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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5
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3answers
322 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
20 views

What refilling material or glue did you chose to resole your trekking shoes? (What works, what doesn't)

Theses shoes are still good, but the small missing part of the heel makes them painful to wear. I'm looking for the cheapest and most efficient and aesthetics, ecological way to extend my shoes life. ...
7
votes
1answer
72 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
215 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
40 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 ...
4
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0answers
57 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
80 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?
11
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
259 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
224 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
578 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
802 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
3answers
324 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
418 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
70 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
178 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
12k 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
169 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
123 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
501 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
114 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
85 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
3k 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
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5answers
269 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
176 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
581 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
88 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
102 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
191 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
548 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
103 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
890 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
67 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
2k 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
175 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
356 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
47 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
104 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
369 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
229 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
731 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
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2answers
6k 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
236 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 ...