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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2answers
100 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
119 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 ...
8
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2answers
154 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
124 views

Inexpensive ways to learn cross-country skiing

I am temporarily relocating from a region with mild climate to Montréal. I run almost every day, in summer and winter, as the temperatures rarely go much below freezing point. Now, I guess I will have ...
8
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1answer
113 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 ...
8
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1answer
244 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
5k 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 ...
8
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2answers
470 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 ...
8
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1answer
580 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
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1answer
143 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
4k 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
287 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 ...
8
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2answers
418 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 ...
8
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1answer
66 views

Does Life Paint effect waterproofing?

I got given a free can of Volvo Life Paint, the idea being you can spray any material and it'll become reflective under a light source. On the can it simply says it's less effective on shiny materials ...
8
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1answer
83 views

How to fold rope for storage?

What is a good and easy way to fold a (50-100') rope for storage so that it resembles a caterpillar and has no loose ends getting undone? Close to the way it comes folded in a store like this at the ...
8
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1answer
104 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. ...
8
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1answer
210 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 ...
8
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2answers
522 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 ...
8
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2answers
56 views

Pros and cons of different types of snorkeling fins

I need to buy a new pair of fins. There are many choices, so I would like some technical guidance. I am savvy in the water, but not as strong as I was, so I would like fins that give me the most ...
8
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1answer
106 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 ...
8
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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 ...
8
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1answer
513 views

What is the best way to re-waterproof a nylon tarp?

I have a ProForce All Weather Shelter, which is listed as being "210T rip-stop nylon". On a recent outing, we had four hours of rain overnight and it leaked on me the entire time. Upon closer ...
8
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1answer
585 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 ...
8
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1answer
135 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 ...
8
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1answer
346 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 ...
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3answers
561 views

Why might one need a 2000 lumen headlamp?

I was just looking at a product my friend was bragging about, a headlamp with 2000 lumen intensity. When and why would I be needing such a powerful headlamp? I usually trek in jungles and forests and ...
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3answers
569 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 ...
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3answers
348 views

Shoe sizes for bouldering

When I first started (indoor) bouldering, I wasn't quite sure if I was ready to commit to it, so I went and bought a pair of shoes in the sale that were relatively cheap (or at least cheaper than ...
7
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2answers
390 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 ...
7
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3answers
592 views

Will it damage my rain gear to store it in a compression sack?

I go hiking nearly every weekend, and usually (almost always) bring my rain jacket and pants. I store them in a stuff-sack in my backpack. I air them out after hikes if they are used. I was thinking ...
7
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2answers
771 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
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4answers
3k 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 ...
7
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2answers
293 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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2answers
1k views

Carrying crampons safely when not using them

How should one carry crampons when not actually using it, but knowing that they are going to be needed in the further stage of the expedition. Further clarification: Suppose I am gonna need to have ...
7
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3answers
63 views

Backcountry Skiing Bindings compatible with soft boots

I love downhill and cross country skiing and am getting into back country skiing. Cross country boots are great for comfort because they're soft. Downhill boots are great for turning in part because ...
7
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2answers
203 views

Retractable reel for twine - does it exist?

I occasionally use a very long stretch of twine to transport light gear (<1lb) between my partner and I when we're camping out ~30m from each other. Unreeling and reeling this twine is extremely ...
7
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3answers
435 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 ...
7
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1answer
218 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
2k 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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3answers
190 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 ...
7
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1answer
845 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?
7
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1answer
392 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 ...
7
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1answer
2k views

How can I practice Climbing without the actual wall and/or equipment?

I had never been a gifted kind of a climber being more fascinated by Backpacking than Rock Climbing. Its been almost 2 years that I did some genuine climbing. And, I am planning to resume it very ...
7
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2answers
8k 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 ...
7
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2answers
112 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 ...
7
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1answer
117 views

What are the Pros and Cons of a Full-coverage Rainfly?

I've been researching tents to replace some low-quality dome tents that each have had a partial rainfly. Every tent I've owned that has had a partial rainfly has performed horribly in the rain (I ...
7
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3answers
181 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 ...
7
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2answers
117 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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1answer
166 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 ...
7
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1answer
284 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 ...