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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4
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
171 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
299 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
215 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
755 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
234 views

How to get rid of the smell from indoor climbing shoes? [duplicate]

When I go climbing indoors I typically wear my climbing shoes without socks because this gives me slightly better control over my feet while climbing which I particularly need in overhangs. The ...
4
votes
1answer
155 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
398 views

Why are there ropes on fingerboards?

I picked up a couple fingerboards from the pro shop, and hung them on the rafters in our basement. However, I have no idea what the ropes are for, unless someone might tie the boards to a tree. What ...
4
votes
2answers
167 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 ...
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.
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Caveats of dual (propane, liquid) fuel stoves

My MSR Whisperlite has served me well for more than 10 years. It started leaking a few weeks ago, and I'm looking for a proper replacement. I've read some good reviews about dual fuel stoves ...
6
votes
1answer
380 views

What is a “fast pack” setup for a tent?

Reading around forums and in products, I see descriptions and weights for a "fast pack" setup for tents. What does this mean and what is it used for?
3
votes
3answers
126 views

Facility to test cold weather gear in London UK

I'm debating what equipment to buy to prepare for a cold weather in mountain terrain and felt it might be useful to test what different temperatures feel like while wearing chosen equipment. My ...
7
votes
2answers
193 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
410 views

Do bag liners add the same warmth value to all sleeping bags?

I have a bag liner that claims to add 15 degrees to the "range" of a sleeping bag. Is it reasonable to assume that it would work the same for all bags? For instance, would it extend a 40 degree bag ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Do cross-country skis need to be broken-in?

I recently bought a new pair of cross-country skis that matched my weight (with or without a backpack), but when I tried them out for the first time (over a two-day period), I didn't have as much grip ...
6
votes
1answer
835 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?
5
votes
1answer
172 views

What to do about slippery plastic soles of cross country ski boots

I have a relatively new pair of NNN cross-country ski boots and noticed the plastic sole is much more slippery than previous boots I've owned (older SNS and SNS Profil). A quick look at the selection ...
20
votes
9answers
7k 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
320 views

Do folding cross country skis exist?

Do folding (or telescoping) cross-country skis exist and if so are they useable? Update: Or are there small cross-country skis that are short enough for easy transport, yet still capable of providing ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Are folding poles suitable for cross-country skiing?

There are several manufacturers selling folding/collapsible poles, usually for hiking or splitboarding. Are they also suitable for cross-country skiing?
10
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
123 views

What kinds of stores sell multi-mode (adjustable-brightness) flashlights? [closed]

Which types of vendors sell multi-mode (adjustable-brightness) flashlights? Both online and offline vendors. Both sellers of new flashlights and used ones. I know that outdoors stores sell them, but ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

SkyDive Equipment

In 2009 I successfully completed the AFF course, after a stop due to the birth of my son I'm going to resume regular activity. I currently have 31 jumps, all carried out by renting the equipment, and ...
5
votes
1answer
161 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
195 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
1k 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
962 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
230 views

End-of-season maintenance / storage tips for ski boots?

After several trips with poor fitting hire ski boots, and having had no end of trouble finding suitable fitting hire boots at the current resort, I went and bought a fitting pair. The boots have been ...
7
votes
1answer
185 views

Difference between a Fingerboard and a Hangboard

This is just a climbing terminology question: What is the difference between a Fingerboard and a Hangboard? Maybe there is no difference at all? Maybe it's subtle? I have been Googling around and ...
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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
360 views

Repairing a North Face Tent rain cover

I have bought a North Face RoadRunner 3 tent 10 years ago. It is a great tent, and it served me well during a 9-month trip to South America. The problem is that the transparent part of the rain ...
8
votes
5answers
290 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 ...
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 ...
13
votes
1answer
861 views

What is a good material to patch holes in backpack?

I have a backpack with rip-stop material that is quite beaten up from scrambling over granite boulders. What are some good materials for patching the holes, what kind of thread should I use, and how ...
12
votes
7answers
356 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

What makes nylon an effective material for hiking pants?

I often see 100% nylon pants a lot in stores. What properties does it have that make it effective when hiking? Is it effective in all seasons or just under certain conditions?
17
votes
3answers
911 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
109 views

Apart from down, is there any outdoor material that should not be stored stuffed?

Down sleeping bags and down jackets should not be stored in the stuffbag, but as loose as possible. Tents, as far as I know, can be stored stuffed as long as they are dry. Are there any other ...
4
votes
1answer
272 views

Can a PVC rain jacket also be used as a windbreaker?

I have a Columbia 100% PVC rain jacket. It has a nylon lining. Can PVC material be used as an effective windbreaker? Are there any side effects (such as making me sweat a lot more) that could ...
6
votes
2answers
84 views

Snowshoes for hilly terrain

What are the snowshoes criteria that I should look for if I want to snowshoe on a hilly terrain ?
7
votes
1answer
131 views

Trekking Pole Length

I was recently convinced to buy a pair of trekking poles for backpacking. But how long should they be? What is the optimal length to adjust my trekking poles, when carrying a heavy pack? I have ...
6
votes
3answers
338 views

How do I light a spirit (ethanol) stove when it's cold?

I am very happy with my storm-proof spirit stove. When others are struggling to find a place outside the wind, I can cook wherever I like — provided I can lighten my ethanol fuel. Trangia stove in ...
7
votes
3answers
933 views

What characteristics should I look for in a good torch/flashlight?

I'm looking to buy a flashlight/torch (or build my own even if that works out cheaper), and am looking to take the following into consideration: Good battery life (LEDs would probably suit best in ...
10
votes
3answers
188 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
375 views

Will Iodine Tablets Ruin My CamelBak?

In the past, I have gone backpacking with some fairly expensive, heavy water purification tools. But the more I read about water safety in California's Sierras (here and here), the less I think these ...
10
votes
2answers
282 views

How should I correctly use poles and other equipment to avoid back pain on long hikes?

3 of my lower vertebra have irreparable damage, so I have various workarounds to minimise pain and swelling at home and in the office, and even on short term hikes (ibuprofen FTW) but on a longer hike ...