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 (1)

5
votes
1answer
169 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
106 views

How to get started with packrafts?

I love hiking and I'm starting to love longer cycling trips too. I've done combined cycling/hiking trips (cycling to the trailhead of a hike). Last summer I met someone who carried an inflatable raft ...
5
votes
1answer
93 views

How can I improve on the straps on my travel pack?

I'm not back packing in the wilderness. I hope that doesn't disqualify me from asking a question that I think is still relevant for back-packers in general. I have an MEI Travel Pack that I'm pretty ...
5
votes
1answer
371 views

How do you punch out toes in ski-touring boots?

I've got a pair of custom moulded Scarpa Spirit 4 touring boots where the big toes are bit too tight (I've lost the nails after a day or two of touring more than once). What is the proper technique ...
5
votes
1answer
155 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
102 views

Are there any cheap 1:25K electronic maps for the UK or Europe? [closed]

I have looked at offerings from MemoryMap and Anquet, but once you scale beyond a small area they become prohibitively expensive.
5
votes
1answer
52 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
53 views

How can I get rid of mold on climbing skins for skis?

There is a bit of mold on the sticky side of my mohair climbing skins for my skis. How can I get rid of it?
4
votes
3answers
271 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
234 views

How can I keep my backpack safe?

I went on a hike with my wife the other day in Norcal. This place had a creek that led into a cave that you can swim in. We both left our backpacks at the cave entrance and then swam through it to the ...
4
votes
3answers
435 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
145 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
2answers
301 views

How to Tell When Minimal Running Shoes Are Worn Out?

How can I tell when my minimal running shoes go bad? Let me explain. Conventional Wisdom The conventional wisdom of marathon runners is that running shoes will eventually 'go bad'. That is, at some ...
4
votes
1answer
295 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
222 views

Super/Krazy Glue on Outdoor Gear

I currently use All Purpose Krazy Glue to repair pinch flats on my road bike inner tubes. All it takes is one drop over the bite and it seals it perfectly, works every time and holds 95 PSI for weeks ...
4
votes
2answers
750 views

Difference between Gore-Tex Pro Shell and Gore-Tex Active Shell

What is the difference between the two Gore-Tex technologies in real world usage? Specific factors: Which one packs down smaller? Which one is more breathable? Which one is likely to last longer? ...
4
votes
2answers
49 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Transfer data from Suunto Ambit2 without Movelink

I am testing my new Suunto Ambit2. Great watch! I like the way it can be configured and the analysis of the data! However, I am a little bit surprised to see that the software solution from Suunto ...
4
votes
1answer
149 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
2answers
148 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
537 views

What gear for sleeping in wild camping in western Scotland in May?

I intend to go camping in Scotland (mainly the Isle of Mull, that is Western, central Scotland) next week, i.e. last week of May. I have read quite a lot about the weather and know I should prepare ...
4
votes
1answer
866 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
91 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
113 views

What Rope to purchase?

I climb comfortably at 5.11c at my gym (Top Rope Only), but I have never climbed outdoors so a group of experienced climbers have offered to teach my friend and I how to lead sport routes. I have ...
3
votes
1answer
169 views

Improvising Heavy Rain Protection for a Backpack

Heavy rain can soak all of your gear. There are some things that you don't ever want to get wet, like your camera. I've learned to protect those things with string bags, which are light and I always ...
3
votes
2answers
152 views

Does a cotton lined sleeping bag make sense?

I have always been under the impression that cotton is the enemy of a hiker - it absorbs moisture and just becomes a horrible wet casing around you, transferring away all the heat. I was therefore ...
3
votes
3answers
257 views

Non-gun hunting tools for small game

I'm looking for alternative ways of hunting small game(rabbits, pidgeon etc.) besides a rifle/pistol, and the requirements I have found to be the most important are: Effective - Gaining more ...
3
votes
2answers
154 views

What is Arc'Teryx Technical down?

Today I received an e-mail from Arc'Teryx stating that Fall 2013 ushers in the arrival of technical DOWN and NEW GORE-TEX® Pro technology. What is technical down? I assume it is some sort of ...
3
votes
2answers
54 views

Do higher shoes breathe less?

I wonder about the breathe ability of low (=ankle high) versus high (=20cm above the ankle) hiking shoes. Do high shoes breathe less in the area of the foot (and not the shin)? What are the ...
3
votes
2answers
305 views

How do I properly use the cinch-straps that came with my daypack?

I just purchased a daypack to stuff inside my larger backpack while travelling. It came with cinch-straps but I'm not sure of the proper way to use them (if there is one). The daypack is a North ...
3
votes
1answer
207 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
79 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) ...
3
votes
3answers
119 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
33 views

What pre/post season maintenance is recommended for a 2 cycle outboard motor?

I just acquired a used Yamaha 50TLR. I'd like to know what kind of routine maintenance I should preform to keep it in good working order.
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Is it possible to check the safety of a used climbing rope? [duplicate]

In the comments to my answer on Can you use a rope that has been in storage for a few years? the question arose if one could have some expert check a used rope whether it is still safe to use. As ...
3
votes
1answer
35 views

Fly fishing rig knots

I have been fly fishing with my dad for a number of years but recently I went on my own and hit quite the stumbling block... I didn't know how to set the kit properly, normally I drive the boat while ...
3
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

What are the different materials for ski climbing skins and advantages to each?

I'm using mohair climbing skins right now but I've heard of other materials. What others are there and how do they compare to mohair?
2
votes
5answers
613 views

Where to carry a folding knife when hiking?

I'm not used to multi-day hikes, and soon I will be going on a 5 day hike and I thought it would be a good idea to carry a folding knife this time just to be on the safe side. I wont be needing it for ...
2
votes
3answers
224 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

How does an X chamber construction in a sleeping bag look like?

At the moment I'm online shopping around a bit for down sleeping bags. I came across some sleeping bags that are specified to have an "X chamber construction". I have found lots of online resources ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

How to put trekking poles in back pack?

I have trekking poles that I need to store in my back pack for air travel. However, the manual says for long term storage -- in my case, possibly days to a few weeks before I need to use them -- the ...
2
votes
1answer
22 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
126 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?
2
votes
1answer
116 views

Bootstrapping for outdoors [closed]

Greetings Outdoor experts, I recently moved to USA, and looking to bootstrap myself for hikes, camping and other outdoor activities. I have not bought a proper outdoor setup earlier, rather I ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

Pack for carrying a puppy

I have planned a smaller lake trip for me, my girlfriend and our two dogs(10 year Labrador, 5 month Eurasier). What I didn't think of is the fact that the puppy might need to be carried for a part of ...
2
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
110 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 ...