Questions related to camping or staying overnight in the wilderness.

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43
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7answers
11k views

Why is it prohibited to sleep in a tent?

In many European countries like Germany, it's prohibited to sleep in the great outdoors with a tent. While I understand that downright camps are a problem due to littering, fire etc., I don't get why ...
32
votes
9answers
1k views

The outdoors, solitude and dealing with loneliness

I have been out camping a few times, once with a group, the other times with my girlfriend. Although I enjoyed those times very much, I often wondered what would it feel like to enjoy the complete ...
30
votes
5answers
9k views

Why aren't there any electric stoves that can be used for cooking where you can't build a fire?

There are quite a few countries where you aren't allowed to make open fires in the great outdoors (I'm sure for at least Austria and Germany). I wondered why nobody has yet thought about electric ...
29
votes
7answers
8k views

Driving tent pegs into rocky ground

Sometimes you can't help but set up camp in an area where the soil is very rocky / stony or firm, especially when wild camping. This can make it incredibly difficult to drive the tent pegs into the ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Wild camping in subsaharan Africa - madness, blasphemy, or bearable?

What potential dangers / precautions one should take into account when sleeping outside in sub-Saharan Africa? (Let alone countries with unstable political situations.) Just with a sleeping bag, maybe ...
20
votes
1answer
603 views

Do I need to worry about feral dogs or even wolves if I camp in random areas while hitchhiking in Georgia (the country)?

After almost half a year working in a hostel in Tbilisi, spring has come and it is far warmer than anywhere further west in Europe so I'm going to hitchhike around Georgia with my tent in warm areas. ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

Can groundwater still be consumed if after boiling the water turns brown with an oily substance floating on top?

This weekend we went "pole camping". A pole camp site (dutch link only) is a camp site offered by the departments of forestry in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is very basic. What is offered is a ...
18
votes
4answers
630 views

Why are people so worried about Giardia?

Everyone I have ever been camping with seems to have an unwritten rule never to drink from streams no matter how clear they might seem, for fear of Giardia. I have also heard people telling about ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

What are some things to keep in mind when stealth camping?

Stealth Camping definition: Stealth camping is the act of quietly finding a place away from people where you can camp for the night and then quickly slip away in the morning without being ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

What to look for when purchasing a fixed blade knife

I'm planning on doing some back country canoe camping this summer. I would like to avoid bringing a hatchet if possible. I also find my folding knifes get full of gunk and I am a little bit afraid I ...
14
votes
3answers
440 views

Stuff or roll a tent for storage?

When packing a tent, is it best to stuff it in its sack or roll/fold it? I always stuff my sleeping bag so I wasn't sure if it was the same for tents.
13
votes
5answers
444 views

What practical issues do I need to be aware of when hiking or camping on my own?

Related to this question, if I'm camping and hiking on my own, I'm obviously at more of a risk than if I were with someone, and some key tasks will definitely be harder with no-one to assist (such as ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Legality of “semi-permanent” wooden structures in state and national forests in the US

Imagine the following situation: A group of friends found a remote spot in a state or national forest that they really like. They keep returning to the place quite often, lately there are at least ...
13
votes
3answers
791 views

Legal situation for camping in the German Elbsandsteingebirge

Am I allowed to bivouac in the German Elbsandsteingebirge (Elbe Sandstone Mountains)? If no, is it considered as a peccadillo/unenforced law (Kavaliersdelikt)? In both countries ((Czech and ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

How to make a fire without burning the ground

I was wondering if there was a way to make a fire pit and start a fire in it, and have a way to protect the ground beneith it as much as possible. I don't really know how I could manage to do that, ...
12
votes
4answers
736 views

Why should I take a pocket knife for wild camping / hiking?

I've got the advice to take a pocket knife with me for 2 weeks of wild camping / hiking in Scotland (West Highland Way). However, I don't understand when I would need it. I will take the following ...
12
votes
1answer
827 views

What is a good tarp setup for very high winds above the tree line?

Assuming it's very impractical to get down to reach the tree line; and that the wind is changing direction very often - so a setup with several sides closed would be preferred - what would be a good ...
12
votes
6answers
6k views

What are the odds that I stand a chance against Wild Boars?

I have been trekking and camping since last 6 yrs. I have over 600 hikes and about 30 technical rock climbs under my belt. We often tend to camp up in forests, and at our sides, wild boars are pretty ...
12
votes
2answers
155 views

How do you pitch a tarp so that you will not get wet in a heavy rain?

A noted authority (Ben Crowell) stated in a comment on What sleep quality do you get in the outdoors? A properly pitched tarp works fine in a heavy rain. It just requires practice to set it up ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

When is it unethical to dismantle a fire-ring?

I've dismantled several fire-rings in an area that has many fire-rings strung out between a major trail and a river. (Colorado, 8,500 feet). These are not official camp sites. Over the years, ...
11
votes
3answers
145 views

On a coast to coast walk across Scotland, which areas would require the most self-sufficiency?

As a keen hiker with some time off I am considering a self-supported walk across Scotland. Which route/locations would encompass the most self-sufficiency (wild camping/hammock locations) whilst ...
11
votes
2answers
430 views

Jerky or Freeze-dried food : Is the salt they contain a concern?

Almost all outdoors activities require having a certain quantity of water to prevent dehydration. Many types of jerky or Freeze-dried foods contain high amounts of salt. Should that be considered? If ...
11
votes
2answers
142 views

Roof-top tents vs conventional tents?

I have noticed a slow but steady rise in the number of campers using roof-top tents like these and those, among many others. What are the advantages and disadvantages of these over conventional ...
11
votes
1answer
328 views

How far away should I hang my food with dry bag?

I intend to use a dry bag as a bear-bag to store my food while camping and I was going to hang it. I had read in another post that a dry bag would not limit the bear's sense of smell as a bear bag ...
11
votes
1answer
113 views

Dealing with a campsite that is full of rocks or not flat terrain?

What do you do before setting up your tent when the your camping site is either: full of rocks ? not flat ?
10
votes
2answers
6k views

Tips for travelling through Europe with just a tent

Myself and my girlfriend are hoping to start off in the Netherlands and hitchhike our way down to the south of Spain through various French towns / cities. We are planning on just bringing sleeping ...
10
votes
1answer
186 views

What features should I consider when evaluating a hammock-tent hybrid?

I have seen a number of hammock posts which replace the traditional tent structure by incorporating a waterproof bivi as top cover. Have any Outdoors.SE used a system of that description and can ...
9
votes
3answers
343 views

Effective way to carry a sleeping mattress with rucksack?

I am going for four day hike in Western Ghats. The terrain is rocky humid and It is one of the eight "hottest hotspots" of biological diversity in the world. I am trying to pack my rucksack ...
9
votes
4answers
328 views

Time of high / low tide

When in coastal areas, where can I get times of high tide / low tide? I know that Garmin GPS can do it, but without it? What is the simplest way to determine in the wilderness? Which factors does it ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What order of response time can I expect if I hit the “911” button on my SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker?

A friend gave us a satellite communication gadget that has three buttons to send three messages, two of them to a programmed address ((1) location and (2) alert), and the third is a "911" button. ...
9
votes
1answer
160 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. ...
9
votes
2answers
732 views

Which month would be, on probability, the best month to trek on the Isle of Skye, Scotland?

I am an experienced hiker/hillwalker and plan to tackle the Trotternish Ridge on Skye , possibly a few other coastal walks, whilst also taking a reconnaissance look at The Cuillin. My plan is to ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Tips and tricks for backpacking with a guitar

There are numerous compact and travel guitars that exist, some of which are designed specifically for outdoor pursuits like backpacking. Being a musician, music is one of the things I miss most while ...
9
votes
2answers
193 views

Is a mountaineering tent necessary for backpacking Iceland?

I need a tent that will work in snow, sand storms, lots of wind, rain and sun(UV). Temperatures I'm expecting are -2C at night to 15C during the day. I will be backpacking, so the tent's weight should ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is playing musical instruments like Harp/Harmonica, Flute unsafe during backpacking trips?

Along with trekking and camping, I am too involved in musical instruments that I play. And, I always have had a thought of carrying my six-string with me on some long hike for entertainment during I ...
8
votes
2answers
232 views

Any dangerous animals attracted to fire?

While we are out in the wild it's good practice to keep a fire up to hold back several kinds of dangerous animals, isn't it? I wonder if there are any (for humans dangerous) creatures out there which ...
8
votes
2answers
232 views

Wild camping in the Brecon Beacons

What is the legal and practical position on wild camping in England and Wales, specifically in the Brecon Beacons National Park. I think I am right in saying that technically you need to ask the ...
8
votes
2answers
198 views

Should I run if I come across Hyena?

Question prompted by: Should I run if I see wild dogs? Since Hyenas physically resemble Wild Dogs, more or less, is the advice in that discussion applicable for encounters with Hyenas too? Are there ...
8
votes
1answer
85 views

Is any subspecies of black bear more — or less — aggressive than another?

There are 16 subspecies of Ursus americanus, the black bear. The Wikipedia article describes their different physical characteristics and geographical distributions, but not differences in ...
8
votes
3answers
201 views

Am I allowed to “wild-camp” in my car?

It's generally prohibited to camp in the great outdoors in a few European countries like Germany (check out this related question). Speaking for latter, it's allowed to sleep in your car however. ...
7
votes
2answers
487 views

Setting up a shelter

I have been trekking since nearly a decade now and all those years I have never had a tent with me. It was roughly a couple of years ago, I bought my first tent. :-) I had always relied on natural ...
7
votes
4answers
105 views

Nice forest 'around' London for a 2 days hike

Having lived in the UK for 4 years, I have only done a big hike + wild camping in the lake district and in Snowdonia, where I have read, the rules about wild camping are more relaxed and tolerated ...
7
votes
4answers
212 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
votes
2answers
194 views

What are the basic considerations for hammock camping?

Considering just taking a hammock (Grand Trunk double) and tarp on my next camping trip. I wondered what things I am likely to miss/get wrong for the first hammock camp? The location is likely to ...
7
votes
2answers
351 views

Where in New Zealand is wild camping permitted?

Basically this question, only for New Zealand (both islands). I know that the Freedom Camping Act exists, which basically allows camping everywhere unless it's forbidden. So, where is it actually ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What gear for sleeping in wild camping in western Scotland in May?

I intend to go camping in Scotland (mainly the Isle of Mull, that is Western, central Scotland) next week, i.e. last week of May. I have read quite a lot about the weather and know I should prepare ...
6
votes
3answers
259 views

How to create a cast or splint to aid a broken bone?

Assuming you or one of your party has broken his leg (or something). How can you create a provisional splint or cast to bring you/him/her back to the next hospital etc.? Would be cool if it's made ...
6
votes
3answers
289 views

Where to keep valuables when separated from them

I just had a thought after buying a couple of money belts for my girlfriend and I.. Where should we keep them when we are swimming for example? I know this seems like a simple problem but is there ...
6
votes
1answer
280 views

Can urinating around camp attract wildlife?

As far as I know, it's generally a good idea to pee a fence around your camp. Don't know if it makes any major differences but ... It is true urinating around your tent will keep some critters ...
6
votes
2answers
157 views

Protect yourself from a lightning strike

We are in the great outdoors and a massive thunderstorm will be over us soon. What steps to take to be save from a lightning strike? This question is not "am I save in my tent" etc. You are in a ...