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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5
votes
3answers
996 views

Best lightweight pole for tarp

I'm considering starting to use a bivvy bag/tarp combination for solo backpacking in the UK (read: no trees where I'll be walking!) Most people seem to use trekking pole(s) for rigging these up which ...
4
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

Ideal and Minimal Rope Diameter for Lead Climbing

I'm thinking of a single rope that it's safe to take long lead falls, but also light to carry around. I weight 75 kgs and I might climb with heavier partners (80-90 Kgs)
8
votes
7answers
13k views

What is the fastest style of sled?

Winter is here and, like every year, I am still thrilled when the extended family rounds up all the little kids and we go sledding. This year we compared our sleds and found that some were ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What this instrument is used for?

Just like everyday, I was at the climbing wall this morning, when I reached, there was a group (I have not seen anyone of them there, ever, it being a local place, I know almost everyone who comes ...
21
votes
7answers
1k views

What equipment do I need as a beginner outdoor rock climber?

What are the bare essentials that I need in terms of equipment when it comes to rock climbing? I've done indoor rock climbing but always rented my equipment from the rock-climbing gym. (For the ...
8
votes
1answer
335 views

Slings for anchoring and lanyard in rock climbing

Probably common question, but: What slings do you use to build anchors for belaying the 2nd in rock climbing? Dyneema or nylon? I had discussed this problem with my friend and he said that Dyneema is ...
23
votes
7answers
28k views

What is the fastest method to 'break in' full leather boots?

After purchasing full leather boots (similar to these boots) I had many blisters for the first few hikes until I broke in my boots. What are the fastest ways to age the boot so that when my foot ...
12
votes
5answers
715 views

How to make DIY ice axe protectors?

How to make ice axe protectors yourself? I have few ideas from using duck tape to 3D printing, but it would be nice to hear about methods proven to work. The reason I want to add protectors is a lot ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Traffic officer – how to prevent fingers from freezing

I am a traffic officer and in winter I always have issues with fingers freezing. Are there any hints besides hand warmers to keep my fingertips from getting so cold they hurt? I direct traffic so ...
8
votes
3answers
474 views

Tips and tricks for backpacking with a guitar

There are numerous compact and travel guitars that exist, some of which are designed specifically for outdoor pursuits like backpacking. Being a musician, music is one of the things I miss most while ...
5
votes
1answer
535 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 ...
23
votes
10answers
13k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Where can I find an iodine crystal water purification product?

For years I used a product called Polar Pure for water purification when weekend backpacking. It was an iodine based solution, so not great for a thru-hike, but fine for a week or less. Specifically, ...
4
votes
2answers
176 views

Create ultra light camera tripod w/ mini tripod and 3 tent poles?

I can lash a mini tripod ($2 on eBay) to the top of a quad-sected tent pole with 4 equal sections with internal elastic to make a tripod. This gets me about 2' off the ground. I can lash a mini ...
8
votes
1answer
1k 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?
8
votes
3answers
252 views

How can I conserve water over long treks?

Is there any way I can balance out drinking water when taking a trek, or simply taking a hike to one of the local peaks around here? Even if I come stocked, I tend to end up run out of water close to ...
8
votes
4answers
695 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
2answers
239 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What do you call a small backpack? (so I can search for it)

I've been borrowing this High Sierra small backpack from my friend for a few days and I'm looking to buy my own. So far I haven't found any barcode or product name on it, and I haven't found anything ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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?
5
votes
5answers
866 views

What lighting equipment do I need for playing ultimate frisbee at night?

Suppose I want to play a 10-people outdoor ultimate frisbee game at night, with no power outlets available at the field. I expect it to last no more than 2 hours. What kind of portable power supply ...
17
votes
2answers
538 views

Things to consider when buying sunglasses

I am going to buy sunglasses. Here is how and where I am going to use them: mountain trekking - with altitude mostly below 2000, however I will use them in the following months on higher mountains ...
5
votes
1answer
874 views

Carrying crampons safely when not using them

How should one carry the crampons when not actually using it, but knowing that they are going to be needed in the further stage of the expedition. To clarify a bit, I'd say, suppose I am gonna need ...
8
votes
4answers
791 views

Gas or liquid fuel lighter?

My backpack of course has a rechargeable gas lighter. I am considering buying a good Zippo, as I feel it more resistant, and it does not need to be kept with your hands to stay on. Would you suggest ...
16
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
188 views

How to get a top-mount cooking burner for 20 lb propane tank?

Currently, I use this cooking setup and it is pretty convenient when the travel space is tight: However, its BTU potential is understandably modest and I would sometimes like to cook a soup or ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

Major fall, same for static and dynamic?

The UIAA says that you should retire your gear after a major fall is a fall with fall factor > 1.77. Now I was wondering if this criterion is the same for all kinds of material ? Dynamic ropes ...
4
votes
1answer
349 views

How to repair gore-tex boots split?

Last year I got myself a first pair of gore-tex B0 boots. Before I used only leather. I took care of those as good as I could. Keeping clean and using special sprays. However now one boot developed ...
10
votes
4answers
218 views

How to effectively dry/clean the inside of water bladders?

After using water bladder, how to dry it thoroughly besides simply pouring out the water content so any remnant of water inside it is cleanly eliminated?
37
votes
1answer
590 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
450 views

Bare Essentials for 2-3 day Hike

My story I like to hike and pack light. Lately I have been experimenting with various setups for making a 2-3 day trek along the Appalachian Trail. I have tried a few different methods of carrying ...
10
votes
5answers
575 views

Is there a portable / comfortable pillow suitable for camping / backpacking?

I quite like my pillows to give a lot of lift - I usually sleep with two relatively beefy ones. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a good equivalent whilst camping, with the normal pillows ...
5
votes
4answers
704 views

Backpacking propane canister too tall and unstable

My propane/butane/isobutane canister with stove top attached is about 6" tall. When I put a cookware filled with liquid on top of it, the center of gravity seems very high and the whole system seems ...
3
votes
2answers
289 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 ? ...
5
votes
1answer
196 views

Any ideas about long-term camping in a 16x16 foot yurt?

My husband and I will be retiring soon and will spend 5 months of the year in a bricks and mortar house. The other 7 months, we'll be gypsying. We don't want to deal with the complexities and ...
4
votes
1answer
109 views

Island camping tent advice

I am planning on camping on the beach in Florida. Since I will be on an island I have to pack what I can carry. I do not have a tent yet, and was wondering what I should look for in a tent for a ...
7
votes
3answers
403 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
147 views

Climbing Webbing with Taped Ends (where & why)

I was reading through the AAJ, and I came across a report from April this year when somebody died due to an anchor failure. The webbing was joined with some masking tape at the ends, instead of ...
12
votes
2answers
458 views

Travelling and taking climbing chalk through customs

Anyone had any experience getting climbing chalk though customs? I'm off to Guernsey and I don't think I'll be able to buy chalk there so I'm putting it in my hold luggage. Are customs likely to ...
8
votes
2answers
136 views

What should I as a beginning surfer consider when buying my first longboard?

I'm a beginning surfer, and I want a longboard. How do I select one? How much should I pay? What is good width and length, etc.?
0
votes
0answers
101 views

What is a great, all-purpose knife? [duplicate]

I'm going to go camping soon and would like to have a dependable knife that I can use when I'm there. What do you guys recommend? Not to be that guy or anything, but I'd prefer if it was American ...
9
votes
3answers
620 views

How should I pack for a week of backpacking in the rain?

So, next week I will be leaving on a hiking trip, which was supposed to be in the middle of summer whilst it's at its hottest, but instead it will be raining all week. Luckily there are public use ...
4
votes
2answers
70 views

How much spare strap should I leave when trimming a pack down?

I'm finally going to take the plunge and trim all the excess cordage and belting off of my pack. How much strap material should I leave to allow for adjustments in gear (adding layers for cold, ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Is a tarp necessary if you have a tent with a rainfly and a footprint?

My tent has a rainfly, but I'm wondering if I need to carry a tarp for the extra rain protection. I don't want to pack a wet tent because that would damage the fabric, but I don't know if that is ...
10
votes
2answers
731 views

Kayaks vs canadians from a beginner's perspective

As far as I know canoeing is the generic term which contains e.g. canadians and kayaks. What do I have to look for as an absolute water sports beginner in terms of: costs knowledge (eskimo roll and ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between single and double wall tents?

Tents are described being either single or double wall. What is the difference and when is one preferred over the other?
7
votes
2answers
266 views

Buoyancy aids ratings

I recently brought a buoyancy aid to use when kayaking. One thing I noticed when purchasing it though was the 50N rating. All buoyancy aids I looked at seemed to have a 50N rating and I vaguely ...
8
votes
2answers
171 views

Foam vs hardshell climbing helmets?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of climbing helmet design (foam or hardshell)? Foam Hardshell PS: I do not intend to compare them by how much they cost.