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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

8
votes
1answer
190 views

John Muir's Gear List

What gear did John Muir actually take on long trips? I live in California these days, and around here we revere John Muir as a legend of the outdoors. But the legend seems larger than is possible. ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

How to put trekking poles in back pack?

I have trekking poles that I need to store in my back pack for air travel. However, the manual says for long term storage -- in my case, possibly days to a few weeks before I need to use them -- the ...
9
votes
4answers
472 views

How bright a flashlight would I realistically need for searching through terrain?

Modern flashlights have brightness up to several thousand lumens which is great. However it's not clear how bright a flashlight I might realistically need. Suppose I want to go on a search party such ...
7
votes
1answer
171 views

Can the Swiss Alps be hiked in the winter?

I would like to hike part of the Alps that go from France to Slovenia, but I'm not sure what type of equipment I'll need. I'm wondering if I need to bring crampons; I have Icetrekkers (Diamond Grip), ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Difference between Gore-Tex Pro Shell and Gore-Tex Active Shell

What is the difference between the two Gore-Tex technologies in real world usage? Specific factors: Which one packs down smaller? Which one is more breathable? Which one is likely to last longer? ...
5
votes
3answers
219 views

Gaiters possible to use on flat/minimal shoes?

On flat shoes, like the Merrell Proterra's, is it possible to use gaiters (for snow)?
2
votes
1answer
135 views

Bootstrapping for outdoors [closed]

Greetings Outdoor experts, I recently moved to USA, and looking to bootstrap myself for hikes, camping and other outdoor activities. I have not bought a proper outdoor setup earlier, rather I ...
6
votes
1answer
69 views

Can I upgrade my MSR Wisperlite International to also be able to burn propane?

I used someone else's Wisperlite Universal for the duration of a trip and it looks like the only functional difference is a jet that can be attached for burning propane. Can I purchase just that jet ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Pack for carrying a puppy

I have planned a smaller lake trip for me, my girlfriend and our two dogs(10 year Labrador, 5 month Eurasier). What I didn't think of is the fact that the puppy might need to be carried for a part of ...
1
vote
3answers
150 views

Sunblock for clothing-optional camping

What should I look for in a suntan lotion for a nude camping trip? I don't know what to look for when it goes on the whole body. Are there any ingredients that I should watch out for?
3
votes
1answer
44 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
559 views

Will the benefit of an axe outweigh the drawbacks and win over a large knife?

I've hiked some in my life, and gotten used to carrying a small axe for chopping wood for the fire. But after I bought my self a large fixed-blade bowie knife, I find myself relying less and less on ...
4
votes
3answers
310 views

Non-gun hunting tools for small game

I'm looking for alternative ways of hunting small game(rabbits, pidgeon etc.) besides a rifle/pistol, and the requirements I have found to be the most important are: Effective - Gaining more ...
1
vote
1answer
300 views

How similar are Ecoque grills to Pyromid grills?

I purchased a Pyromid grill at a garage sale without a manual, and have an Ecoque grill manual. I would like to know if I need to do anything different from the Ecoque instructions to operate the ...
8
votes
3answers
837 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
328 views

What are the major difference between a regular sleeping bag and one designed for women?

I see more and more sleeping bags designed for women. I was wondering what were the major differences with the regular sleeping bag? Does it have to do more with the shape or insulation?
3
votes
1answer
215 views

Improvising Heavy Rain Protection for a Backpack

Heavy rain can soak all of your gear. There are some things that you don't ever want to get wet, like your camera. I've learned to protect those things with string bags, which are light and I always ...
5
votes
4answers
317 views

Trekking poles on planes

Have people been able to bring their (folding) trekking poles onto planes? We're flying without checked-in baggage (on Wizz Air, from Europe to Israel). We've paid for "two large cabin bags", and the ...
3
votes
2answers
168 views

What is Arc'Teryx Technical down?

Today I received an e-mail from Arc'Teryx stating that Fall 2013 ushers in the arrival of technical DOWN and NEW GORE-TEX® Pro technology. What is technical down? I assume it is some sort of ...
4
votes
2answers
338 views

How to Tell When Minimal Running Shoes Are Worn Out?

How can I tell when my minimal running shoes go bad? Let me explain. Conventional Wisdom The conventional wisdom of marathon runners is that running shoes will eventually 'go bad'. That is, at some ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do many climbers appear to not trust their belay loops?

The belay loop is the strongest part of the climbing harness, so why do so many climbers not trust it? It’s very common to see climbers backing up their belay loop with a separate piece of webbing or ...
27
votes
1answer
370 views

Commuting by canoe

I live at a lake with my company in sight just 2km away. To get to work I have to cross the city, which is not only expensive in terms of money, it also costs a lot of nerves. That's why I think I ...
2
votes
5answers
710 views

Where to carry a folding knife when hiking?

I'm not used to multi-day hikes, and soon I will be going on a 5 day hike and I thought it would be a good idea to carry a folding knife this time just to be on the safe side. I wont be needing it for ...
4
votes
2answers
282 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
2answers
3k views

Transfer data from Suunto Ambit2 without Movelink

I am testing my new Suunto Ambit2. Great watch! I like the way it can be configured and the analysis of the data! However, I am a little bit surprised to see that the software solution from Suunto ...
3
votes
2answers
395 views

How do I properly use the cinch-straps that came with my daypack?

I just purchased a daypack to stuff inside my larger backpack while travelling. It came with cinch-straps but I'm not sure of the proper way to use them (if there is one). The daypack is a North ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What does “expedition-weight” mean with regard to clothing?

I'm going on a trip to Alaska in September, including a guided camping/trekking trip in Denali. In the packing list I received from the company, they recommend having an "expedition-weight" top and ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

What features to consider when buying a bouldering slipper?

I've been using the same Evolv shoes for bouldering that I bought for top-roping. It seems like they're worn enough to start considering a new pair of shoes. Since I'm doing bouldering almost ...
8
votes
3answers
164 views

How to select a good GPS receiver?

What should one look for in the specifications to determine whether a handheld purpose-built GPS receiver provides good navigational consistency under reasonably normal, low-speed conditions? Highly ...
2
votes
3answers
272 views

Comfy inflatable pillows for car camping

I use a combination of an 18"x18" inflatable pillow and a Thermarest compressible one, the largest size (commonly seen at REI and similar stores). However, the inflatable often slips out and I just ...
4
votes
3answers
181 views

Can I get away with less advanced food storing methods if backpacking in areas where meeting bears is unlikely?

A page like this one, as well as a number of questions on this site, discuss how to pack food safely from bears. What about other animals? This post advices a pretty sophisticated way to protect food ...
4
votes
3answers
635 views

Should food be in a bear bag/canister even when I'm hiking?

I've read that in the western US, backpackers need bear canisters or bear bags, for bears or for other animals. For example, a post comparing different methods is here. I must admit I'm a bit ...
14
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
231 views

How to get rid of the smell from indoor climbing shoes? [duplicate]

When I go climbing indoors I typically wear my climbing shoes without socks because this gives me slightly better control over my feet while climbing which I particularly need in overhangs. The ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

ski damaged from sticks, leaves, soil, etc?

Obviously cross/back-country skis can be damaged by skiing over rocks, stones, gravel and asphalt, but what about other, softer objects exposed when the snow starts to melt, like sticks, roots, ...
4
votes
1answer
345 views

Why are there ropes on fingerboards?

I picked up a couple fingerboards from the pro shop, and hung them on the rafters in our basement. However, I have no idea what the ropes are for, unless someone might tie the boards to a tree. What ...
4
votes
2answers
155 views

Different kinds of Down: comparing insulation

There's many different kinds of "down" filling: "100% down" must legally be only down, while "down" can be any mixture containing down. Then there's "fill power" ranging from about 400 to 1200, which ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a safe type of backyard zip line for kids and adults to use?

I want to put a zip line in my backyard for my kids. I'm looking for advice on what type to use, safety tips, and installation advice.
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Caveats of dual (propane, liquid) fuel stoves

My MSR Whisperlite has served me well for more than 10 years. It started leaking a few weeks ago, and I'm looking for a proper replacement. I've read some good reviews about dual fuel stoves ...
6
votes
1answer
306 views

What is a “fast pack” setup for a tent?

Reading around forums and in products, I see descriptions and weights for a "fast pack" setup for tents. What does this mean and what is it used for?
3
votes
3answers
122 views

Facility to test cold weather gear in London UK

I'm debating what equipment to buy to prepare for a cold weather in mountain terrain and felt it might be useful to test what different temperatures feel like while wearing chosen equipment. My ...
7
votes
2answers
182 views

What to do with old hydration bladders?

I have two old hydration bladders, both of which are no longer usable (in one the cap is broken, in the other the internal bag is ripped). Spare parts appear to be unavailable. Is there anything good ...
8
votes
2answers
356 views

Do bag liners add the same warmth value to all sleeping bags?

I have a bag liner that claims to add 15 degrees to the "range" of a sleeping bag. Is it reasonable to assume that it would work the same for all bags? For instance, would it extend a 40 degree bag ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Do cross-country skis need to be broken-in?

I recently bought a new pair of cross-country skis that matched my weight (with or without a backpack), but when I tried them out for the first time (over a two-day period), I didn't have as much grip ...
6
votes
1answer
694 views

Best type of rope for glacier travel?

What sort of rope would be ideal for glacier travel? I have a 10mm 60m rope, but this is quite heavy. Would a 9mm 50m rope be suitable for a team of three, crossing glaciers in the Swiss Alps?
5
votes
1answer
169 views

What to do about slippery plastic soles of cross country ski boots

I have a relatively new pair of NNN cross-country ski boots and noticed the plastic sole is much more slippery than previous boots I've owned (older SNS and SNS Profil). A quick look at the selection ...
14
votes
8answers
6k views

How to Clean Rock-Climbing Shoes

I have never found a good answer to this one: How do you clean rock-climbing shoes, without ruining them? Let me be more specific. I have a pair of modern leather-and-fancy-rubber climbing shoes ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

reliability and performance of NIS mounting plates (x-country skis)

How do NNN bindings mounted on cross-country skis with NIS mounting plates compare with the screwed-in versions in terms of reliability (are they more likely to break) and performance (do I get ...
7
votes
1answer
302 views

Do folding cross country skis exist?

Do folding (or telescoping) cross-country skis exist and if so are they useable? Update: Or are there small cross-country skis that are short enough for easy transport, yet still capable of providing ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Are folding poles suitable for cross-country skiing?

There are several manufacturers selling folding/collapsible poles, usually for hiking or splitboarding. Are they also suitable for cross-country skiing?