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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4
votes
3answers
510 views

What to look for in hiking shoes? [closed]

My friends and I are going on our first hiking expedition through Michigan's UP, and I was wondering what type of shoes are recommended by experienced hikers? I have looked up information online, but ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Can I use wading sandals with waders?

I have a pair of wading sandals (made by Keen and designed for water sports) to which I added a few metal studs and have been using for wet wading while fly fishing in shallow streams. Now I wonder if ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Why bring a multitool on long treks?

I have been trekking for years now, mostly in Scandinavia, Canada and Peru. For most of treks we had to be sustainable and carry food for 10-14 days at a time - so weight is always a big issue. ...
11
votes
2answers
191 views

How can I know if a rope is certified? I found a hidden tag

We (a uni student club, mostly hiking) own a rope that is practically unknown. We know that it's a year since it was bought (presumably new) and that it has hardly ever been used (no dead hangs, etc). ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

How to carry dslr camera when rock-climbing

I am interested in hearing how people take their dslrs onto multi-pitch-rock-climbs. I have carried mine up in a small pack, but I end up taking hardly any pictures, since it is so cumbersome to get ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Selecting a rotary hammer for bolting climbs

Setting up a (sport) climb, requires a good cordless rotary hammer (SDS shank compatible). Besides the price-tag, things to consider, for selecting such a tool, are its weight, its shape and the ...
12
votes
1answer
773 views

What is the difference between Gore-Tex and Mountain Hardwears DryQ?

They both are waterproof but what are the differences and is one better?
14
votes
3answers
189 views

How did people make topographical maps in the pre-modern?

I've been getting into making maps with compass and a ruler and just triangulating positions of objects. I would like to start making topographical maps but how? How did they make them before the ...
12
votes
2answers
301 views

How to go about replacing sport climbing bolts?

There has been handful discussions about How to fix a bolt on a climbing route. But there seldom any point made about How the one should go about when removing/replacing the bolts. When to decide in ...
10
votes
2answers
654 views

Are manual double-back buckles on harnesses considered obsolete?

My current harness has these single-piece buckles: (source: http://www.mountaineeringmethodology.com/harness/) It might be due for replacement in one or two years, and I really like these buckles, ...
8
votes
1answer
271 views

How to use an avalanche shovel as a snow anchor for a belay?

Avalanche shovels come equipped with holes in the blades for use as rescue sleds and making anchors. I've got plenty of my own ideas, but I'm looking for any documentation provided by manufacturers ...
12
votes
1answer
185 views

What factors should I be aware of when storing a kayak?

I've seen various images / comments online of how people decide to store their kayaks. Some people wall mount them, some have a rack, some stack them with padding, some hang them (horizontally / ...
9
votes
1answer
134 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
628 views

How can you tell if you can reuse an arrow?

Title says it all really, if I were out practice shooting on a boss, or if I were hunting, how could I tell if I can reuse the arrows I've just shot?
10
votes
4answers
17k views

How do I remove mildew from a tent?

Similar to this question, but mildew tends to be very resistant to removal. I sadly failed to keep my tent dry enough, and now it has a couple of mildew spots. They're not bad, but I would rather ...
8
votes
1answer
154 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
49 views

What is the best rope material to use for climbing protection? [duplicate]

I've been doing some research on what type of cord to use for resligning some hexes, and I found something very surprising here. Basically, the paper seems to suggest that while the tensile strength ...
6
votes
2answers
232 views

Is dyneema rope without a sheath safe for climbing?

I recently was given some old Chouinard hexes my uncle used back in the 70s. They look great, and I see no reason why I can't re-sling them and use them as perfectly safe protection. I've found some ...
16
votes
6answers
5k views

Why do many climbers appear to not trust their belay loops?

The belay loop is the strongest part of the climbing harness, so why do so many climbers not trust it? It’s very common to see climbers backing up their belay loop with a separate piece of webbing or ...
14
votes
3answers
482 views

Stuff or roll a tent for storage?

When packing a tent, is it best to stuff it in its sack or roll/fold it? I always stuff my sleeping bag so I wasn't sure if it was the same for tents.
12
votes
2answers
1k views

When to use a static rope?

I usually do sport-climbing so I've never owned a static rope. However, most rope-related Q&As in TGO.SE don't bother specifying dynamic vs static ropes. I've been told that for rappelling (or ...
11
votes
3answers
953 views

Solar Power While Backpacking

I am planning a multi-week backpacking trip (the JMT in California), and want to bring a real camera. What are some good solar power options for charging my camera batteries on a long backpacking ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

Where can I get long but light bottoms for water?

I need clothing for kayaking in the summer. I already have the "heavyweight" equipment - thick neoprene longjohn and a whitewater cag. But for places where I need less protection from cold and ...
11
votes
2answers
256 views

When should a belay device be replaced?

I'm about to purchase my first belay device, and am wondering how long I might expect it to last. What signs should I be looking at to determine when a belay device eventually needs to be replaced?
14
votes
1answer
457 views

Why do big wall harnesses have two belay loops?

I've been looking at big wall harnesses and I've been noticing that a lot of them come with two belay loops: I know that it isn't there as a back up. What's the advantage of having two belay ...
11
votes
2answers
857 views

How to efficiently fill a bladder with water?

I normally use cheap, lightweight water bottles to carry my water when I'm hiking. However, sometimes I'm with people who use bladders such as a CamelBak, and I offer to go and fill water bottles, so ...
8
votes
1answer
852 views

How to care for a smelly (as in wet dog smell) down sleeping bag?

My down sleeping bag smelled like a wet dog after a damp night out. By reading this forum thread. I realized that it probably didn't dry enough after the trip. So I let it out at the air, and the ...
15
votes
3answers
682 views

What makes a good head lamp?

I'm looking for a decent head lamp, with a bright light and good battery life. Most on the market these days seem to be LED based, but aside from those three (perhaps obvious) considerations are there ...
5
votes
3answers
476 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 advises a pretty sophisticated way to protect ...
3
votes
1answer
613 views

Why is a “Czech bed roll” called this? History, uses?

This was actually something new I came across recently. A Czech bed roll. I've never seen a set up like this before. I was also intrigued by the name. Has anyone used one of these? ...
4
votes
2answers
174 views

How would I identify between MSR Wisperlite and Wisperlite International stoves?

About three years ago, I picked up a used "MSR Wisperlite" for a great price. At the time, I was not aware of the difference between the classic and the International versions of the stove. Since ...
8
votes
1answer
253 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 ...
40
votes
6answers
18k views

Is it better to wear one pair or two pairs of socks while hiking?

From personal experience I tend to wear two pairs of socks, normally some running socks and then my hiking socks on top of that. It helps me avoid blisters. Quite a few of my friends thinks this is ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there any difference between a harness used for rock climbing vs for mountaineering?

I've recently taken an interest in both rock climbing and mountaineering. Both require a harness, but is there any difference in the harness used for each activity? I understand that the most basic ...
9
votes
1answer
567 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."
7
votes
2answers
910 views

Camping with a tarp, what are risks about animals?

I have never camped using a tarp (and just a sleeping bag under), and I am wondering about it. I am thinking about camping in Canada, and the animals around there are apparently mostly bears and other ...
7
votes
1answer
357 views

How to decide which tarp size to take?

I am thinking about getting some tarp as a 1-person shelter for hiking this summer. There is a large choice of tarps on the market. The difference between them are often the size and the material it ...
6
votes
2answers
170 views

What is the term for/manufacturer of belay devices with a clip that holds the ATC onto the carabiner?

I broke my friend's ATC, and am trying to find a replacement, but I don't quite know what to look for. It was a somewhat unique unit, at least among those I've seen; it was a standard "basket" ATC ...
22
votes
7answers
5k views

Do polarized sunglasses protect against snow blindess?

Will regular polarized sunglasses protect me against snow blindness? And if not what type of glasses/goggles will protect me?
4
votes
1answer
213 views

Ice axe and crampon post winter cleaning/preparation [duplicate]

So winter is well and truly over in Wales. Pretty much all the snow has melted and the weather is improving. So it's time to retire my winter gear until next winter. What should I do with my Ice Axe ...
12
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
161 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
247 views

How to avoid cracking your windshield while strapping down a kayak

I have an 18 ft. fiberglass sea-kayak, which I mount to the roof-rack of my junky old station wagon with Yakima "Sweetroll" saddles - ratchet straps around the saddles and bow and stern to the ...
12
votes
3answers
428 views

Are there any sunglasses with prescription insert that does not alter depth sense?

I own a pair of Adidas Elevation Climacool eyeglasses which served me quite well for about ten years and whose sun lenses now need replacement. Those glasses allow to use a visual defect correction ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the loop on the finger of my winter gloves for?

I have a pair of winter /climbing gloves. Each glove has a small loop on the ring finger, top of the glove. Why? What's it for?
9
votes
2answers
251 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
1k 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?
8
votes
1answer
120 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. ...
11
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
454 views

Stove/fuel setup for harsh conditions

We already have topics on fuels here and here which give quite an overview. Also REI gives some info how to choose your stove and fuel properly. Still I would like to know what are the best options ...