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
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1answer
60 views

What does lumen and lux for flashlights/torches actually mean?

Most torches have their brightness specified in lumen, sometimes one also sees a lux number, at times both. While the technical meaning of these units are clear (lumen is luminous intensity per ...
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vote
0answers
56 views

Do essential oils damage climbing ropes? [duplicate]

I have an all natural bug spray that uses distilled water and a combination of four essential oils, and NOT containing DEET. If I spray it on my body and clothing before climbing will these essential ...
15
votes
1answer
435 views

Difference when using twin or half ropes

There are three types of ropes according to the UIAA/EN norm for climbing ropes: Single, half and twin. While the distinction between single ropes and the other two is rather obvious (one strand ...
11
votes
5answers
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 ...
27
votes
2answers
4k views

Things to keep away from climbing ropes

There are some no brainers like don't throw your climbing rope next to car batteries in the back of your car. The effect of bug sprays containing Deet seem to be controversial. I have also heard a ...
2
votes
0answers
19 views

What should I look for in a head torch? [duplicate]

After my first wild camping experience, I found that my hand torch was really inefficient in the evening compared to other people's head torches - what are the features that make a good head torch?
4
votes
2answers
171 views

Impregnation and waxing full leather shoes

I will go to a wet territory (Jotunheimen) next week and would like to prepare my full leather shoes for that. I have read a lot of articles about shoe care and they are either about impregnation ...
2
votes
1answer
28 views

Any luck mixing gear sheds/porches/garages with different brands of tents?

We have an REI half dome 2 plus tent, but during our last trip it rained quite a bit. While this tent has two vestibules, they are low and were mostly filled with gear, so that when we unzipped to get ...
12
votes
4answers
947 views

Is it too soon to go family hiking with an infant? Packing tips?

It is almost summer here and me and my wife would like to get back to hiking after recently having a kid in September. He is almost 9 months old now and we would like to take him with us. I have a ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Best type of rope for glacier travel?

What sort of rope would be ideal for glacier travel? I have a 10mm 60m rope, but this is quite heavy. Would a 9mm 50m rope be suitable for a team of three, crossing glaciers in the Swiss Alps?
14
votes
2answers
615 views

What equipment is needed for glacier hiking?

What is the exact equipment I need for walking safely on glaciers? The route I will be taking is the Hvannadalshnukur ascend from the ring road and same path descend. From what I could find out the ...
9
votes
2answers
201 views

Are static dyneema/spectra ropes suited for use on glaciers?

While Dyneema is in use for cordelettes for quite some time manufacturers started bringing long ropes made of dyneema on the market. The benefits are obvious: Less weight, less volume and no water ...
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5answers
2k views

What is a buff?

What is a "buff", how is it used, and why should I have one? I've seen them advocated in numerous places, but I'm not sure why a tube of cloth is better around my neck than a scarf, etc.
9
votes
1answer
87 views

Which size back pack if between sizes

I am looking to get a new Day/Weekend Pack. I have been looking at few in the 32-35L range but I a noticed that at least with Osprey packs I am right in between their S/M and their M/L. I have a 19in ...
8
votes
2answers
125 views

Why is silnylon/silpoly slippery, but silicone sealant is not?

I am seam-sealing a tent made from silpoly with silicone sealant (generic 100% silicone, couln't find any silnet around me). The fabric is very slippery, much more than regular polyester fabric or ...
3
votes
3answers
204 views

What is this miniature backpack called?

When I was in Japan I bought this miniature backpack, about the size of a wallet. The sporting good store was in Ochanomizu (御茶ノ水). It lasted me about 5 years. Now I am back in the United States ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a paracord knife handle?

Whenever I browse knife shops or online stores I see many fixed-blade knives whose handles are essentially just a piece of paracord wrapped around the tang. From my anecdotal experience this also ...
11
votes
6answers
641 views

Water-resistant shoes for Trekking in New Zealand

My spouse and I are going for 3-weeks vacation on the southern island of New Zealand. We intend to go for one multi-day trek (the Kepler Track), and a few more day treks. Do we need water-resistant ...
10
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2answers
2k views
11
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5answers
221 views

What are the best shoes to cross rivers?

I'm heading up for some walking to Scotland soon. I will need to cross multiple rivers. I have no interest in crossing wearing my walking boots as so many people like to do as wet feet are the worst ...
14
votes
3answers
315 views

What should a rescue team be equipped with?

The last weekend when I was coming back home from a trek on Sunday noon, I got a news about this accident that took place. The place was on the way, so instead of choosing to rest at home, I chose to ...
10
votes
2answers
177 views

What is this belay/descender device called and how is it used?

Or may be it is an ascending device... There are two movable part, both on one axis. I tried searching about various descending devices, but I find mostly descriptions of Petzl things. This may ...
6
votes
2answers
311 views

How did/do scouts venture into the wild?

Scouts, messengers, pioneers exploring the frontiers of civilization - images of these sorts of characters paints an ancient archetype, one that I think could be useful to understand in present times. ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

When to set up a Cordelette and an Equalette?

I was going through anchoring techniques and I came across this well-received question: Anchor without cordelette? How should one decide when to go for a Cordelette or an Equalette?
3
votes
4answers
589 views

Protection while working with acetone

I used to clean my arrow-shafts with acetone before I applied glue. However, I was told that I should be more careful with it, because of its toxic vapors and stuff. Which breathing mask is ...
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0answers
50 views

GPP of a Bear Archery Grizzly

What's the minimum arrow weight in grains per pound (GPP) of a Bear Archery Grizzly? It's a 2015 model with 35# if that matters.
10
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3answers
243 views

Is it necessary to carry a knife sharpener?

Under the assumption that an emergency kit like the ones listed here are for the emergency of getting lost and being stranded for days, how necessary is a knife sharpener?
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votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
133 views

What causes these shallow indentations in cheek of axe head?

On a new Hults Bruk's Kisa axe, the cheek isn't entirely smooth and has shallow indentations in it. The blade is nice and sharp, whole thing feels sturdy. Where do these indentations in the cheek ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the strength of an ATC belay device when used in a guide mode/multi-pitch setup?

Does anyone know the strength of an ATC when used in a multi-pitch set up? It occurred to me that the entire weight of a climber is resting on the strength of the ATC clip and not on any carabiner. I ...
12
votes
4answers
375 views

What sleeping gear should I use in a lean-to?

I have recently discovered the lean-to, a shelter with three walls. It seems considered as a shelter with more proximity to the nature. I have some worries though, regarding the wind and the ...
5
votes
1answer
61 views

Which ABEC to use for park skating?

I'm pretty new to skateboarding and I've ordered my first "real" deck. The shop mailed me which ABEC I want to have for my ball bearings. The ABEC scale is an industry accepted standard for the ...
3
votes
4answers
133 views

Are cushioned socks necessary for hiking boots?

Textbook advice for hiking footwear seems to be: wear cushioned socks!!! And make sure your boots fit!!! For me, it seems that wearing a cushioned sock ensures that a boot simply will not fit ...
8
votes
1answer
99 views

What is a splice in spools of tubular webbing?

While trying to answer Why static rope rather than webbing for toprope anchors? I immediately thought about splices in long pieces of webbing. For example, REI says that spools of Blue Water webbing ...
8
votes
1answer
125 views

Does any Household Object Function as a Passable Fire Steel?

Suppose I am trying to teach a class of 12 children how to build campfires. I would like each pupil to have a flint and steel for the lesson. As it turns out ferrocerium rods can be acquired cheaply ...
14
votes
2answers
537 views

How do I attach a hammock to trees?

On my next vacation, I will be camping in a tent on a designated campsite. I saw somebody use a hammock for lounging during the day last time, so quickly got a cheap hammock from eBay, with a "let's ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

How bright a flashlight would I realistically need for searching through terrain?

Modern flashlights have brightness up to several thousand lumens which is great. However it's not clear how bright a flashlight I might realistically need. Suppose I want to go on a search party such ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

Does a backpack negatively influence my archery shooting?

Last weekend I've shot with a backpack for the very first time. I ordered one which is able to hold my quiver and my bow to hike'n'archer :) However, I suddenly shot like 250 points were I normally ...
4
votes
2answers
56 views

Selecting magnification for binoculars for hunting at 100 yards?

I am trying to find some binoculars for hunting. I generally zero my rifle to fire at 100 yards. I really can't imagine shooting animals much further than this distance, although for scouting and ...
6
votes
2answers
70 views

What factors are important to consider when purchasing a bow trigger release system?

I am new to bow hunting and I am getting my stuff set up and I was wondering what factors are important to consider when purchasing a bow trigger release system?"
10
votes
2answers
110 views

How to transport diving knives / shears?

If I am required to transport my diving equipment (in the UK and Abroad) what are the best practices of transporting my diving knife / shears? If on a plane this can just go in the hold luggage same ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Using a Girth Hitch in Alpine Draws

I've recently started making my alpine (or "trad") draws by girth hitching one end of a sling to the gear side carabiner and then clipping and passing the rope side through as usual. The girth hitch ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there any upper temperature limit for a given sleeping bag?

I'm actually shopping for a new sleeping bag and am a bit in doubt about a question that I do not find treated anywhere: By investing an arbitrarily huge amount of money I can buy a sleeping bag to ...
13
votes
4answers
464 views

Binoculars for nature reserves (birds etc) and for airplanes

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, apologies if not.. I'm after a pair of binoculars for visiting Nature Reserves to get a better view of colonies of birds on the water (at ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I use one helmet for both kayaking and skiing?

I am doing little kayaking and just a bit more skiing (the seasons for both are very short where I live). Both of these need helmets, but I feel reluctant to buy 2 items, each of which will see little ...
7
votes
3answers
274 views

Online website to track A.T. section hikes and overall progress?

It's always been a dream to thru-hike the A.T. but life is looking like I will not be able to tackle that until retirement. The doesn't mean that I cannot do sections of it as a day/weekend/week here ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there any affordable night vision goggles that are good and available to civilians?

I quite often go hiking in the evening after work and I have a good head torch but sometimes I wish I had some night vision goggles because often a headtorch will scare wildlife and cause farm animals ...
13
votes
9answers
18k views

What is the fastest style of sled?

Winter is here and, like every year, I am still thrilled when the extended family rounds up all the little kids and we go sledding. This year we compared our sleds and found that some were ...
6
votes
1answer
78 views

How to set up my snowboard binding for the backcountry

I'm riding a pretty standard "binding setting" since ever. Just didn't bother me yet because I always was extremely fit. Lately I recognized that it's not that easy anymore since I got older ;P and I ...
3
votes
2answers
117 views

Does a Bear Archery bow quiver influence my Grizzly?

I've a Bear Archery Grizzly recurve bow. Bows from this manufacturer are commonly equipped with two threads to attach a Bear Archery bow quiver. You can see them in this image: If I attach an ...