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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27
votes
1answer
769 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

What can I do with a retired rope and harness?

I've recently retired a rope (dynamic) and a harness. They're both in very good shape, but just over 8 years old. Common sense dictates I throw them away, but I wonder if there are other uses I can ...
15
votes
3answers
667 views

What makes a good head lamp?

I'm looking for a decent head lamp, with a bright light and good battery life. Most on the market these days seem to be LED based, but aside from those three (perhaps obvious) considerations are there ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

How to find new poles for old tent?

I have a nice and small tent I really like that is around 30 years old. It is from Sierra West, but I don't remember the model name. Here is a picture so that you can see the size and general ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Safe Way to Mark a Carabiner

At the crag this weekend I noticed that my climbing partner's carabiner had a great feature: a red line painted such that you know the carabiner isn't locked until the red is hidden. I love this ...
10
votes
1answer
268 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

When to set up a Cordelette and an Equalette?

I was going through anchoring techniques and I came across this well-received question: Anchor without cordelette? How should one decide when to go for a Cordelette or an Equalette?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What should you do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake?

You should obviously avoid rattlesnakes if at all possible. But if you do get bitten by one, what should you do? What supplies can be brought ahead of time to allow for the best treatment, and what ...
8
votes
1answer
106 views

Planned winter bivi

There is emergency equipment to survive nights, like emergency blankets and bivouac packs. As opposed to this, if you plan to stay overnight on winter trips (e.g. in the Alps) you don't just want to ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

How to use a Rap Ring

I have never used a Rappel Ring before but I am told they are really useful. Apparently, if you're trying to rappel in a situation where you have to leave gear at the top to get down safely: use a ...
8
votes
2answers
470 views

Does a red headscarf or hat provide better protection from the sun?

I read in an old tourist guide (from the beginning of the 20th century) that during mountain walks on sunny days one should wear a red headscarf or a hat with red lining to avoid heat stroke, because ...
8
votes
2answers
405 views

How do I check paracord to determine if it's genuine?

Given some paracord, is there a simple check that I can make to check that it's genuine and not the cheaper knock off stuff? Number of strands seems like the most obvious point, but is there anything ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How resistant to water is Tyvek in practice

Tyvek is labeled as "water resistant" and not "water proof", but I'd really love to know how much is the fabric resistant to water in practice. Some people built tarps or even tents out of it, but I ...
7
votes
3answers
435 views

Are self-inflatable sleeping pads more slippery than other mats?

I was camping recently and someone was complaining that they were finding it hard to sleep, as their new self inflating mat was much more slippery than their old foam one. Is this a real effect, and ...
7
votes
1answer
218 views

Trekking Pole Length

I was recently convinced to buy a pair of trekking poles for backpacking. But how long should they be? What is the optimal length to adjust my trekking poles, when carrying a heavy pack? I have ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What characteristics should I look for in a good torch/flashlight?

I'm looking to buy a flashlight/torch (or build my own even if that works out cheaper), and am looking to take the following into consideration: Good battery life (LEDs would probably suit best in ...
7
votes
1answer
164 views

Are there any cheap 1:25K electronic maps for the UK or Europe? [closed]

I have looked at offerings from MemoryMap and Anquet, but once you scale beyond a small area they become prohibitively expensive.
6
votes
1answer
76 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
2answers
100 views

Fly fishing rig knots

I have been fly fishing with my dad for a number of years but recently I went on my own and hit quite the stumbling block... I didn't know how to set the kit properly, normally I drive the boat while ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How to select paracord

What important features should I pay attention to when buying paracord for hiking (such as different types, load limit, etc)? I just use it for bear bags, tarp lines, etc.
4
votes
2answers
110 views

How to carry a bow while hiking?

We're planning a 4 day hike in a few months. I would like to take my bow with me to do a little roving. How can I attach my bow to my backpack (back)? We are talking about a unstrung one-piece ...
4
votes
2answers
215 views

What makes flannel so popular?

The flannel shirt is extremely popular when it comes to outdoor activities since ever. Flannel is a soft woven fabric, of various fineness. Flannel was originally made from carded wool or ...
4
votes
2answers
376 views

How much should my toes hurt in 5.10 MoccAsym shoes?

5.10s are known to be more comfortable, softer shoes, but I've also heard they tire your feet out faster. Edging in particular is harder in these shoes because it's your toes' responsibility instead ...
4
votes
2answers
301 views

How much is a major load?

So the UIAA sets a major fall (fall after which to retire your gear) to be a fall factor of 1.77. Now I was wondering what would count as a major load (load after which to retire your gear) ? 50 kN ? ...
2
votes
3answers
113 views

Is a field tip as effective as a hunting tip for small game

Note: This question is asked in an absolutely theoretical manner. NEVER hunt without proper equipment! I often ask myself what probably would happen if I shoot small game with a field tip attached. I ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
101 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 ...