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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4answers
719 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
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3answers
1k 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
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3answers
422 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 ...
5
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2answers
514 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 ...
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2answers
107 views

What to look for in a snorkel?

I recently read over this post: What to consider when buying fins for recreational snorkeling and found some great advice in what to look for when purchasing fins for snorkelling. However I was ...
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1answer
687 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
212 views

Create ultra light camera tripod w/ mini tripod and 3 tent poles?

I can lash a mini tripod ($2 on eBay) to the top of a quad-sected tent pole with 4 equal sections with internal elastic to make a tripod. This gets me about 2' off the ground. I can lash a mini ...
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2answers
3k 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? ...
5
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1answer
646 views

Why do some archers wear two gloves?

I've recently noticed that some archers wear two gloves and some only one. Latter always have them on the hand which pulls the string. Two gloves: One glove: What's the difference? Is it up to ...
5
votes
1answer
159 views

Are there any electrically heated winter gloves? [duplicate]

Every winter in -30C my fingers freeze. My warmest military grade gloves don't solve the problem. I wonder if electrically heated gloves will do a better job of keeping my hands warm, but haven't ...
5
votes
1answer
110 views

Properly using a Gamow Bag

I was just informed that our group is going to have a Gam-off, technically known as a Gamow Bag. While I have never seen one such thing and so I don't have any experience with them, I browsed the ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Best lightweight pole for tarp

I'm considering starting to use a bivvy bag/tarp combination for solo backpacking in the UK (read: no trees where I'll be walking!) Most people seem to use trekking pole(s) for rigging these up which ...
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1answer
523 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
412 views

Gaiters possible to use on flat/minimal shoes?

On flat shoes, like the Merrell Proterra's, is it possible to use gaiters (for snow)?
5
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
505 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) ...
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2answers
204 views

Tool for draining/crushing isobutane fuel canister

I have seen a tool that helps drain the last of the fuel out of your isobutane fuel canister, and then pierce it to make it easy to crush. It's a simple little gadget that looks like a can opener. ...
5
votes
1answer
69 views

How is a fifi used in aid climbing?

While reading this question it stuck me as odd that a fifi hook is mentioned on par with a daisy chain. Not being trained for aid climbing, I'm not sure why I'd want to use a fifi at all. The only ...
5
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1answer
373 views

Advantages of wool/felt jackets

I consider buying a jacket made from wool. The fabric is some kind of felt. I hade one when I was younger, but since these jackets are really expensive I would like to know how they perform compared ...
5
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1answer
214 views

Any ideas about long-term camping in a 16x16 foot yurt?

My husband and I will be retiring soon and will spend 5 months of the year in a bricks and mortar house. The other 7 months, we'll be gypsying. We don't want to deal with the complexities and ...
5
votes
1answer
101 views

Are there Latex Free climbing tapes

My daughter does crack climbing and wanted me to see if I could find some latex free tape. Her hands are sensitive to the latex. Are there any latex free climbing tapes?
5
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1answer
617 views

Repairing a North Face Tent rain cover

I have bought a North Face RoadRunner 3 tent 10 years ago. It is a great tent, and it served me well during a 9-month trip to South America. The problem is that the transparent part of the rain ...
5
votes
2answers
95 views

What is the easiest way to remove creosote from pots and pans?

I just returned from a five day trip during which we used a friend's Solo Stove (wood burner). My pots are now covered with a thick, sticky, black layer of creosote. I've tried steel wool and soap, ...
5
votes
1answer
130 views

Kayaking - 'Brand' ? and Plastic vs. Fiberglass?

I'm a new Kayak enthusiast with limited molded plastic boat experience, in the midwest (Michigan). As a newbie that is desiring a "Better than Average" 12-14' unit I am considering the "HURRICANE" ...
5
votes
1answer
356 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
260 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
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1answer
137 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
607 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
108 views

Should I grind the edge or the backbevel first when sharpening my knife?

I'm using a Spyderco Tri-angle sharpmaker to sharpen both a drop-point fixed blade and a folding tanto blade. It has 2 settings: 2 20 degree sides for a 40 degree working edge 2 15 degree sides for ...
5
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1answer
205 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 ...
5
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1answer
2k 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 ...
4
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6answers
1k 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 won't be needing it ...
4
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3answers
342 views

Is there a device to hook anything on a branch?

A friend of mine has made himself a small hook. He can thread one end between his bow and its string. The other end is a hook. This thing let him hook up his bow just nearly anywhere (basically it's ...
4
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2answers
214 views

What makes flannel so popular?

The flannel shirt is extremely popular when it comes to outdoor activities since ever. Flannel is a soft woven fabric, of various fineness. Flannel was originally made from carded wool or ...
4
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3answers
262 views

Cleaning the plastic residue of the inside of my old backpack

I have a very old backpack (10-15 years old) that is perfect for one day or weekend hikes. The problem is that the inside material has started to peel off and it leaves small bits of yellowish plastic ...
4
votes
2answers
372 views

How much should my toes hurt in 5.10 MoccAsym shoes?

5.10s are known to be more comfortable, softer shoes, but I've also heard they tire your feet out faster. Edging in particular is harder in these shoes because it's your toes' responsibility instead ...
4
votes
4answers
595 views

Bare Essentials for 2-3 day Hike

My story I like to hike and pack light. Lately I have been experimenting with various setups for making a 2-3 day trek along the Appalachian Trail. I have tried a few different methods of carrying ...
4
votes
2answers
491 views

Differences between the right and the left trekking sock

As I put on my trekking-socks last weekend, I wondered what might be the differences between the left and the right sock (besides the "mirrored" design)?
4
votes
2answers
106 views

How to carry a bow while hiking?

We're planning a 4 day hike in a few months. I would like to take my bow with me to do a little roving. How can I attach my bow to my backpack (back)? We are talking about a unstrung one-piece ...
4
votes
2answers
309 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
207 views

Why some sleeping bags have four temperature ratings while others have only one?

Most sleeping bags have a rating with several temperatures, one for the upper temperature limit, one for the average woman to sleep in a comfortable position ("Comfort"), one third for an average man ...
4
votes
2answers
96 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
60 views

How to visually identify a rap hanger?

If I'm out on the rock and I come across a pair of hangers, how can I tell the difference between rap hangers (the kind you can directly thread rope through to rappel) and regular hangers (the kind ...
4
votes
1answer
71 views

How to get an insert out of the shaft again?

I've successfully rescued the last few inches of my carbon shaft. What I have is a piece of shaft containing the insert an the tip (the tip can be screwed out of course). The insert is fixed with a ...
4
votes
2answers
301 views

How much is a major load?

So the UIAA sets a major fall (fall after which to retire your gear) to be a fall factor of 1.77. Now I was wondering what would count as a major load (load after which to retire your gear) ? 50 kN ? ...
4
votes
2answers
77 views

How much spare strap should I leave when trimming a pack down?

I'm finally going to take the plunge and trim all the excess cordage and belting off of my pack. How much strap material should I leave to allow for adjustments in gear (adding layers for cold, ...
4
votes
1answer
25 views

Adjustable XC ski vs trekking poles

Are there any features to regular trekking poles that adjustable XC ski poles do not have? I know that many people use trekking poles for snowshoeing but are there any reason adjustable XC ski poles ...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

Are “skateshoes” really necessary?

Skaters commonly wearing special kind of shoes. However, from my point of view they just look like a pair of sneakers. In most cases these are very expensive and I asked myself if they're really ...
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2answers
320 views

Tactical Folder vs traditional knife patterns for EDC

A lot of knife owners who have carried pocket knives for 30+ years talk very fondly of the traditional patterns, like Barlow, stockman, etc. However when it comes to explaining exactly why they carry ...
4
votes
1answer
524 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?