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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3answers
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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 ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Trekking poles: what are the pros and cons of Anti-shock vs standard designs?

This is not a shopping question just to preface that issue. I'm not looking for a specific brand or model of trekking pole. Also to add some background information, I have borrowed trekking poles ...
12
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1answer
145 views

What qualities should I look for in a good walking pole?

I've seen walking poles range from <£10 to >£100 - and to a casual observer there doesn't often seem to be much to distinguish them, with both having good grips and shock relief / suspension. What ...
12
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5answers
785 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 ...
12
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1answer
178 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 / ...
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1answer
746 views

What is the difference between Gore-Tex and Mountain Hardwears DryQ?

They both are waterproof but what are the differences and is one better?
12
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3answers
431 views

How can I prevent plantar fasciitis?

Every year or so I'll end up with plantar fasciitis after periods of time where I've walked a lot. In general my walking shoes are fine and have arch support but occasionally I'll need to use sturdier ...
11
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2answers
765 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 ...
11
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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 ...
11
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2answers
784 views

How to wash a foam helmet?

I have a Foam Helmet, made for climbing. Its kinda old and looks like it needs a wash. The Helmet is old, and so is the foam. Roughly a bit more than 3 years now. With other foam-made things that are ...
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3answers
2k views

Safe Way to Mark a Carabiner

At the crag this weekend I noticed that my climbing partner's carabiner had a great feature: a red line painted such that you know the carabiner isn't locked until the red is hidden. I love this ...
11
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2answers
186 views

When should a belay device be replaced?

I'm about to purchase my first belay device, and am wondering how long I might expect it to last. What signs should I be looking at to determine when a belay device eventually needs to be replaced?
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2answers
3k views

Can oiling keep tools from rusting?

Even stainless-steel can rust, and I've seen axes and saws that were visibly rusted. I've been told that wrapping the metal parts of the tools in oiled paper will prevent this. Can oil really be used ...
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2answers
2k views

Why does my belay device have two holes?

I have a belay device that looks like: which I used when I am belaying someone who is top roping or leading. However, my rope only goes through one of those slots. What is the purpose of the other ...
11
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2answers
182 views

How can I know if a rope is certified? I found a hidden tag

We (a uni student club, mostly hiking) own a rope that is practically unknown. We know that it's a year since it was bought (presumably new) and that it has hardly ever been used (no dead hangs, etc). ...
11
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2answers
252 views

What should a rescue team be equipped with?

The last weekend when I was coming back home from a trek on Sunday noon, I got a news about this accident that took place. The place was on the way, so instead of choosing to rest at home, I chose to ...
11
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2answers
140 views

How do I make a fin selection for various surfing conditions

There are many surfing fin designs available for modern surf boards. What are the criteria for selecting: Tri-fin Bi-fin Mono-fin No fins And why would I want to have larger or smaller surfing ...
11
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3answers
238 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 ...
11
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1answer
1k views

What are “Aggressive” climbing Shoes?

This question was borrowed from a comment on this question. But what is meant by an "aggressive" climbing shoe? What is the difference in a non-aggressive shoe? And when would you use one over the ...
11
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3answers
272 views

What are the pros and cons of a digital altimeter over an analog altimeter for backpacking?

Our analog altimeter, which we had had for over 20 years, was stolen this summer. We are now faced with a choice between digital or analog altimeters. What are pros and cons between the two? (e.g., ...
11
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1answer
376 views

How does the Esbit stove perform in cold & wind?

I was on a group trip this weekend where a fellow hiker brought an Esbit stove which uses hexamine fuel tabs. The temperature was not what I would consider extreme. Temperatures in the high 30s to ...
11
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2answers
2k views

How should I patch holes in a waterproof/breathable jacket?

I have a waterproof/breathable rain jacket which has a few holes in it (caused by a minor bicycle crash, in case that information is relevant). They are not too big, about 5mm across. How can I patch ...
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2answers
593 views

How to efficiently fill a bladder with water?

I normally use cheap, lightweight water bottles to carry my water when I'm hiking. However, sometimes I'm with people who use bladders such as a CamelBak, and I offer to go and fill water bottles, so ...
11
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1answer
266 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 ...
11
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2answers
146 views

What to look out for when buying used backpacks

I'm looking to buy a used backpack in the near future. What are the key things I should look out for/avoid when inspecting used paks?
10
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9answers
18k 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 ...
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4answers
1k views

Rock Climbing falling.Turning upside down

What are the chances of falling and turning upside down, with your head down. Is the gear special from preventing such falls?
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5answers
806 views

How to reduce the annoying sound of falling raindrops on a tent?

Every time I go camping and it starts to rain, I can't sleep anymore because the raindrops that fall on the tent causes a really loud and annoying sound. Is there any technique or tool to avoid or at ...
10
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4answers
193 views

Possible to transform (at least two) smartphones into walkie-talkie like devices?

Of course we agree on the fact, that cellphones aren't that good in the great outdoors cause they just don't work if you are too far from civilization. That's why we use devices like Walkie-Talkies ...
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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 ...
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6answers
267 views

How to avoid the layer of ice inside a water bottle during winter activities?

Is there a special way to avoid the layer of ice that forms inside a water bottle during winter activities?
10
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2answers
374 views

How can I make/improvise a rope on a trip?

If I'm out in the wilderness and find myself in need of a rope I don't have with me (forgotten, not enough, another snapped), how can I make one? Are there any natural ropes I could use with minimal ...
10
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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 ...
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5answers
13k views

What are the benefits of a baitcaster over a spinning reel for bass fishing?

I have been looking at new rods and several people have suggested a baitcaster. I currently have a spinning reel that I am comfortable with but I would like to try a new rod/reel type. What am I ...
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4answers
16k 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 ...
10
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4answers
967 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 ...
10
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4answers
324 views

Learning Anchors - How is single cordelette loop anchor redundant?

I have climbed for a long time, but I want to switch to cordelette anchors for speed on multipitch. My main concern is in redundancy with the cordelette. I mentally check the anchor for any problems, ...
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2answers
1k views

Any reasons to prefer braces over belts?

It accompanies me for quite a while. I see a lot of outdoor-people wearing braces instead of belts. Also, a lot of outdoor brands have braces in their range, such as these examples: From LD ...
10
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5answers
658 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 ...
10
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5answers
693 views

Repairing down stuff?

I got a rip in my down jacket. I assume the fabric is nylon. What is the best way to repair a rip in a down sleeping bag or jacket?
10
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3answers
134 views

Should you occasionally use locking biners on pieces of protection when using alpine draws?

Since I mostly climb trad style, I don't use quickdraws for leading outside of the gym. I use alpine quick draws (two biners joined by dyneema slings) which offer benefits of adjustable length, ...
10
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2answers
502 views

Are manual double-back buckles on harnesses considered obsolete?

My current harness has these single-piece buckles: (source: http://www.mountaineeringmethodology.com/harness/) It might be due for replacement in one or two years, and I really like these buckles, ...
10
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4answers
300 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?
10
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4answers
217 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 ...
10
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3answers
795 views

Solar Power While Backpacking

I am planning a multi-week backpacking trip (the JMT in California), and want to bring a real camera. What are some good solar power options for charging my camera batteries on a long backpacking ...
10
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1answer
218 views

Why are these acceptable and safe anchors?

Everyone knows redundancy is chief when building climbing anchors. However, I have seen several types of anchors that don't appear to be fully redundant due to a single ring providing the master ...
10
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1answer
268 views

How do I attach a hammock to trees?

On my next vacation, I will be camping in a tent on a designated campsite. I saw somebody use a hammock for lounging during the day last time, so quickly got a cheap hammock from eBay, with a "let's ...
10
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2answers
299 views

Staying dry in severe weather

I've been in pretty big storms before on campouts, but only two were big enough that the water would seep in through the sides of the tent. One of those times I used a tarp, rope, trees, and ...
10
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3answers
5k 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 ...
10
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1answer
964 views

What can be safely trimmed on a backpack

When trimming weight there are a lot of options. Lighter gear, less gear, etc. One of those options is to take an existing pack and trim off "unnecessary" extras. For instance, I have (no kidding) ...