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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14
votes
3answers
560 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
776 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
169 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
312 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
405 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? ...
3
votes
2answers
64 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
174 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 ...
39
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
154 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
106 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."
5
votes
2answers
485 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
79 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 ...
21
votes
7answers
2k 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?
10
votes
5answers
264 views

Why would I want a pressurized hydration pack?

I saw an ad today for a pressurized hydration pack. My first thought was "why?". I can't imagine a scenario would this would not lead to (a) more weight, or (b) greater risk of failure... neither of ...
3
votes
1answer
175 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
541 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
92 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
184 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
538 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?
7
votes
2answers
98 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
867 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?
6
votes
1answer
64 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. ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
339 views

How can I prevent plantar fasciitis?

Every year or so I'll end up with plantar fasciitis after periods of time where I've walked a lot. In general my walking shoes are fine and have arch support but occasionally I'll need to use sturdier ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How to find new poles for old tent?

I have a nice and small tent I really like that is around 30 years old. It is from Sierra West, but I don't remember the model name. Here is a picture so that you can see the size and general ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

How does an X chamber construction in a sleeping bag look like?

At the moment I'm online shopping around a bit for down sleeping bags. I came across some sleeping bags that are specified to have an "X chamber construction". I have found lots of online resources ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

What is the difference between packable down jackets? [duplicate]

I've noticed a lot of similar looking packable down jackets this year, and I don't know if this is a new style or if I haven't been paying attention, but I'm wondering if there's a big difference to ...
2
votes
2answers
101 views

Are zipper covers crucial?

I'm wondering what the difference in performance is between the Paradox Rain Jacket and the Paradox 2.5 Layer Rain Jacket. ...
6
votes
3answers
355 views

Why should I carry a snow anchor?

I regularly see online that on expeditions snow anchors are strapped to the side of the backpacks. This is typically an item like the upper on following pic: I never saw this in the Alps by myself. ...
6
votes
3answers
225 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 ...
35
votes
5answers
7k views

What is the best way to store my sleeping bag for long periods of time?

I've heard that storing a sleeping bag in its stuff sack for long periods of time will cause it to lose loft, and won't provide as much comfort or warmth when used again. If so, how should I store my ...
12
votes
2answers
642 views

How much does a full/empty jetboil canister weigh?

I have a bunch of partially-full Jetboil canisters from various trips, and I'm trying to figure out approximately how much fuel is left in each of them. How much does a full canister weigh (fuel + ...
7
votes
1answer
205 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

What makes nylon an effective material for hiking pants?

I often see 100% nylon pants a lot in stores. What properties does it have that make it effective when hiking? Is it effective in all seasons or just under certain conditions?
8
votes
2answers
229 views

Is there a more practical type of cord to carry than “550 paracord”?

Paracord is widely considered a must-have for wilderness survival, and there are hundreds of tutorials for making bracelets out of it, etc. With this popularity has come a glut of people selling ...
12
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

B2 boots for narrow feet

I'm looking to get some B2 boots, but am having difficulty getting a good fit. I tried Scarpa Manta's but my heel kept lifting. I think the issue is that my ankles are quite narrow. Does anyone have ...
9
votes
1answer
156 views

Is this “dry suit cutting wrists” story realistic?

I'm reading a very good novel, called "Smilla's sense of snow". A minor figure tells this story from the time he was a frogman with the marines: Going down, I glide through a cold belt [...] I ...
5
votes
3answers
150 views

Ski set that does both downhill and backcountry?

So I know very little about skiing and have only skied about 3-4 times. I would like to ski more this winter. I want to purchase a ski set, but I don't know which one to get. Here is what I wanna ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why are backpack waist straps so long?

I was hiking with some friends and we concluded that most/all our bags have ridiculously long waist straps that leave lots of extra strap that is annoying or must be tidied away. Additionally, some of ...
6
votes
1answer
710 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Walking trailers

Heavy backpacks can spoil the pleasures of being in the outdoors. There are two ways to resolve this: Carry less Find an alternative to the backpack While the first option is usually the best one, ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What sleeping bags are needed for a northbound thru-hike of the AT

If you were attempting a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, starting roughly now (being mid to late March) and going northbound, how many sleeping bags and of what types would you need, assuming cost ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Gear storage: what gear that can be safely stocked outside?

I have plenty of gear and I live in a small apartment. I am planning to buy an outdoor closet to put on the balcony to get some extra space. Here's a sample to show you how it would be like. I ...
17
votes
9answers
543 views

What can I do to keep my hands warm while using touchscreens in the winter?

Now that it is starting to get cold it is more difficult to use touchscreens while outdoors. I use both an iPhone and a Garmin GPS to geocache and both have touchscreens that require me to take my ...