Geographical Region: United States of America, Country.

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When do I need a permit to go into nature?

When on holiday, I want to get as far as possible from civilisation — the furthest I've come is seeing only a single cairn during a full day. In Scandinavia, hiking and camping is permitted unless ...
19
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6answers
1k views

How safe is it to hike alone?

Should a woman legitimately fear to be assaulted or raped on popular backpacking trails in the US when hiking by herself? How common are attacks of that nature? How does it compare to residential ...
18
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2answers
221 views

Cascades mountaineering school

I'm looking for a mountaineering school on Rainier or elsewhere in the Cascades that provides sufficient training to climb Elbrus. Glacier travel, crampon use, crevasse rescue, and self arrest are the ...
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9answers
3k views

What kind of mementos, if any, am I allowed to collect from State and National parks in small quantities?

What kind of mementos am I allowed to collect from State and National parks in small quantities, if any? I am especially wondering about: pebbles, shells, sea-urchin-skeletons, sand-dollar-skeletons ...
17
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1answer
788 views

If the Dawn Wall's been climbed before why is the current attempt so difficult?

There's a lot of talk in the media at the moment about Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell Free ascent of the dawn wall of El Capitan. This wall's been climbed before but this is the first time it's ...
16
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3answers
1k views

What is considered a water source, and why is it recommended to camp so far from them?

I've read one one of the US national forest or wilderness websites that when camping in the wild, one should camp at a certain distance from a water source. Should I understand a water source to mean ...
15
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4answers
737 views

What alternative topographic maps exist in the USA?

This answer recommends topographic maps as downloadable from the USGS. A comment holds that those are definitely the best thing for the US. An except for the San Joaquin river near Mammoth Lakes ...
14
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2answers
4k views

What are the consequences of — illegally — using a 446 MHz PMR in the North American wilderness?

I've recently bought a pair of PMR446 walkie-talkies with some 5–10 km range, operating at 446 MHz. We've happily used them in Sareks Nationalpark in Sweden. Now I'm moving to Canada, where this ...
13
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2answers
108 views

Legal liabilities of non-profit guiding in adventure sports

I am a whitewater kayaker and I often show people down rivers I'm familiar with on their first time down. I take special joy in doing so and consider it community service. The only compensation is ...
12
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4answers
1k views

How can I contact emergency services in the US via the internet?

At this very moment, I'm out in the woods typing away on my laptop. I have an internet connection, and my phone can use that connection to send text messages, but I have no voice phone service. How ...
11
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4answers
1k views

Hiking popularity in North America vs. Europe

From browsing this site, I have learned that US national parks and wilderness areas have restrictions and that campsites need reservations, sometimes months in advance. I've never seen anything like ...
11
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5answers
158 views

Resources for finding public hunting land

Are there any good resources out there for locating publicly available hunting land? UPDATE: I should have stated that I'm looking for land in the US. Also, I'm interested in any public land (...
11
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2answers
68 views

Avalanche forecast in North America?

In Switzerland, there is a avalanche forecast twice a day, at least during the winter months. This forecast reports about potential risky part regions, especially avalanche-prone expositions, and ...
11
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3answers
275 views

How to get weather information in the backcountry

In many areas of the U.S. it is very difficult to get any weather forecast: Radio broadcasts generally don't have useful weather reports NOAA weather radio is very useful, but large areas are not ...
11
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1answer
363 views

May hiking in Eastern California

In May this year (6–8 May) I will have a workshop in Mammoth Lakes, California. I would like to do some hiking in addition to this workshop (roughly one week). I have never been to the United States, ...
10
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3answers
3k views

when is it OK to hike off trail?

I visited my local forest preserve recently (in a suburb of Chicago, IL) and found new signs every mile or so that read something to the effect of Please stay on the trail so as to preserve the ...
10
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1answer
177 views

Hiking and wild sleeping in California wilderness

I want to spend a few days in California, near Nicasio, hiking and sleeping under the sky (no tent, just a tarp in case it rains). I have a lot of experiences in Europe, but I have never been in US. ...
10
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3answers
5k 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 ...
10
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1answer
555 views

Where do I document first ascents?

I see a lot of people on social media posting their first ascents. These people are usually professional climbers climbing new super hard routes and as a result their first ascents blow up on social ...
10
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1answer
90 views

Bypassing river fords in Maine's 100 Mile Wilderness

I am considering hiking 100 Mile Wilderness in Maine with my son. He would be 7 at the time. My biggest concern as we are thinking about this are the river fords since some of them can come up to the ...
9
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3answers
382 views

Snake dangers while hunting in the desert?

I plan to start doing some hunting in the greater southern Nevada Mojave desert (say within a 2 hour drive of Las Vegas). I know that while hiking, there is some "safety" from snakes because you are ...
9
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5answers
218 views

What are the laws for backcountry (“dispersed”) camping in the US?

I'm planning on taking a trip across the US and was planning on doing as much dispersed camping (a.k.a.backcountry camping) as possible. I wanted to educate myself on where it is legal to go off trail ...
9
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2answers
493 views

What are these bulges? Are they harming the tree?

My husband's brother came upon this tree while hiking up Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire, USA. This was his first time seeing bulges, for lack of a better word, like these. Knowing that I'm intrigued ...
9
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3answers
251 views

Which buoys and markers should I look out for when kayaking (or other water-recreational sports)?

I live near the ocean (South Shore MA) and am new to kayaking. So far, I've paddled in streams and rivers that connect to that ocean. My last kayaking adventure involved me being oblivious to boaters ...
9
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2answers
126 views

What parks are still open during the US government shutdown?

The US government just shut down, stopping funding for (and thus closing) most National Parks, BLM lands, campgrounds on national lands, etc... What areas are still open?
9
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1answer
136 views

Do sugar maple trees ever flower in the fall in Ohio?

I know that most maple trees flower in the spring and produce seeds in the fall. However, it seems to be the reverse for the maples near me. I see seeds fall off in the spring which makes me think ...
9
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3answers
361 views

Why are death percentages of death from trauma in an avalanche so different between USA, Europe, and Canada?

I am reading this highly-rated book about avalanches and I was impressed by this sentence, in its beginning. Over 25 percent of avalanche victims in the U.S. die from trauma from hitting trees and ...
9
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1answer
90 views

Small mushroom in Massachusetts Identification?

When researching for my field journal, I found this mushroom but I can't identify it. I was in Northeastern MA.
9
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1answer
500 views

Wild berries in Southern California

Are there any edible wild berries in southern California? Are there any conventional berries (like wild strawberries or blueberries) and how far out of the city do I have to go to find them?
9
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1answer
136 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
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1answer
47 views

Within the U.S. Grand Circle area, where is the number of daytime trail permits limited?

Within the U.S. Grand Circle region (very roughly Las Vegas NV /Provo UT/Aspen CO/Santa Fe NM/Phoenix AZ), for what trails are the number of permits issued limited considering day use only? I am ...
9
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1answer
55 views

When are the best times/months to catch speckled trout on the US Gulf Coast?

I would like to go fishing for speckled trout (proper name spotted seatrout) along the US Gulf Coast, specifically near Galveston Bay and Trinity Bay. What months are the best times to catch speckled ...
8
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3answers
147 views

Why do I never see robins in the woods?

I know that there might be robins in the woods that I just never see. But why don't I see any robins. I see lots of birds including chickadees, cardinals, and blue jays. There are Hawthorn trees out ...
8
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2answers
326 views

What permits and reservations do I need for the Adirondacks?

I'm considering to go on a multi-day backpacking hiking trip in the Adirondack Mountains, New York, USA, soon. In Canada one must often purchase a permit and reservations, and one can only camp on ...
8
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1answer
140 views

Optimal timing/routing for a year visiting US national parks?

There are 59 National parks in the US. Of which 49 are in the Continental US (lower 48). There are 52 weeks in a year. I would like to take a year and spend about a week camping and exploring each ...
8
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1answer
75 views

How do I find a less crowded trail in the southeast United States on the 4th of July?

In addition to "longest walk possible" are there any good guidelines for finding trails/areas in the southeast that are typically less crowded on holidays such as the 4th of July? State parks here in ...
8
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1answer
62 views

What is the best time of day to view Bison in Oklahoma?

I'll be visiting Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma which is known, among other things, for having free-roaming American Bison. I've never seen any in the 'wild'. Is there a specific time ...
8
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1answer
42 views

Looking for snorkeling sites with healthy coral

I've snorkeled only in Hawaii, the Seychelles, Palau and Yap and never seen anything but healthy sites with no bleached coral -- maybe because I was with guides who knew the area. Thus, I am spoiled. ...
8
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1answer
83 views

Is camping at Zion National Park in mid-December feasible?

A group of four family and friends including two senior adults is contemplating about camping at Zion National Park in mid-December. I wonder: How cold (in terms of real feel -- sometimes past ...
8
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1answer
144 views

What types of trees are in these intertwined groups in Massachusetts?

Last week we were walking at the Wachusett Reservoir in Sterling, Massachusetts, USA, when we came upon something fascinating, which we'd never seen before. Beside the path are groups of trees, the ...
8
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1answer
354 views

Legality of parking and setting up camp on side of mountain roads in California near Los Angeles

I plan on living out of my car for a while, and was trying to find out about the rules/legality of pulling off on the side of mountain roads to setup camp; roads like the San Gabriel Canyon Road. On ...
8
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1answer
111 views

Whose footprints are these?

I was having a nice evening walk near one of the nature reservations in Andover MA, close to Tewksbury, when I've found such a footprint. I'm really sorry for image quality, though. So it's a wet, bog-...
8
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1answer
327 views

What nocturnal animal sound am I hearing in the trees in Maine?

Every year, in late summer, in Maine, at night, I hear a noise coming from the trees. It sounds like a cardinal's chirp (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Cardinal/sounds, fourth sound down),...
7
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3answers
232 views

Advice for first Grand Canyon Hike for Eastern Hikers

My friend wants to do an overnight on the grand canyon this summer. We are experienced hikers in pretty good shape. However we've NEVER hiked out west, much less the Grand Canyon. What are the key ...
7
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4answers
427 views

Gear for Car-camping with 2 small children

We're a family of 4 - two adults, one toddler and one infant (5 months) recently moved to the US for a year. We'd like to go camping for a few long weekends this month and next on the East coast (as ...
7
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2answers
265 views

What is involved in taking a canoe through a lock on a major US River?

Most of the locks on rivers in the United States are built for commercial traffic. like barges to navigate the river system. I know they exist and I have seen them on television, but that is all I ...
7
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4answers
228 views

US vs central European bear advice

I was just reading through a couple of posts here on outdoors.SE and saw some advice which was a lot more strict than I am used to. For example, in the country where I hike (central europe, brown ...
7
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2answers
78 views

What can I provide to help a robin build her nest?

We went away for five days and came home to find a robin building a nest in the crook of the downspout of our gutter. I live in Massachusetts, in Northeast United States, so she's probably an American ...
7
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2answers
135 views

Are pets allowed to thru-hike US National Scenic Trails?

In the US, National Scenic Trails span many different land types (state/federal parks, forests, etc). While these all have different rules on pets, I was wondering if the National Trail System ...
7
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1answer
92 views

What is a safe distance for large, non-predatory wildlife?

When visiting areas with free-roaming wildlife such as American Bison and Texas Longhorns, there are numerous signs warning about keeping a safe distance. They don't, however, actually specify the ...