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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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?
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2answers
290 views

How do I check paracord to determine if it's genuine?

Given some paracord, is there a simple check that I can make to check that it's genuine and not the cheaper knock off stuff? Number of strands seems like the most obvious point, but is there anything ...
8
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3answers
505 views

How should I pack for a week of backpacking in the rain?

So, next week I will be leaving on a hiking trip, which was supposed to be in the middle of summer whilst it's at its hottest, but instead it will be raining all week. Luckily there are public use ...
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2answers
105 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.
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3answers
737 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
298 views

Does wash in waterproofing work on a non-waterproof shell?

I'm considering an ultralight (non-waterproof) shell and Nikwax wash-in waterproofing as a rain layer. I'd like it to be waterproof through several wearings (a week or more). Does this result in ...
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2answers
131 views

Is it necessary to carry a knife sharpener?

Under the assumption that an emergency kit like the ones listed here are for the emergency of getting lost and being stranded for days, how necessary is a knife sharpener?
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2answers
263 views

Does a groover have to stink?

I have used several different products and none of them work that well. Bottom line, is there a product that will subdue the offending groover? So a groover is a river toilet. On multiple day river ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
8
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1answer
200 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), ...
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1answer
90 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 ...
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3answers
108 views

Packing delicate equipment for a hike

I always try to avoid taking much delicate on a hike, but sometimes it either can't be helped or I decide I want to take it anyway (camera would be the prime example!) How can I best pack such ...
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2answers
114 views

What should I as a beginning surfer consider when buying my first longboard?

I'm a beginning surfer, and I want a longboard. How do I select one? How much should I pay? What is good width and length, etc.?
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2answers
659 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 ...
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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 ...
8
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1answer
651 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) ...
8
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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 ...
8
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1answer
116 views

Climbing Webbing with Taped Ends (where & why)

I was reading through the AAJ, and I came across a report from April this year when somebody died due to an anchor failure. The webbing was joined with some masking tape at the ends, instead of ...
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1answer
244 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. ...
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2answers
1k views

How to patch holes in 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
107 views

What is the minimum gap needed for a windscreen on a cat can stove?

I've constructed a cat can jet stove as described here. He has a windscreen design, but it seems to be overkill (and doesn't work for my pot). I've tried a couple of my own now, but they are all ...
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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 ...
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5answers
269 views

What should I do if I break a shoelace in the wilderness?

If I'm hiking in the wilderness and my shoelace breaks, what's the best way to go about fixing it assuming I have no spare?
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2answers
316 views

what are the differences between high-end sleeping pads and cut to fit foam mats

I'm pretty tall and I find that to purchase a brand-name sleeping pad means shelling out serious $$$. To solve this I have always just purchased a roll of foam padding that I could cut to make sure it ...
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4answers
160 views

How can I avoid putting cinder burn holes in my clothing?

This is especially problematic if you dress up in layers, the last one being, for example, a raincoat. Putting a burn hole through your rain coat let's the rain in... Are there some tricks in ...
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5answers
226 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 ...
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4answers
2k views

Do reusable “hand coolers” exist?

I often carry around a couple of reusable hand warmers when hiking or just around the outdoors when it's cold. They don't take up much space, they're easy to reuse (just boil) and they provide a fair ...
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2answers
117 views

When to set up a Cordelette and an Equalette?

I was going through anchoring techniques and I came across this well-received question: Anchor without cordelette? How should one decide when to go for a Cordelette or an Equalette?
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2answers
224 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 ...
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3answers
156 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 ...
7
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3answers
357 views

Are self-inflatable sleeping pads more slippery than other mats?

I was camping recently and someone was complaining that they were finding it hard to sleep, as their new self inflating mat was much more slippery than their old foam one. Is this a real effect, and ...
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2answers
95 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 ...
7
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1answer
121 views

Can you use a rope that has been in storage for a few years?

A guy I'm talking to about buying some rock climbing gear is getting rid of his stuff cause he hasn't used it in five to eight years. He said it wasn't used a lot, maybe 5 to 6 times, and he said no ...
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2answers
747 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 ...
7
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2answers
114 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 ...
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 ...
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2answers
720 views

What is a good starter kit for beginning indoor climbing?

If I want to get started on indoor climbing, what is the bare minimum I need to have, assuming I don't want to rent equipment?
7
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2answers
324 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 ...
7
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1answer
431 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
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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 ...
7
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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
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3answers
929 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 ...
7
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2answers
216 views

Does anyone have an account of someone using a survival tin in a survival situation

I have read several books about survival and outdoor field craft skills. Many of these books suggest building a survival kit out of an Altoids tin or something similar. These kits include very basic ...
7
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2answers
453 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 ...
7
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2answers
102 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 ...
7
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2answers
332 views

Is there a functional safety difference in types of helmets

From a pure safety standpoint is there a functional difference between a climbing helmet, cycling helmet, etc? Is a cycling helmet actually the safest solution for a cyclist, or would the greater ...
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1answer
80 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 ...
7
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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 ...
7
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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 ...