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 (2)

8
votes
2answers
287 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
61 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 ...
17
votes
9answers
6k views

How can I take duct tape with me backpacking?

I'm going on a backpacking trip later this summer and on the list of things to bring is 3 yards of duct tape. I don't want to bring an entire roll of duct tape because it would be heavy and ...
9
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
166 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How durable is cuben fiber in real, practical use?

For years I've seen high-tech cuben fiber gear and drooled over how incredibly lightweight it is, and longed to buy or make some of my own equipment with it. (Then upon seeing the price tag, well, my ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Walking trailers

Heavy backpacks can spoil the pleasures of being in the outdoors. There are two ways to resolve this: Carry less Find an alternative to the backpack While the first option is usually the best one, ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What sleeping bags are needed for a northbound thru-hike of the AT

If you were attempting a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, starting roughly now (being mid to late March) and going northbound, how many sleeping bags and of what types would you need, assuming cost ...
3
votes
1answer
118 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 ...
17
votes
9answers
572 views

What can I do to keep my hands warm while using touchscreens in the winter?

Now that it is starting to get cold it is more difficult to use touchscreens while outdoors. I use both an iPhone and a Garmin GPS to geocache and both have touchscreens that require me to take my ...
4
votes
2answers
92 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
570 views

Super/Krazy Glue on Outdoor Gear

I currently use All Purpose Krazy Glue to repair pinch flats on my road bike inner tubes. All it takes is one drop over the bite and it seals it perfectly, works every time and holds 95 PSI for weeks ...
13
votes
3answers
563 views

How precise is a pedometer for estimating on a backpacking trip?

In practice, how precise is a pedometer for estimating your progress on a trail? For example, if I'm to hike 10 miles, how far should I expect to be from the 10 miles marker? Is there data comparing ...
3
votes
1answer
160 views

Why some sleeping bags have four temperature ratings while others have only one?

Most sleeping bags have a rating with several temperatures, one for the upper temperature limit, one for the average woman to sleep in a comfortable position ("Comfort"), one third for an average man ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What to look for in a quality tarp?

I'd like to purchase a tarp as some point, both to put up over a small camp at some point, and to use over a hammock. When I've camped with my uncle he's used a folded over builders tarp, which has ...
5
votes
2answers
101 views

Online website to track A.T. section hikes and overall progress?

It's always been a dream to thru-hike the A.T. but life is looking like I will not be able to tackle that until retirement. The doesn't mean that I cannot do sections of it as a day/weekend/week here ...
11
votes
3answers
307 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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
73 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
361 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
29k 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
734 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
553 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
640 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 ...
24
votes
10answers
14k 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
180 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
256 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
720 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
257 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
878 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
552 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
904 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
806 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 ...
17
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
200 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
120 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
365 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
237 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?
4
votes
4answers
480 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 ...