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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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
140 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 ...
7
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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 ...
7
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2answers
805 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
88 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
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2answers
335 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
461 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
202 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
votes
1answer
200 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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2answers
546 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
105 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
348 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 ...
7
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1answer
394 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
207 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
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0answers
236 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Traffic officer – how to prevent fingers from freezing

I am a traffic officer and in winter I always have issues with fingers freezing. Are there any hints besides hand warmers to keep my fingertips from getting so cold they hurt? I direct traffic so ...
6
votes
3answers
429 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 ...
6
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3answers
3k views

Dome tents vs popup tents, are there any inherent pros or cons besides price and ease?

I was lucky enough to be given an almost new double skin popup tent. Where I'm camping right now it's got windy a couple of times and rainy a couple of times. A friend of mine who is camping in his ...
6
votes
1answer
115 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
463 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?
6
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4answers
391 views

Trekking poles on planes

Have people been able to bring their (folding) trekking poles onto planes? We're flying without checked-in baggage (on Wizz Air, from Europe to Israel). We've paid for "two large cabin bags", and the ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Avoiding compression when packing synthetic sleeping bag

I came across the following comment (From durable 3-season bag.): don't forget that synthetic doesn't last nearly as long even if you take extremely good care of it (i.e. never compress it) – ...
6
votes
2answers
414 views

How can you prevent trekking pole locking mechanisms from slipping?

When using trekking poles with a twist-and-lock locking mechanism, I've experienced slipping (the poles will slightly collapse during use, making you frequently extend and re-lock it). Is there ...
6
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
6
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2answers
106 views

Recommended windproof matches?

I was looking for some good windproof matches - not for any specific use, but just because I considered they may come in useful in some environments. Has anyone any experience with any particular ...
6
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1answer
96 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 ...
6
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3answers
115 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 ...
6
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1answer
69 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 ...
6
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2answers
1k views

How to select paracord

What important features should I pay attention to when buying paracord for hiking (such as different types, load limit, etc)? I just use it for bear bags, tarp lines, etc.
6
votes
1answer
315 views

How durable is cuben fiber in real, practical use?

For years I've seen high-tech cuben fiber gear and drooled over how incredibly lightweight it is, and longed to buy or make some of my own equipment with it. (Then upon seeing the price tag, well, my ...
6
votes
1answer
313 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “expedition-weight” mean with regard to clothing?

I'm going on a trip to Alaska in September, including a guided camping/trekking trip in Denali. In the packing list I received from the company, they recommend having an "expedition-weight" top and ...
6
votes
1answer
2k 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.
6
votes
1answer
118 views

What levels of 'waterproofness' and 'breathability' should I be looking for in a ski jacket?

When looking at items like jackets and ski trousers and other clothing, I see stats on the garments similar to the following: Waterproofness - 10000mm Breathability - 15000g/m Lining - 100% Polyester ...
6
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2answers
293 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 ...
6
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1answer
545 views

Does Fjällräven produce serious outdoors gear, or is it just trendy? [closed]

I noticed that there is a lot of (quite expensive) Fjällräven outdoors gear for sale here in Germany and am curious whether this is a brand worth looking into, or whether their products are more ...
6
votes
1answer
901 views

Carry compound bow on back

I'm new to hunting. Last time I went, I found myself needing to go up or down relatively steep slopes with a little bit of snow. For that kind of terrain it's nice to have both hands free to catch ...
6
votes
1answer
143 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 ...
6
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1answer
57 views

What crampon front-point setup options are specific for various types of ice climbing?

Is it a matter of personal preference, or are there advantages to using different front-point setups on your crampons specific to what you are climbing? For example, I'm still just getting into ice ...
6
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
110 views

Can I upgrade my MSR Wisperlite International to also be able to burn propane?

I used someone else's Wisperlite Universal for the duration of a trip and it looks like the only functional difference is a jet that can be attached for burning propane. Can I purchase just that jet ...
6
votes
1answer
146 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
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0answers
39 views

How do I store my sleeping bag for long periods? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the best way to store my sleeping bag for long periods of time? We're at the point where we have more than one set of gear. We use different gear for different ...
5
votes
4answers
769 views

Rock Climbing falling.Turning upside down

What are the chances of falling and turning upside down, with your head down. Is the gear special from preventing such falls?
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What do you call a small backpack? (so I can search for it)

I've been borrowing this High Sierra small backpack from my friend for a few days and I'm looking to buy my own. So far I haven't found any barcode or product name on it, and I haven't found anything ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
673 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
148 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
797 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
637 views

Carrying crampons safely when not using them

How should one carry the crampons when not actually using it, but knowing that they are going to be needed in the further stage of the expedition. To clarify a bit, I'd say, suppose I am gonna need ...