All Questions

13
votes
3answers
430 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
299 views

Comfy inflatable pillows for car camping

I use a combination of an 18"x18" inflatable pillow and a Thermarest compressible one, the largest size (commonly seen at REI and similar stores). However, the inflatable often slips out and I just ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

PLB or satphone rental in the USA?

I've read that in the United States, national forests, ranger offices, etc. often have some safety-related equipment for rent, such as bear canisters. Do they rent out Personal Locator Beacons, ...
4
votes
3answers
220 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 advices a pretty sophisticated way to protect food ...
4
votes
3answers
758 views

Should food be in a bear bag/canister even when I'm hiking?

I've read that in the western US, backpackers need bear canisters or bear bags, for bears or for other animals. For example, a post comparing different methods is here. I must admit I'm a bit ...
4
votes
1answer
188 views

What is water resistant down and how is it made?

Water resistant down has interesting properties which make it appealing for outdoor applications. However, it is not widely available and seems to be only offered in certain fill powers. How is the ...
4
votes
1answer
167 views

What are the most recommended guide/maps to bring on a PCT thru-hike?

Among the amalgam of guidebooks and maps for the Pacific Crest Trail, which guidebooks and/or maps are be the best contenders to bring on the trail? Guthook 2010 review recommends Halfmile maps ...
6
votes
2answers
746 views

What are the advantages of a double sleeping bag?

In the context of a long hike (AT, PCT, CDT, LT, etc.): What are the advantages and disadvantages of double sleeping bags over two individual sleeping bags? How do they compare to single sleeping ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What to teach someone who wants to start lead climbing?

I have a friend who climbs with another group. She recently had her first couple of experiences as lead climber (sport climbing). I'm concerned that she doesn't have the required theory for lead ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

What can I do with a retired rope and harness?

I've recently retired a rope (dynamic) and a harness. They're both in very good shape, but just over 8 years old. Common sense dictates I throw them away, but I wonder if there are other uses I can ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
234 views

How to get rid of the smell from indoor climbing shoes? [duplicate]

When I go climbing indoors I typically wear my climbing shoes without socks because this gives me slightly better control over my feet while climbing which I particularly need in overhangs. The ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the problem with electrolyte imbalance and how do I mitigate it?

In the past week I've seen two answers mentioning electrolytes; one about the grand canyon and one in an answer on a question that was actually about wildlife, but where other desert dangers were ...
4
votes
1answer
157 views

ski damaged from sticks, leaves, soil, etc?

Obviously cross/back-country skis can be damaged by skiing over rocks, stones, gravel and asphalt, but what about other, softer objects exposed when the snow starts to melt, like sticks, roots, ...
6
votes
3answers
152 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
333 views

Dealing with wildlife in the desert of California/Nevada in general and in the White Mountains in particular

I'm planning a hike in the White Mountains of California; see also this related question. So far, all my hiking have either been day hikes in the densely populated hikes, or treks for up to three ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a difference in performance between a fishing kayak and touring kayak?

Last year my wife and I rented a couple of SOT kayaks and used them to paddle around our local lake. We enjoyed it so much we have decided to purchase our own this year. We are looking at some entry ...
8
votes
3answers
500 views

How should I remove a leech?

Once a leech is attached, what is the proper way to remove it? (I'm assuming that the method would generic for all leeches, but if there are special kinds, please note that).
7
votes
3answers
123 views

How would you evaluate sailing lessons for adults?

I am lucky enough to live within an hour of several cities (or large towns) on Lake Ontario, and near "cottage country" which is full of lakes. I'm considering a learn-to-sail program this summer. A ...
11
votes
4answers
381 views

Camping in (US) national forests

Is it legal to camp in unmarked areas in United States national forests? I'm specifically thinking of Utah/Idaho if state makes any difference.
8
votes
3answers
248 views

Logs & Rocks - Step on or over?

Growing up we were always taught to never step straight over a rock or log because it is a good way to step on or startle a snake that you cannot see. However, on a lot of hiking forums I see it ...
4
votes
4answers
706 views

How small is “too small” for tent guylines?

In my ongoing effort to cut tent weight we have replaced stakes, changed ground pads, and we're looking at replacing the guylines (no really, it's amazing how much cordage weighs!). At what diameter ...
3
votes
3answers
456 views

A removeable solution for slipping insoles?

Is there anything that can be done to stop my insoles sliding? has a pretty good answer for semi-permanent solving of insole slippage. However, I switch my insoles between two pairs of shoes on a ...
4
votes
1answer
403 views

Why are there ropes on fingerboards?

I picked up a couple fingerboards from the pro shop, and hung them on the rafters in our basement. However, I have no idea what the ropes are for, unless someone might tie the boards to a tree. What ...
4
votes
2answers
199 views

GPS topo map downloads

I know the USGS and many others offer free downloadable raster topo maps for almost anywhere. But what if I want vector maps using GPS coords? I'm new to GIS but I would assume there is a de facto ...
4
votes
3answers
294 views

How should we split up a 3 person tent?

If carrying a three person tent when backpacking, what's the recommended way to split it up so that the weight is balanced out among all three people going?
7
votes
2answers
49 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
655 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
107 views

What kinds of things are the “defensive driving” equivalent to handling campfires?

In What do you do if the fire does get "out of control"?, someone asked a legitimate question, and @berry120 wrote detailed response, and ended with a "tl;dr" saying, " but if the proper ...
16
votes
7answers
25k views

What is this knee pain when going downhill?

I can hike uphill practically all day. However as very soon after I start a descent, pain builds on the outside of my knee. What is causing this and can I do anything to prevent/mitigate it (other ...
6
votes
2answers
123 views

Covering up ears at higher altitudes

Recently I went on a trek to a placed named "Har ki Doon". The trek took us around an altitude of 3500 meters(15000 ft). When we were there, our guide advised us not to cover up our ears. According to ...
20
votes
9answers
31k views

How to warm up your cold toes and fingers?

In winter your hand and feet (especially toes and fingers) may get painfully cold or you may even stop feeling them. How can you warm them up? This usually happens, when it's below 0°С or when it's ...
2
votes
2answers
86 views

Thermal rating on vintage sleeping bags

These days, almost every sleeping bag sold is given a thermal insulation numeric "rating", either the USA version or the more accurate European version. But vintage bags did not have this industry ...
4
votes
2answers
168 views

Different kinds of Down: comparing insulation

There's many different kinds of "down" filling: "100% down" must legally be only down, while "down" can be any mixture containing down. Then there's "fill power" ranging from about 400 to 1200, which ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Should I re-wax downhill skis after using skins?

I was skinning into a yurt last weekend with my regular downhill (telemark) skis. On the way back out, I noticed a lot more snow sticking to my skis... Granted, the weather was hot, and snow was ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Does whiskey help keep you warm in winter?

It is a rare day that I head out into the winter wilds without a flask of sumpt'n-sumpt'n in my pocket. A nip helps one to relax, can mildly embolden timid skiers in my group, and gives one that fiery ...
4
votes
3answers
584 views

How can I prevent snow-balls building up in my dog's paws?

Our dog loves winter sports - but after a few miles on the trails in soft snow, he often develops snowballs between his paw pads - usually one big one right in the middle. Are there ways to minimize ...
10
votes
4answers
922 views

Winter Camping: How to warm up your boots in the morning?

Is there a good technique to warm up your boots in the morning? Should you just put them on and warm them up with your feet or is there a better alternative?
3
votes
1answer
76 views

End of Winter/Spring Camping

Planning a camping trip for next weekend. It is looking like it may be the end of winter. We have about a foot of snow right now. What problems am I going to run into if the weather is above zero ...
-1
votes
1answer
28 views

Winter Camping Resources or Books? [closed]

Have done some winter camping but would like to do more and do it smarter. What is the best book to read before doing winter camping? Qualities of the 'Best Book': Fun and easy to read Good ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Keeping smoke level in a wigwam low

I spent some time in a wigwam today, and due to the wind conditions, it was very difficult to keep the smoke out. Are there some tricks one can use in a situation like that to make the wigwam more ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a safe type of backyard zip line for kids and adults to use?

I want to put a zip line in my backyard for my kids. I'm looking for advice on what type to use, safety tips, and installation advice.
1
vote
1answer
180 views

Liners and Travel sheets

What's the difference between a sleeping bag liner and a travel sheet? Shape (are travel sheets only available in one shape)? Fabric? Resistance?
6
votes
1answer
131 views

How can I 'inflate' or plump up my my sleeping bag?

I have a very nice sleeping bag which has been kept stuffed as compressed as possible in a backpack for a couple of months. After reading about the negative effects of such actions, I was wondering if ...
12
votes
4answers
333 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it ever safe to let a hypothermic person sleep?

My understanding is that with severely hypothermic patients you want to keep them awake if possible. I'd heard moving a hypothermic patient is risky as you dont want to jostle them, some wilderness ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

How safe is the bowline knot in different situations?

The bowline knot (picture below, source) has a great reputation as a very safe knot. Is it really completely safe in all situations and loads, or are there use cases where it may fail?
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Rapid backpack readying

I have noticed that preparing a backpack for a 1-2-10 day trip can take up to 3 hours. I would like to cut this time way down. Concerning this, I have had several ideas: Have a the pack outfitted ...
3
votes
1answer
258 views

Which type of power boat do I need for overnight trips?

I'm an absolute beginner about boats, but let's say I want to buy a boat to use in the canals of my city (Amsterdam), but also for "long" trips, to other cities, coasts. Trips that require days to ...
7
votes
3answers
356 views

What should I look for in hiking binoculars

I'd like a pair of binoculars for hiking. I don't have a specific use other than for looking off of overlooks, at animals, etc. What are the important things to look for in a good set of binoculars? ...

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