11
votes
2answers
514 views

How are backpacking conditions at Yosemite in April?

Looking at the webcam, it looks like things are still pretty wintery in that area. Being Michiganders, some snow is not going to deter us (we love winter camping), but we at least want to be prepared ...
11
votes
1answer
196 views

Which will drain less body heat: lying on bare earth or bare rock?

For years I backpacked without a sleeping pad, until one particularly chilly night during which I tried to heat up the earth with my paltry 98.6 degrees F (37°C). In that instance, would I have been ...
11
votes
5answers
11k views

How do you stop blood-flow from a leech bite?

Although leeches are relatively harmless, and you are not likely to bleed out from a bite, the blood stain on your clothes can be off-putting to your hiking buddies. Is there any effective way to ...
11
votes
3answers
217 views

How can the attitude that one is a guest in black bear country prevent hassles with bears?

A traveller to a country with different customs is well advised to read up on the customs of the people of that country, and to learn how the residents expect polite people to behave. Everywhere, ...
11
votes
1answer
847 views

What is this marker stone

I walk a lot in Germany and I found many stones much like this on my route this weekend: Along this particular section of the walk. Most of the stones have two digit numbers. The one shown has ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it a good Idea to drink grape sap if you have no clean water?

In spring, the grape vines are so full of watery sap that a cut from my pocket knife causes it to trickle out fairly fast, and it can be collected in a container. Someone told me that it is a good ...
11
votes
2answers
141 views

How do I make a fin selection for various surfing conditions

There are many surfing fin designs available for modern surf boards. What are the criteria for selecting: Tri-fin Bi-fin Mono-fin No fins And why would I want to have larger or smaller surfing ...
11
votes
2answers
515 views

Where can I find if a fixed blade knives is legal to carry around in a given country?

I am always uneasy at the idea of carrying around a fixed blade. For this reason, my backpack knife is a multitool (A fantastic Leatherman Blast, which saved the day already many times). I would like ...
11
votes
3answers
347 views

What are the pros and cons of a digital altimeter over an analog altimeter for backpacking?

Our analog altimeter, which we had had for over 20 years, was stolen this summer. We are now faced with a choice between digital or analog altimeters. What are pros and cons between the two? (e.g., ...
11
votes
2answers
305 views

Encountering a bear in water?

I found myself in a situation the other day that I've never been in before. I was paddling along in my canoe with my wife and kids, when suddenly a young black bear came scrambling down the slope, ...
11
votes
2answers
218 views

Acclimatization strategies

While reading Hermann Buhl's tour book* of the Nanga Parbat expedition in 1953 (yielding to the first ascent on third of July, Buhl did the final ascent solo) I got curious about the height difference ...
11
votes
1answer
4k views

What should I do when caught in lightning while in my tent?

Suppose I'm caught in a heavy thunderstorm while lying in my tent, on my foam sleeping bad, in my nice waterproof tent. Suppose I have a good campsite so I don't need to worry about flash floods. ...
11
votes
4answers
335 views

How to grade a trek?

What are the criteria used for grading a trek? One article that I came across provided the following set criteria for grading: Duration. Terrain (includes altitude). Exit routes. Weather/Climate. ...
11
votes
3answers
248 views

How to select a good GPS receiver?

What should one look for in the specifications to determine whether a handheld purpose-built GPS receiver provides good navigational consistency under reasonably normal, low-speed conditions? Highly ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What are “Aggressive” climbing Shoes?

This question was borrowed from a comment on this question. But what is meant by an "aggressive" climbing shoe? What is the difference in a non-aggressive shoe? And when would you use one over the ...
11
votes
3answers
448 views

What's the advantage to a bent-shaft paddle?

What's the advantage (or advantages) of a bent-shaft canoe paddle? I've been told that it allows for more efficient use of both arms: the rationale I heard was that your arm on the grip does more ...
11
votes
2answers
144 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
79 views

What is the correct ice axe grip when descending?

It is a common advice to handle your ice axe with the pick facing to the rear. Furthermore, having a single technique of self-arrest aids in training and being prepared for an emergency situation. ...
11
votes
2answers
113 views

What is a “sling belay?”

Rock climbing topos have various standardized symbols, such as xx for a bolt anchor, or a dashed line for face climbing. In keys of symbols, I've sometimes seen SB defined as a "sling belay." What ...
11
votes
1answer
648 views

Is there a practical “Measurement of warmth”?

I'm after a new pair of gloves for the winter. I've found plenty of gloves online but I'm wary of buying them as I want some really warm winter gloves (for use in -10C or less). In a shop I can try ...
11
votes
1answer
203 views

The re-hydration time for deydrated foods

I've got a lot of backpacking trips lined up this summer, including one multi-week one. I'm considering picking up a dehydrator because: It probably would be more cost effective than buying freeze ...
11
votes
2answers
704 views

Warmth of two sleeping bags

If I use two identical 20-degree-rated bags, one inside the other, what would likely be the effective temperature rating? 10-degree? 0-degree? negative-10-degree?
11
votes
1answer
386 views

How does the Esbit stove perform in cold & wind?

I was on a group trip this weekend where a fellow hiker brought an Esbit stove which uses hexamine fuel tabs. The temperature was not what I would consider extreme. Temperatures in the high 30s to ...
11
votes
3answers
914 views

Does drinking alcohol cause problems at altitude?

If I'm going to be climbing a mountain, would drinking a small amount at altitude have any negative effects (besides general alcohol effects)?
11
votes
1answer
269 views

How to deal with unethical campers?

Earlier last month I witnessed someone fell a tree in the Eagles Nest Wilderness while I was on a backpack trip. Its quite obvious that you're not supposed to cut down trees in a national forest, in ...
11
votes
1answer
470 views

Train yourself to need less water

I'm interested in doing multi-day hikes (i.e. backpacking) in the desert where water sources are not readily available, thus requiring one to carry in enough water for the duration of the trip. On ...
11
votes
1answer
416 views

Adjusting the Torso setting for the backpack

I have been using backpacks which did not have setting for Torso adjustment. This time around I have bought myself a backpack with such adjustment. Product Link: Quechua backpack Product I think I ...
11
votes
1answer
915 views

Safe to use Old Water Filter?

I have a PUR Hiker Microfilter and a Katadyn Water Microfilter sitting in my closet that I only use once in a great while (I don't go on overnight backpacking trips very often). Whenever I do plan on ...
11
votes
1answer
331 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, ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Tips for hunting nocturnal deer

I recently moved to a property on 20 acres and I'm a total noob when it comes to hunting. There are several deer stands setup all over the property mostly along the tree line overlooking some open ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I patch holes in a waterproof/breathable jacket?

I have a waterproof/breathable rain jacket which has a few holes in it (caused by a minor bicycle crash, in case that information is relevant). They are not too big, about 5mm across. How can I patch ...
11
votes
1answer
205 views

What are the best methods for hanging food in a tree?

My friends and I are planning our first backpacking trip and the date is less than a month away. We just have a couple of loose ends to finish up on. We were wondering what the best method to tie ...
11
votes
1answer
329 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
2answers
775 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
997 views

eating ash in Soviet Union

My Polish grandfather in early 1950's was sent by communist regime to a gulag. People were starving there and malnourishment was common, so they came up with idea of burning some kind of trees and ...
11
votes
1answer
289 views

How well does solar recharging work when strapped to the backpack?

This answer recommends solar cells to recharge batteries. However, this likely works best during a layover day. I usually don't have those. For a nice-to-have situation, how well does it work to ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Water filters - why sand and rocks?

Saw a video on youtube where some guy made a water filter out of a bottle, charcoal, sand and little rocks. He commented that since the charcoal is very porous it's great for filtering. Then, after ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Bear spray vs. rifles against polar bears?

In Svalbard, the arctic archipelago administrated by Norway, anyone leaving Longyearbyen is required to carry a rifle for their own safey. For grizzly bears, Wikivoyage recommends that Bear repellent ...
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 ?
11
votes
3answers
134 views

What is the most effective way to keep warm in a Hammock in below freezing weather?

I've hammock camped twice in below freezing weather, between 10 F and 25 F. The first time using a closed-cell foam (CCF) pad and the second time using a full size underquilt. I'm headed out for a ...
11
votes
1answer
886 views

How to toughen up hands?

So I climb. It keeps my hands pretty rough, but for my day job I am a desk jockey now. I was wondering, are there exercises can I do to keep my hands rough so they don't get torn to shreds when I do ...
11
votes
1answer
489 views

What are the tradeoffs for a Tomahawk over an Axe

I've watched a few videos on cutting tools and the use of axes. However I'm not clear on what the advantage (or disadvantage) is of a tomahawk style axe over a typical belt or hand axe, such as this ...
11
votes
1answer
56 views

How can I prevent calf muscle pain while descending?

I am 43 years of age and recently took up high altitude trekking in the Himalayas. I have observed that on my descent (with practically no ascents) my calf muscles start paining immensely. If I turn ...
11
votes
1answer
72 views

Criterions in multi-pitch climbing to be considered a free ascent

How free climbing compares to other styles of climbing is well explained in the question Bouldering vs aid climbing vs free climbing vs free solo climbing and more specifics are given in What does it ...
11
votes
1answer
170 views

What are traditional Sami trail markings?

This weekend I came down to Vuodnabahta along the spectacular Ávttje-canyon. The Norwegian Tourist Association (DNT) marks trails with cairs and red painted T-marks. The local Sami organisation in ...
11
votes
2answers
137 views

Fly casting in heavy cover/growth

I recently began learning to fly fish. However most of the streams I frequent are small creeks in the Southern Appalachians that have a lot of growth on the banks and overhead making casting rather ...
11
votes
1answer
196 views

Dealing with large runouts during sport climbing

I was doing a sport climb recently where there was a pretty good distance between bolts, resulting in long rope runouts. Falling before the next bolt could easily cause a person to deck on a ledge. ...
11
votes
1answer
150 views

Climbing volcanic mountains

I'm planning to climb a few volcanic mountains in Indonesia the coming year. Mostly Mt Kerinci and a few adjoining ones (I'm still making a list of those near by to Kerinci). I believe that most ...
11
votes
1answer
85 views

What wetsuit thickness is recommended in which temperatures for diving?

I'm soon to embark on a chilly scuba dive around 5-7C at 18m, of which we'll be wearing 7mm wetsuits. The next thickest I think is actually a drysuit for really cold waters, but not sure if there is a ...
11
votes
1answer
78 views

Largest protected forest (ancient woodland) in England?

I live in England and I like forests. Where do I find the largest protected forest in England? By protected I mean: no commercial logging (management logging is OK considering no forests without it ...

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