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
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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
693 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
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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
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2answers
244 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
135 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.
5
votes
1answer
173 views

How can I find manuals for old Kelty equipment?

I've come across a Kelty Kids carrier. The tag says 'Kangaroo', and the date code on it is F11-95, style 21959030. I've called Kelty and looked on their website. The problem is that the Kangaroo is ...
8
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

What are some ways/devices that I can use to charge my batteries in the wilderness?

When backpacking, I might carry a MagLite flashlight or something similar that requires two AA batteries. I tend to favor rechargeable batteries for a variety of reasons. How can I recharge my ...
9
votes
1answer
90 views

What factors should I be aware of when storing a kayak?

I've seen various images / comments online of how people decide to store their kayaks. Some people wall mount them, some have a rack, some stack them with padding, some hang them (horizontally / ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

Differences for bivi packs

I would like to do a winter bivouac but have no gear for it yet. Especially the choice of a bivi pack is really tough for me because I'd prefer to be able to use it also in summer as a rescue item and ...
10
votes
1answer
103 views

Satellite phone payment plans for irregular use

I've been looking if there is an alternative to renting a satellite phone when it's to be used in absolute emergencies only. As far as my searches showed, most prepaid plans have very short ...
13
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1answer
219 views

What do I need to be aware of if I'm considering purchasing a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)?

Obviously, I can't just buy it, push the button and expect a helicopter to show up. Are there monthly or registration fees? Do I need to get a permit or register with someone? How does it all work? ...
5
votes
2answers
446 views

Selecting a hammer drill for bolting climbs

Setting up a (sport) climb, requires a good cordless hammer drill (SDS shank compatible). Besides the price-tag, things to consider, for selecting such a tool, are its weight, its shape and the ...
7
votes
2answers
121 views

What sleeping gear should I use in a lean-to?

I have recently discovered the lean-to, a shelter with three walls. It seems considered as a shelter with more proximity to the nature. I have some worries though, regarding the wind and the ...
10
votes
1answer
348 views

What are the tradeoffs for a Tomahawk over an Axe

I've watched a few videos on cutting tools and the use of axes. However I'm not clear on what the advantage (or disadvantage) is of a tomahawk style axe over a typical belt or hand axe, such as this ...
11
votes
1answer
182 views

How well does solar recharging work when strapped to the backpack?

This answer recommends solar cells to recharge batteries. However, this likely works best during a layover day. I usually don't have those. For a nice-to-have situation, how well does it work to ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Plastic or fiberglass for a kayak?

I'm an intermediate level kayaker but have only paddled plastic boats. I'm looking for a kayak to do multi-day trips in on the ocean. What are the differences between plastic and fiberglass?
5
votes
2answers
87 views

What to look for in a snorkel?

I recently read over this post: What to consider when buying fins for recreational snorkeling and found some great advice in what to look for when purchasing fins for snorkelling. However I was ...
9
votes
4answers
187 views

How to get started on canyoning?

Since I saw one of the last EOFT-films I am really curious about trying canyoneering, but I can´t quite figure out how to get started. What would you suggest to try it? What would be the minimum of ...
3
votes
2answers
81 views

Pike fishing equipment & rigging

I'm planning on getting out to try some Pike fishing in Sweden this autumn. Never tried it before so I could do with a few basic pointers on equipment, suggestions for the following: a) Rod type, ...
19
votes
2answers
424 views

Chalk: pure, plus drying agent, liquid?

Having only used pure chalk without added substances so far, I wondered how the other types perform. Most of the information I could find online is either somebody ranting against a certain type, or ...
7
votes
1answer
244 views

Lacing materials for huaraches

I have been walking/running/hiking in my huaraches for about half a year now and have worn through 3 pairs of laces. I have been using accessory cord used in climbing as lacing material, since it has ...
6
votes
1answer
190 views

Pack to carry two 30 L barrels

Background: I am a talking canoe tripping and portaging here. I have come into possession of two standard 30 litre food barrels, but no method of carrying them. I have heard of people carrying two of ...
6
votes
1answer
91 views

How long is an activated charcoal filter good for after initial use?

I have a water filtration system that uses activated coconut shell carbon as its media. The filter is listed as being able to purify up to 50 gallons, but I won't be using it for anywhere near that ...
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vote
3answers
185 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?
10
votes
2answers
713 views

When should I retire my rope

I know there is a degree of "gray" in this question but: I have a Beal Top gun II 10.5mm, I've had this rope for around 4 years now and I'm starting to think about retiring it. It's been used ...
2
votes
1answer
355 views

Why is a “Czech bed roll” called this? History, uses?

This was actually something new I came across recently. A Czech bed roll. I've never seen a set up like this before. I was also intrigued by the name. Has anyone used one of these? ...
1
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1answer
57 views

Considerations for buying windsurfing boards?

Which things should I consider when buying a surfboard for windsurfing? I am particularly interested in the first board after finishing a beginner´s course and gaining sufficient experience on one ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

Add more external space to my ACT Trail 32

I would like to add a bit more space (any way is acceptable) to my Deuter ACT Trail 32. http://www.deuter.com/US/us/hiking/act-trail-32-34432-119.html I do understand it will not be a permament ...
5
votes
1answer
205 views

Advantages of wool/felt jackets

I consider buying a jacket made from wool. The fabric is some kind of felt. I hade one when I was younger, but since these jackets are really expensive I would like to know how they perform compared ...
7
votes
1answer
489 views

What should I look for when buying a Lensatic Compass

Lensatic Compasses seem to be priced from $5 to $100 USD. What features should I look for when buying one?
7
votes
3answers
448 views

What to consider when buying fins for recreational snorkeling?

I've been on a few beach vacations in the last few years and have discovered that I really enjoy snorkeling. I have at least three trips in the next year where I will probably go snorkeling (a few ...
5
votes
1answer
287 views

Hardshell vs. Softshell jackets

Nowadays not only outdoor enthusiasts hear those terms when they are searching a jacket which fits their requirements most. Literally everywhere in cities you can find jackets (often with membranes) ...
6
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3answers
126 views

Gloves for knuckle protection that can get wet but not necessarily waterproof

I am looking to replace my NRS creeking gloves that I use for kayaking "bony" rivers and creeks where rock contact is a real possibility. The problem that I have with them is that the seams are not ...
8
votes
1answer
110 views

Some mobile helper for tree climbing?

When I do geocaching, I meet sometimes caches on trees. Some of them can be climbed by me without equipment, but in some cases I miss some flexibility or height to reach them :) Is there any mobile ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Kayaking - 'Brand' ? and Plastic vs. Fiberglass?

I'm a new Kayak enthusiast with limited molded plastic boat experience, in the midwest (Michigan). As a newbie that is desiring a "Better than Average" 12-14' unit I am considering the "HURRICANE" ...
7
votes
2answers
151 views

Do “R” Values Add proportionally

For winter camping it is recommended to use a sleeping pad with an R value greater than 5. Can you alternatively use two closed cell 2.5R pads one on top of each other? If using an inflatable pad ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Gloves for alpine tours in summer

I own Haglöfs Grepp Glove which are quite thin but have a Windstopper membrane. I like those gloves because they offer great grip. But I am also a bit confused because I got really cold fingers on my ...
7
votes
5answers
398 views

Is there any upper temperature limit for a given sleeping bag?

I'm actually shopping for a new sleeping bag and am a bit in doubt about a question that I do not find treated anywhere: By investing an arbitrarily huge amount of money I can buy a sleeping bag to ...
6
votes
1answer
71 views

Replacing rope/cord/tape/slings on protection gear

We all know that due to age-related deterioration, ropes, harnesses, slings and other "software" should be replaced after a certain period even if thay have not been damaged or been involved in high ...
9
votes
4answers
10k views

How do I remove mildew from a tent?

Similar to this question, but mildew tends to be very resistant to removal. I sadly failed to keep my tent dry enough, and now it has a couple of mildew spots. They're not bad, but I would rather ...
8
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
107 views

Will gelled fuel work in a cat can stove?

Recently a friend suggested using gelled fuel in a cat can stove instead of liquid alcohol. Since a cat can stove works by using pressurization to create the "jets" it seems flawed, but has anyone ...
6
votes
1answer
153 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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? ...
16
votes
2answers
277 views

Micro-Fractures in Climbing Equipments

I have always been very careful while handling climbing gear. Last year while returning from an expedition, I met a group that was returning from a tough-looking climb. They were selling off a few of ...
12
votes
5answers
559 views

How can rope/cordage be packed to minimize tangles?

I generally pack my cordage in little bundles like Unfortunately for any significant length (100' for instance) it just turns into a wadded mess when I try and use it. How can I pack this stuff ...
6
votes
4answers
462 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 ...
6
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2answers
6k 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 ...
14
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6answers
19k views

What is the ultimate car camping bed solution — for two people?

I've been camping since I was a teenager in the scouts, and I've never really had a very comfortable night out. As an adult with a girlfriend, 20 years later, I'd like to just throw some money at the ...