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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3
votes
2answers
398 views

Does a cotton lined sleeping bag make sense?

I have always been under the impression that cotton is the enemy of a hiker - it absorbs moisture and just becomes a horrible wet casing around you, transferring away all the heat. I was therefore ...
7
votes
2answers
421 views

“Must Have” in a starter Trad Rack

After learning to climb indoors on top rope and learning to lead sport climbs outdoors I will be progressing into Trad climbing by taking an instruction course as well as climbing with other ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

Lowe Alpine - TFX Cerro Torre: pack is moving to sides

I bought a new pack Love Alpine TFX Cerro Torre 65:85 (this one). I am quite satisfied, but have one problem. The pack is moving to sides and isn't very stable. On begs it fits really well, bat the ...
7
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
74 views

Do higher shoes breathe less?

I wonder about the breathe ability of low (=ankle high) versus high (=20cm above the ankle) hiking shoes. Do high shoes breathe less in the area of the foot (and not the shin)? What are the ...
11
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I mount a hangboard in an apartment?

In the last few months I have come to the conclusion that I need to have a fingerboard at home if my climbing is to get to the next level. But the problem is that I live in an apartment. How can I ...
16
votes
7answers
528 views

Are Ice grips worth buying

The cold weather has finally hit the UK and once again I am tempted to buy something like https://www.yaktrax.co.uk/shop/yaktrax-pro. For those of you not in the UK we get some snow each year (enough ...
4
votes
3answers
136 views

What Rope to purchase?

I climb comfortably at 5.11c at my gym (Top Rope Only), but I have never climbed outdoors so a group of experienced climbers have offered to teach my friend and I how to lead sport routes. I have ...
1
vote
3answers
309 views

What is the strength of an ATC belay device when used in a multi-pitch climb setup?

Does anyone know the strength of an ATC when used in a multi-pitch set up? It occurred to me that the entire weight of a climber is resting on the strength of the ATC clip and not on any carabiner. I ...
5
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Pros and Cons of paracord

From a comment on the How to select paracord question I was curious, what is the benefit of paracord over hardware store yellow twisted poly stuff? The yellow stuff is cheap, readily available, ...
9
votes
4answers
173 views

Will any filter/pump purifier last through longer hikes?

I've been reading a lot of product reviews, and filter/pump solutions seem to be very high maintenance, very heavy, or both. Are there any lightweight filters which can be relied on for many liters ...
2
votes
1answer
189 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
228 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. ...
5
votes
3answers
232 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)?
16
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the difference between external and internal-frame packs?

I am starting backpacking and there are both internal and external-frame packs. What is the difference, and is one recommended over the other?
9
votes
4answers
540 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
2answers
190 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 ...
33
votes
6answers
8k views

Is it better to wear one pair or two pairs of socks while hiking?

From personal experience I tend to wear two pairs of socks, normally some running socks and then my hiking socks on top of that. It helps me avoid blisters. Quite a few of my friends thinks this is ...
7
votes
3answers
357 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?
2
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
190 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), ...
12
votes
3answers
306 views

Features to look for when buying a stove (for car camping)

We (wife, 5 year old and me) are planning to go camping next summer (UK). It will be car camping - i.e. drive, set up tent and, knowing the UK, sit in the tent as it rains. I'm looking at equipment ...
12
votes
3answers
12k views

How do I use these “guy line runners” to adjust the tension on my tent's lines?

I was given my current tent and I have to admit to being pretty ignorant of tents, having not done much camping since I was a kid some decades ago. Now when it came time to use the guy ropes I ...
1
vote
1answer
350 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
345 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
883 views

Why don't we apply the principles of layering when it comes to pants?

Whenever I see clothing articles geared toward hiking and backpacking that discuss layering (base layer for wicking, mid layer for insulation, etc.), they always seem to discuss these things in terms ...
2
votes
1answer
46 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
50 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
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.
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How to carry dslr camera when rock-climbing

I am interested in hearing how people take their dslrs onto multi-pitch-rock-climbs. I have carried mine up in a small pack, but I end up taking hardly any pictures, since it is so cumbersome to get ...
3
votes
1answer
241 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
323 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
178 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
375 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
300 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
449 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
102 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
923 views

NIS mounting plate for x-country skis: why only for NNN bindings?

I see a lot of higher-end cross country skis now have an NIS mounting plate to enable the mounting of bindings without drilling any holes (and easy adjustment). But why are the only NIS compatible ...
8
votes
3answers
170 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Selecting backpacking cooking pot – teflon, aluminum, steel, titanium, or cast iron?

What are the relative advantages / dangers of different cooking wear? I'm a one-pot gourmet that has been using the same stainless steel pot for 15 years, but am considering an upgrade. Some things I ...
4
votes
3answers
202 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
297 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
734 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
282 views

Water-resistant shoes for Trekking in New Zealand

My spouse and I are going for 3-weeks vacation on the southern island of New Zealand. We intend to go for one multi-day trek (the Kepler Track), and a few more day treks. Do we need water-resistant ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Thinking about a road trip out West

My wife and I are thinking of taking a road trip from northwest Ohio to "out west" - Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, etc. I've never been farther west than Indiana, so it's a whole new ...
4
votes
2answers
162 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
154 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, ...