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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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
375 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 ...
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2answers
124 views

Ice Axes - Ice blade or Mix blade?

I have just got Grivel The Tech Machine Ice Axe. It comes with Ice blade by default. Mostly I am going to do Mix climbing on granite in Norway with Ice climbing occasionally. Do you recommend to get ...
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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 ...
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2answers
583 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
358 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 ...
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3answers
156 views

Onlinetool to setup a track in a map and calculate the distance

Last Weekend I made a hiking trip. The coordinates and lakes we crossed I can piont on a map and now I am looking for a good onlinetool to put in the points I remember connect them and calculate the ...
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3answers
553 views

Tips and tricks for backpacking with a guitar

There are numerous compact and travel guitars that exist, some of which are designed specifically for outdoor pursuits like backpacking. Being a musician, music is one of the things I miss most while ...
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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 ...
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2answers
92 views

Snowshoes for hilly terrain

What are the snowshoes criteria that I should look for if I want to snowshoe on a hilly terrain ?
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3answers
116 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
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.?
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2answers
847 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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1answer
361 views

Slings for anchoring and lanyard in rock climbing

Probably common question, but: What slings do you use to build anchors for belaying the 2nd in rock climbing? Dyneema or nylon? I had discussed this problem with my friend and he said that Dyneema is ...
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2answers
4k views

How to use a Rap Ring

I have never used a Rappel Ring before but I am told they are really useful. Apparently, if you're trying to rappel in a situation where you have to leave gear at the top to get down safely: use a ...
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5answers
456 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 ...
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2answers
346 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
804 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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?
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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 ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
114 views

Bolt Conditions at the New River Gorge

I am getting back into sport climbing and I am planning a trip to the NRG. I get very nervous about safety issues in regards to climbing, almost to the point where I don't want to start again. One ...
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1answer
123 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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5answers
346 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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361 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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5answers
708 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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3answers
423 views

Why should I carry a snow anchor?

I regularly see online that on expeditions snow anchors are strapped to the side of the backpacks. This is typically an item like the upper on following pic: I never saw this in the Alps by myself. ...
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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
273 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
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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
225 views

Headlamp with open flame

I just saw a documentary where they investigated lakes inside of glaciers. They rapelled in big crevasses and even dived in those sometimes huge water reservoirs. The scientist had a regular looking ...
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1answer
177 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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3answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
962 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?
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2answers
57 views

Are static dyneema/spectra ropes suited for use on glaciers?

While Dyneema is in use for cordelettes for quite some time manufacturers started bringing long ropes made of dyneema on the market. The benefits are obvious: Less weight, less volume and no water ...
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1answer
214 views

Cleaning the inside of a backpack

I have a normal waterproof backpack. Last weekend when I went camping, I lethargically packed it, and the whole bottle of edible oil got spilt inside. I have tried cleaning it with salt water, luke ...
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2answers
266 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 ...
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2answers
436 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 ...
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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?
7
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1answer
77 views

How does one choose the right standup paddle board size?

I've had a couple of opportunities to go standup paddle boarding (SUP'ing) which is pretty fun. Every time I've used one so far, I've rented it form a place where somebody pointed and said, "OK ...
7
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1answer
104 views

Stronger bond between GoPro mount and helmet?

I used a regular curved helmet mount for my GoPro on my recent snowboarding trip, which comes self-adhesive. At one point I fell on my back and hit the back of my helmet, the shock of which unglued ...
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2answers
2k views

Best rope for a rope swing

A few years ago I, er… a friend of mine, put up a rope swing in a nearby park. It's in a large eucalyptus, about 25 metres high, and is much loved by many local kids – and parents. Originaly I just ...
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1answer
230 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 ...
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2answers
110 views

How do I reduce bow string travel on a bow drill?

I have created a bow-drill for the purpose of starting fires. The wooden shaft's diameter is about the diameter of a typical male thumb, and is approximately 11 inches in length. The bow string is ...
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1answer
256 views

Climbing gear: can the energy absorbers of a lanyard for via ferratas be used only once?

Is the energy absorber of a gear kit for via ferratas for just one use? I mean, one fall and it has to be replaced? In the product description, there is often mention of it being "tearable."
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1answer
82 views

Relative abraision resistance of Dyneema slings vs an average dynamic climbing rope

I recently read this answer about rope thickness, and it mentions a tragic incident where a rope was severed during a lead fall due to the rope being dragged across rock edge whilst under tension. ...