daisy chain. Not being trained for aid climbing, I'm not sure why I'd want to use a fifi at all. The only ...
6
votes
1answer
35 views

Aid climbing: do you need a fifi hook if you use adjustable daisy chains?

I am new to aid climbing, still practicing on easy and short walls. I am getting the feeling that if you use adjustable daisies you don't need a fifi hook anymore, but I could be wrong and miss ...
6
votes
1answer
49 views

How do I get cam slings replaced?

I bought my first set of cams and I've been curious about what happens when the slings start to wear out. Are they user-replaceable? The ones I purchased seem to be very un-user-replaceable: How do ...
21
votes
15answers
4k views

Hiking: How to start?

I would like to get into hiking, and would like some idea's on gear\training to start. I have always enjoyed nature walks and even did some hiking when I was a kid in boy scouts, but that was years ...
5
votes
0answers
41 views

What will the water temperature be at Sharm el-Sheikh at a depth of 30m in October?

You can easily find the temperatures at the surface of the sea. However, to choose the correct diving suit, I would like to know the temperatures that can be expected at a depth of about 30 meters ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

What do you hang on 1/4" bolts while rock climbing?

So 1/4" bolts, although not suitable for free climbing protection, are apparently still used for aid climbing to hold body weight, and for alpine rappels. What I want to know is, what do you use for ...
8
votes
3answers
93 views

Should you occasionally use locking biners on pieces of protection when using alpine draws?

Since I mostly climb trad style, I don't use quickdraws for leading outside of the gym. I use alpine quick draws (two biners joined by dyneema slings) which offer benefits of adjustable length, ...
3
votes
3answers
84 views

Cleaning the plastic residue of the inside of my old backpack

I have a very old backpack (10-15 years old) that is perfect for one day or weekend hikes. The problem is that the inside material has started to peel off and it leaves small bits of yellowish plastic ...
7
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
46 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, ...
3
votes
3answers
445 views

What to look for in hiking shoes? [closed]

My friends and I are going on our first hiking expedition through Michigan's UP, and I was wondering what type of shoes are recommended by experienced hikers? I have looked up information online, but ...
4
votes
3answers
248 views

Should I wear a fleece while cross country skiing?

I am a beginner. I live in Toronto. In the February/March season, temperatures drop to -20°F, sometimes it's even colder. Is the following a good outfit for cross country skiing? For top: base ...
4
votes
1answer
44 views

Can I use wading sandals with waders?

I have a pair of wading sandals (made by Keen and designed for water sports) to which I added a few metal studs and have been using for wet wading while fly fishing in shallow streams. Now I wonder if ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

Impregnation and waxing full weather shoes

I will go to a wet territory (Jotunheimen) next week and would like to prepare my full leather shoes for that. I have read a lot of articles about shoe care and they are either about impregnation ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Why bring a multitool on long treks?

I have been trekking for years now, mostly in Scandinavia, Canada and Peru. For most of treks we had to be sustainable and carry food for 10-14 days at a time - so weight is always a big issue. ...
24
votes
3answers
9k views

What is this tool on a Swiss Army knife for?

I have this tool on a few Swiss Army knives (though I think I've seen it on other multi-tools as well). What is it and what is it for? On one edge, it has a sharp edge. It also only opens halfway ...
11
votes
2answers
161 views

How can I know if a rope is certified? I found a hidden tag

We (a uni student club, mostly hiking) own a rope that is practically unknown. We know that it's a year since it was bought (presumably new) and that it has hardly ever been used (no dead hangs, etc). ...
11
votes
3answers
114 views

How did people make topographical maps in the pre-modern?

I've been getting into making maps with compass and a ruler and just triangulating positions of objects. I would like to start making topographical maps but how? How did they make them before the ...
5
votes
1answer
66 views

How to use an avalanche shovel as a snow anchor for a belay?

Avalanche shovels come equipped with holes in the blades for use as rescue sleds and making anchors. I've got plenty of my own ideas, but I'm looking for any documentation provided by manufacturers ...
4
votes
1answer
462 views

How can you tell if you can reuse an arrow?

Title says it all really, if I were out practice shooting on a boss, or if I were hunting, how could I tell if I can reuse the arrows I've just shot?
7
votes
1answer
77 views

How does one choose the right standup paddle board size?

I've had a couple of opportunities to go standup paddle boarding (SUP'ing) which is pretty fun. Every time I've used one so far, I've rented it form a place where somebody pointed and said, "OK ...
13
votes
4answers
961 views

What is the difference between “dry rope”, “non-dry rope” and “dry core rope”?

I've just recently gotten into climbing and so far the ropes have always been provided for me. I'm starting to look at getting my own rope for outside climbing, and am confused by some of the ...
5
votes
0answers
41 views

What is the best rope material to use for climbing protection? [duplicate]

I've been doing some research on what type of cord to use for resligning some hexes, and I found something very surprising here. Basically, the paper seems to suggest that while the tensile strength ...
7
votes
2answers
57 views

Are static dyneema/spectra ropes suited for use on glaciers?

While Dyneema is in use for cordelettes for quite some time manufacturers started bringing long ropes made of dyneema on the market. The benefits are obvious: Less weight, less volume and no water ...
4
votes
2answers
88 views

Is dyneema rope without a sheath safe for climbing?

I recently was given some old Chouinard hexes my uncle used back in the 70s. They look great, and I see no reason why I can't re-sling them and use them as perfectly safe protection. I've found some ...
13
votes
3answers
197 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.
5
votes
1answer
82 views

What refilling material or glue did you chose to resole your trekking shoes? (What works, what doesn't)

Theses shoes are still good, but the small missing part of the heel makes them painful to wear. I'm looking for the cheapest and most efficient and aesthetics, ecological way to extend my shoes life. ...
9
votes
1answer
180 views

How do I attach a hammock to trees?

On my next vacation, I will be camping in a tent on a designated campsite. I saw somebody use a hammock for lounging during the day last time, so quickly got a cheap hammock from eBay, with a "let's ...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

Where can I get long but light bottoms for water?

I need clothing for kayaking in the summer. I already have the "heavyweight" equipment - thick neoprene longjohn and a whitewater cag. But for places where I need less protection from cold and ...
8
votes
3answers
527 views

Solar Power While Backpacking

I am planning a multi-week backpacking trip (the JMT in California), and want to bring a real camera. What are some good solar power options for charging my camera batteries on a long backpacking ...
8
votes
1answer
114 views

Bolt Conditions at the New River Gorge

I am getting back into sport climbing and I am planning a trip to the NRG. I get very nervous about safety issues in regards to climbing, almost to the point where I don't want to start again. One ...
10
votes
2answers
118 views

When should a belay device be replaced?

I'm about to purchase my first belay device, and am wondering how long I might expect it to last. What signs should I be looking at to determine when a belay device eventually needs to be replaced?
9
votes
2answers
327 views

Are manual double-back buckles on harnesses considered obsolete?

My current harness has these single-piece buckles: (source: http://www.mountaineeringmethodology.com/harness/) It might be due for replacement in one or two years, and I really like these buckles, ...
12
votes
1answer
196 views

Why do big wall harnesses have two belay loops?

I've been looking at big wall harnesses and I've been noticing that a lot of them come with two belay loops: I know that it isn't there as a back up. What's the advantage of having two belay ...
10
votes
2answers
401 views

How to efficiently fill a bladder with water?

I normally use cheap, lightweight water bottles to carry my water when I'm hiking. However, sometimes I'm with people who use bladders such as a CamelBak, and I offer to go and fill water bottles, so ...
7
votes
1answer
249 views

How to care for a smelly (as in wet dog smell) down sleeping bag?

My down sleeping bag smelled like a wet dog after a damp night out. By reading this forum thread. I realized that it probably didn't dry enough after the trip. So I let it out at the air, and the ...
11
votes
2answers
397 views

When to use a static rope?

I usually do sport-climbing so I've never owned a static rope. However, most rope-related Q&As in TGO.SE don't bother specifying dynamic vs static ropes. I've been told that for rappelling (or ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

How would I identify between MSR Wisperlite and Wisperlite International stoves?

About three years ago, I picked up a used "MSR Wisperlite" for a great price. At the time, I was not aware of the difference between the classic and the International versions of the stove. Since ...
7
votes
1answer
214 views

Cleaning the inside of a backpack

I have a normal waterproof backpack. Last weekend when I went camping, I lethargically packed it, and the whole bottle of edible oil got spilt inside. I have tried cleaning it with salt water, luke ...
11
votes
2answers
337 views

Is there any difference between a harness used for rock climbing vs for mountaineering?

I've recently taken an interest in both rock climbing and mountaineering. Both require a harness, but is there any difference in the harness used for each activity? I understand that the most basic ...
7
votes
1answer
256 views

Climbing gear: can the energy absorbers of a lanyard for via ferratas be used only once?

Is the energy absorber of a gear kit for via ferratas for just one use? I mean, one fall and it has to be replaced? In the product description, there is often mention of it being "tearable."
6
votes
2answers
638 views

Camping with a tarp, what are risks about animals?

I have never camped using a tarp (and just a sleeping bag under), and I am wondering about it. I am thinking about camping in Canada, and the animals around there are apparently mostly bears and other ...
5
votes
2answers
100 views

What is the term for/manufacturer of belay devices with a clip that holds the ATC onto the carabiner?

I broke my friend's ATC, and am trying to find a replacement, but I don't quite know what to look for. It was a somewhat unique unit, at least among those I've seen; it was a standard "basket" ATC ...
6
votes
1answer
186 views

How to decide which tarp size to take?

I am thinking about getting some tarp as a 1-person shelter for hiking this summer. There is a large choice of tarps on the market. The difference between them are often the size and the material it ...
3
votes
1answer
190 views

Ice axe and crampon post winter cleaning/preparation [duplicate]

So winter is well and truly over in Wales. Pretty much all the snow has melted and the weather is improving. So it's time to retire my winter gear until next winter. What should I do with my Ice Axe ...