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)

12
votes
2answers
1k views

When to use a static rope?

I usually do sport-climbing so I've never owned a static rope. However, most rope-related Q&As in TGO.SE don't bother specifying dynamic vs static ropes. I've been told that for rappelling (or ...
12
votes
3answers
246 views

How do you know if smaller brands of climbing equipment are safe?

There is a local shop that sells small brand name gear for pretty good prices. I am looking at their harnesses and quickdraws and would like to know: 1) Whether the equipment is safe - say compared ...
12
votes
4answers
458 views

Binoculars for nature reserves (birds etc) and for airplanes

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, apologies if not.. I'm after a pair of binoculars for visiting Nature Reserves to get a better view of colonies of birds on the water (at ...
12
votes
2answers
297 views

How to go about replacing sport climbing bolts?

There has been handful discussions about How to fix a bolt on a climbing route. But there seldom any point made about How the one should go about when removing/replacing the bolts. When to decide in ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the advantages / disadvantages of a rock climbing hat made from hard plastic to one made out of carbon fiber?

What are the advantages / disadvantages of a rock climbing hat made from hard plastic to one made out of carbon fibre? I have done a Google search already, but wanted some pointers with people who ...
12
votes
1answer
719 views

What should you look for when buying hiking socks?

A quick search online shows there are dozens of different types of hiking socks, with different materials, thicknesses, and properties. In general, what should you look for when shopping for hiking ...
12
votes
4answers
562 views

Safe, effective method for splitting firewood using a hatchet?

While car camping this past weekend, I bought some firewood from the park headquarters but unfortunately, it was split into very large pieces that obviously wouldn't light very well. I tried splitting ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Why bring a multitool on long treks?

I have been trekking for years now, mostly in Scandinavia, Canada and Peru. For most of treks we had to be sustainable and carry food for 10-14 days at a time - so weight is always a big issue. ...
12
votes
1answer
10k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
847 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
436 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
2answers
2k 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
votes
1answer
153 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
votes
5answers
859 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
votes
1answer
184 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 / ...
12
votes
2answers
151 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?
12
votes
1answer
767 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
votes
3answers
444 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
votes
2answers
782 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
votes
4answers
217 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 ...
11
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
795 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
388 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
975 views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a paracord knife handle?

Whenever I browse knife shops or online stores I see many fixed-blade knives whose handles are essentially just a piece of paracord wrapped around the tang. From my anecdotal experience this also ...
11
votes
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
votes
2answers
240 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?
11
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
910 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 ...
11
votes
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
votes
4answers
351 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?
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What should you do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake?

You should obviously avoid rattlesnakes if at all possible. But if you do get bitten by one, what should you do? What supplies can be brought ahead of time to allow for the best treatment, and what ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there any affordable night vision goggles that are good and available to civilians?

I quite often go hiking in the evening after work and I have a good head torch but sometimes I wish I had some night vision goggles because often a headtorch will scare wildlife and cause farm animals ...
11
votes
2answers
190 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
votes
6answers
626 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
141 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
votes
3answers
346 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
votes
3answers
248 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
386 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
votes
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
768 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
votes
1answer
289 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
votes
1answer
488 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
84 views

What wetsuit thickness is recommended in which temperatures for diving?

I'm soon to embark on a chilly scuba dive around 5-7C at 18m, of which we'll be wearing 7mm wetsuits. The next thickest I think is actually a drysuit for really cold waters, but not sure if there is a ...
10
votes
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?
10
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
842 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
votes
2answers
2k views

Where does the name Deadman come from?

Why is a Deadman called so? Where does the name come from?
10
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
275 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?