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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4
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1answer
50 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
447 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
55 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
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4answers
819 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 ...
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0answers
39 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
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2answers
47 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
63 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
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3answers
136 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.
4
votes
1answer
68 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
132 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
51 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
435 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
107 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
94 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
288 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
150 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
315 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
298 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
83 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
196 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
231 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
165 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."
5
votes
2answers
539 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
93 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
150 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
182 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
97 views

Stronger bond between GoPro mount and helmet?

I used a regular curved helmet mount for my GoPro on my recent snowboarding trip, which comes self-adhesive. At one point I fell on my back and hit the back of my helmet, the shock of which unglued ...
5
votes
3answers
130 views

How to avoid cracking your windshield while strapping down a kayak

I have an 18 ft. fiberglass sea-kayak, which I mount to the roof-rack of my junky old station wagon with Yakima "Sweetroll" saddles - ratchet straps around the saddles and bow and stern to the ...
7
votes
2answers
110 views

Ice Axes - Ice blade or Mix blade?

I have just got Grivel The Tech Machine Ice Axe. It comes with Ice blade by default. Mostly I am going to do Mix climbing on granite in Norway with Ice climbing occasionally. Do you recommend to get ...
6
votes
1answer
71 views

Relative abraision resistance of Dyneema slings vs an average dynamic climbing rope

I recently read this answer about rope thickness, and it mentions a tragic incident where a rope was severed during a lead fall due to the rope being dragged across rock edge whilst under tension. ...
5
votes
1answer
194 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 ...
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vote
0answers
47 views

What is the difference between packable down jackets? [duplicate]

I've noticed a lot of similar looking packable down jackets this year, and I don't know if this is a new style or if I haven't been paying attention, but I'm wondering if there's a big difference to ...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

Are zipper covers crucial?

I'm wondering what the difference in performance is between the Paradox Rain Jacket and the Paradox 2.5 Layer Rain Jacket. ...
6
votes
3answers
381 views

Why should I carry a snow anchor?

I regularly see online that on expeditions snow anchors are strapped to the side of the backpacks. This is typically an item like the upper on following pic: I never saw this in the Alps by myself. ...
6
votes
3answers
243 views

Shoe sizes for bouldering

When I first started (indoor) bouldering, I wasn't quite sure if I was ready to commit to it, so I went and bought a pair of shoes in the sale that were relatively cheap (or at least cheaper than ...
7
votes
1answer
211 views

Headlamp with open flame

I just saw a documentary where they investigated lakes inside of glaciers. They rapelled in big crevasses and even dived in those sometimes huge water reservoirs. The scientist had a regular looking ...
12
votes
2answers
917 views

How much does a full/empty jetboil canister weigh?

I have a bunch of partially-full Jetboil canisters from various trips, and I'm trying to figure out approximately how much fuel is left in each of them. How much does a full canister weigh (fuel + ...
8
votes
2answers
259 views

Is there a more practical type of cord to carry than “550 paracord”?

Paracord is widely considered a must-have for wilderness survival, and there are hundreds of tutorials for making bracelets out of it, etc. With this popularity has come a glut of people selling ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

B2 boots for narrow feet

I'm looking to get some B2 boots, but am having difficulty getting a good fit. I tried Scarpa Manta's but my heel kept lifting. I think the issue is that my ankles are quite narrow. Does anyone have ...
6
votes
1answer
81 views

What crampon front-point setup options are specific for various types of ice climbing?

Is it a matter of personal preference, or are there advantages to using different front-point setups on your crampons specific to what you are climbing? For example, I'm still just getting into ice ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why are backpack waist straps so long?

I was hiking with some friends and we concluded that most/all our bags have ridiculously long waist straps that leave lots of extra strap that is annoying or must be tidied away. Additionally, some of ...
5
votes
3answers
159 views

Ski set that does both downhill and backcountry?

So I know very little about skiing and have only skied about 3-4 times. I would like to ski more this winter. I want to purchase a ski set, but I don't know which one to get. Here is what I wanna ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

Gear storage: what gear that can be safely stocked outside?

I have plenty of gear and I live in a small apartment. I am planning to buy an outdoor closet to put on the balcony to get some extra space. Here's a sample to show you how it would be like. I ...
10
votes
3answers
210 views

Are there any sunglasses with prescription insert that does not alter depth sense?

I own a pair of Adidas Elevation Climacool eyeglasses which served me quite well for about ten years and whose sun lenses now need replacement. Those glasses allow to use a visual defect correction ...
9
votes
1answer
164 views

Is this “dry suit cutting wrists” story realistic?

I'm reading a very good novel, called "Smilla's sense of snow". A minor figure tells this story from the time he was a frogman with the marines: Going down, I glide through a cold belt [...] I ...
11
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3answers
286 views

Dropping gear: Where did the hairline/micro fracture urban legend come from?

In an answer given to this question: Micro-Fractures in Climbing Equipments, it's stated that dropping gear causing micro fractures is a persistent myth, quoting Black Diamond's statement: Q. Is ...
8
votes
4answers
601 views

Is this Chinese rock climbing gear manufacturer reliable?

Most (if not all) rock climbing big brands do manufacture their gear in China. Carabiners, cams, slings, whatever. Now, I stumbled upon this. ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

Should I grind the edge or the backbevel first when sharpening my knife?

I'm using a Spyderco Tri-angle sharpmaker to sharpen both a drop-point fixed blade and a folding tanto blade. It has 2 settings: 2 20 degree sides for a 40 degree working edge 2 15 degree sides for ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

Are portable solar panels useful on pack trips? [duplicate]

Have you used portable folding solar panels (5-20W) like Anker or GoalZero with much success? It seems like they would really only work well on a pack trip if you have a day off periodically to ...