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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10
votes
5answers
608 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
704 views

Backpacking propane canister too tall and unstable

My propane/butane/isobutane canister with stove top attached is about 6" tall. When I put a cookware filled with liquid on top of it, the center of gravity seems very high and the whole system seems ...
3
votes
2answers
290 views

How much is a major load?

So the UIAA sets a major fall (fall after which to retire your gear) to be a fall factor of 1.77. Now I was wondering what would count as a major load (load after which to retire your gear) ? 50 kN ? ...
5
votes
1answer
201 views

Any ideas about long-term camping in a 16x16 foot yurt?

My husband and I will be retiring soon and will spend 5 months of the year in a bricks and mortar house. The other 7 months, we'll be gypsying. We don't want to deal with the complexities and ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

Island camping tent advice

I am planning on camping on the beach in Florida. Since I will be on an island I have to pack what I can carry. I do not have a tent yet, and was wondering what I should look for in a tent for a ...
7
votes
3answers
409 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
151 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
494 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
141 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.?
0
votes
0answers
101 views

What is a great, all-purpose knife? [duplicate]

I'm going to go camping soon and would like to have a dependable knife that I can use when I'm there. What do you guys recommend? Not to be that guy or anything, but I'd prefer if it was American ...
9
votes
3answers
659 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
72 views

How much spare strap should I leave when trimming a pack down?

I'm finally going to take the plunge and trim all the excess cordage and belting off of my pack. How much strap material should I leave to allow for adjustments in gear (adding layers for cold, ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Is a tarp necessary if you have a tent with a rainfly and a footprint?

My tent has a rainfly, but I'm wondering if I need to carry a tarp for the extra rain protection. I don't want to pack a wet tent because that would damage the fabric, but I don't know if that is ...
10
votes
2answers
744 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between single and double wall tents?

Tents are described being either single or double wall. What is the difference and when is one preferred over the other?
7
votes
2answers
274 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
181 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.
5
votes
1answer
196 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
95 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

What are some ways/devices that I can use to charge my batteries in the wilderness?

When backpacking, I might carry a MagLite flashlight or something similar that requires two AA batteries. I tend to favor rechargeable batteries for a variety of reasons. How can I recharge my ...
6
votes
1answer
113 views

Differences for bivi packs

I would like to do a winter bivouac but have no gear for it yet. Especially the choice of a bivi pack is really tough for me because I'd prefer to be able to use it also in summer as a rescue item and ...
10
votes
1answer
109 views

Satellite phone payment plans for irregular use

I've been looking if there is an alternative to renting a satellite phone when it's to be used in absolute emergencies only. As far as my searches showed, most prepaid plans have very short ...
13
votes
1answer
239 views

What do I need to be aware of if I'm considering purchasing a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)?

Obviously, I can't just buy it, push the button and expect a helicopter to show up. Are there monthly or registration fees? Do I need to get a permit or register with someone? How does it all work? ...
7
votes
2answers
178 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
385 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
227 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Plastic or fiberglass for a kayak?

I'm an intermediate level kayaker but have only paddled plastic boats. I'm looking for a kayak to do multi-day trips in on the ocean. What are the differences between plastic and fiberglass?
5
votes
2answers
98 views

What to look for in a snorkel?

I recently read over this post: What to consider when buying fins for recreational snorkeling and found some great advice in what to look for when purchasing fins for snorkelling. However I was ...
9
votes
4answers
232 views

How to get started on canyoning?

Since I saw one of the last EOFT-films I am really curious about trying canyoneering, but I can´t quite figure out how to get started. What would you suggest to try it? What would be the minimum of ...
19
votes
2answers
469 views

Chalk: pure, plus drying agent, liquid?

Having only used pure chalk without added substances so far, I wondered how the other types perform. Most of the information I could find online is either somebody ranting against a certain type, or ...
7
votes
1answer
369 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
266 views

Pack to carry two 30 L barrels

Background: I am a talking canoe tripping and portaging here. I have come into possession of two standard 30 litre food barrels, but no method of carrying them. I have heard of people carrying two of ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

How long is an activated charcoal filter good for after initial use?

I have a water filtration system that uses activated coconut shell carbon as its media. The filter is listed as being able to purify up to 50 gallons, but I won't be using it for anywhere near that ...
1
vote
3answers
210 views

Sunblock for clothing-optional camping

What should I look for in a suntan lotion for a nude camping trip? I don't know what to look for when it goes on the whole body. Are there any ingredients that I should watch out for?
12
votes
2answers
954 views

When should I retire my rope

I know there is a degree of "gray" in this question but: I have a Beal Top gun II 10.5mm, I've had this rope for around 4 years now and I'm starting to think about retiring it. It's been used ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Considerations for buying windsurfing boards?

Which things should I consider when buying a surfboard for windsurfing? I am particularly interested in the first board after finishing a beginner´s course and gaining sufficient experience on one ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

Add more external space to my ACT Trail 32

I would like to add a bit more space (any way is acceptable) to my Deuter ACT Trail 32. http://www.deuter.com/US/us/hiking/act-trail-32-34432-119.html I do understand it will not be a permament ...
5
votes
1answer
247 views

Advantages of wool/felt jackets

I consider buying a jacket made from wool. The fabric is some kind of felt. I hade one when I was younger, but since these jackets are really expensive I would like to know how they perform compared ...
7
votes
1answer
539 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?
8
votes
3answers
811 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
351 views

Hardshell vs. Softshell jackets

Nowadays not only outdoor enthusiasts hear those terms when they are searching a jacket which fits their requirements most. Literally everywhere in cities you can find jackets (often with membranes) ...
6
votes
3answers
159 views

Gloves for knuckle protection that can get wet but not necessarily waterproof

I am looking to replace my NRS creeking gloves that I use for kayaking "bony" rivers and creeks where rock contact is a real possibility. The problem that I have with them is that the seams are not ...
8
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

Kayaking - 'Brand' ? and Plastic vs. Fiberglass?

I'm a new Kayak enthusiast with limited molded plastic boat experience, in the midwest (Michigan). As a newbie that is desiring a "Better than Average" 12-14' unit I am considering the "HURRICANE" ...
7
votes
2answers
181 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Gloves for alpine tours in summer

I own Haglöfs Grepp Glove which are quite thin but have a Windstopper membrane. I like those gloves because they offer great grip. But I am also a bit confused because I got really cold fingers on my ...
7
votes
5answers
714 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
78 views

Replacing rope/cord/tape/slings on protection gear

We all know that due to age-related deterioration, ropes, harnesses, slings and other "software" should be replaced after a certain period even if thay have not been damaged or been involved in high ...
8
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
114 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 ...