11
votes
4answers
201 views

How do you lower a backpack over a cliff without damaging it?

I was backpacking in Coyote Gulch, Utah this past week and ran into an issue with my 70 liter backpack. The entrance to the gulch through "Crack in the Wall" was a narrow "slot" entry, so the ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do seagulls circle around at high altitudes?

I was recently at a music festival in a field here in the UK. It was a nice hot day and I was staring up into the lovely blue sky. I noticed there were high numbers of seagulls circling above, ...
11
votes
3answers
364 views

How tight should the line be kept for toproping?

I was climbing with someone recently and they complained that there was too much slack any time the line wasn't completely taut. By the same token when they were belaying me it was almost hard to ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

What characteristics should I look for in a good torch/flashlight?

I'm looking to buy a flashlight/torch (or build my own even if that works out cheaper), and am looking to take the following into consideration: Good battery life (LEDs would probably suit best in ...
11
votes
5answers
157 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
votes
5answers
2k views

Which mid-line knot is best suited for a trucker's hitch?

I've been using a trucker's hitch knot for a very long time (camping, strapping stuff down, line length adjustment, pulley system) I've always switched my mid-line loop when I've come to not trust ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

What to do at the top of a sport climb

I dabble a little at leading trad, but have never led a sport route. If I do a sport lead, I want to make sure I don't make some stupid mistake when I get to the top. For example, I don't want to ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Safe Way to Mark a Carabiner

At the crag this weekend I noticed that my climbing partner's carabiner had a great feature: a red line painted such that you know the carabiner isn't locked until the red is hidden. I love this ...
11
votes
2answers
432 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
277 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
3answers
2k views

What are practical uses of paracord survival bracelets?

So I was gifted two of those survival paracord bracelets. I untied one so to check the resistance of the cord. It holded my whole body weight (75kg) hanging from the ceiling, and I also bounced on it ...
11
votes
2answers
578 views

How can I avoid an encounter with a large feline?

I'm backpacking through a national park in India, which also happens to be a tiger reserve. I understand that chances of even spotting a Bengal tiger are slim, but still, what precautionary measures ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Backpack strap chafing

I have relatively sensitive skin. I have an osprey waypoint 65 backpack. Photo source The shoulder straps chafe my shoulders, especially if I go without a shirt. Is there a softer fabric I can ...
11
votes
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
votes
2answers
346 views

How big a fall is a “major” fall?

I answered a question about rope safety with some advice about retiring the rope after a "major" fall. Another user asked me what would constitute a major fall - and I have to admit that I can only ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

How easy is to magnetically destroy a compass?

I have quite a lot of items with built-magnets in my backpack, like a mobile phone, an iPod or headphones. How easy is to destroy my compass by putting it too close to these items?
11
votes
2answers
579 views

Are Hawthorn berries edible?

Being a bright red berry the old saying about avoiding red berries sticks to mind but I do remember reading that Hawthorn berries, or Haws, are edible... Is this true? Is there a seed to watch out ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Is drinking water containing dirt harmful?

I noticed that if I collect water from a stream dense of small debris/thin mud, if I keep the water bottle close to the surface, while it takes a longer time to fill the bottle, the water is cleaner ...
11
votes
3answers
971 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
467 views

Hot or cold shower better after exertion?

Most of us go around, doing different physical activities. Whether it is indoors or outdoors, the common factor is that we often sweat, make our muscles, joints, tendons, ligament, etc work harder ...
11
votes
2answers
491 views

Does wash in waterproofing work on a non-waterproof shell?

I'm considering an ultralight (non-waterproof) shell and Nikwax wash-in waterproofing as a rain layer. I'd like it to be waterproof through several wearings (a week or more). Does this result in ...
11
votes
3answers
267 views

When do boats have the right of way?

In boating, I know that having the right of way is much different than driving, what are the rules and how does this work?
11
votes
1answer
140 views

Should you store a compass flat?

My girlfriend keeps hanging my compass on the wall. Is this doing it any harm?
11
votes
3answers
273 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
votes
4answers
449 views

How to effectively dry/clean the inside of water bladders?

After using water bladder, how to dry it thoroughly besides simply pouring out the water content so any remnant of water inside it is cleanly eliminated?
11
votes
2answers
220 views

Using a “tarp” over the entrance of a snow cave

Is it true that a tarp shouldn't be covering the entrance of a snow-cave while sleeping in one? What's the reasoning to that? Is using a sleeping bag in them just fine?
11
votes
1answer
378 views

Why are unequalised anchors acceptable for fixed-point belay systems used while ice climbing?

The Association of Canadian Mountain Guides demonstrate Fixed-Point belay systems in this video. Fixed-point belay systems as demonstrated make no effort to equalise the loading on the two anchors, ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Who places the bolts on rock climbing routes, and how?

On big, serious routes (Dreamcatcher, Jumbo Love, etc), who puts the bolts in place and how? Are the bolts there before the "first ascent" or does the first ascender put them in place as he goes? It ...
11
votes
4answers
270 views

What are the advantages of learning to ski on a trip? (as opposed to beforehand)

I'm a non-skier right now but am thinking of going on a ski trip. As far as I can tell there are two options for learning. On a dry ski slope before I go Start my trip with learning What the the ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there any affordable night vision goggles that are good and available to civilians?

I quite often go hiking in the evening after work and I have a good head torch but sometimes I wish I had some night vision goggles because often a headtorch will scare wildlife and cause farm animals ...
11
votes
2answers
199 views

How do I get cam slings replaced?

I bought my first set of cams and I've been curious about what happens when the slings start to wear out. Are they user-replaceable? The ones I purchased seem to be very un-user-replaceable: How do ...
11
votes
2answers
195 views

How can I know if a rope is certified? I found a hidden tag

We (a uni student club, mostly hiking) own a rope that is practically unknown. We know that it's a year since it was bought (presumably new) and that it has hardly ever been used (no dead hangs, etc). ...
11
votes
1answer
399 views

What are the main differences between dehydrated foods and freeze-dried foods?

What's the big difference between Dehydrated and Freeze-dried foods? What are the pros and cons to choosing one over the other for backpacking?
11
votes
3answers
4k views

How to straighten a bent tent pole

During a storm one of my tent poles that used to be straight, became bent. Is there a way to straighten the pole again? Or is it a bad idea to try straightening the pole because is would likely snap ...
11
votes
2answers
920 views

Week long trek, how far each day? pace?

Background info: For environment, it is southwestern British Columbia and the weather is fair and there is plenty of water around. Pace wise, on level terrain, with or without water I have sometimes ...
11
votes
6answers
659 views

Water-resistant shoes for Trekking in New Zealand

My spouse and I are going for 3-weeks vacation on the southern island of New Zealand. We intend to go for one multi-day trek (the Kepler Track), and a few more day treks. Do we need water-resistant (...
11
votes
2answers
371 views

Are there any exceptions to the layer principle?

This question asks why we don't apply the layer principle on trousers. Personally, I disagree with the pretext of the question: I certainly do apply the layer principle on trousers when cycling in ...
11
votes
4answers
546 views

What proven alternatives are there to DEET?

DEET is an effective mosquito deterrent, but there are many reasons it cannot be used. Per the CDC, cuts, eczema, and being a kid are all problems if you want to use DEET. What proven alternatives ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What precautions should I take when hiking among herds of elk?

During certain times of the year, some of the hiking trails near where I live wind through herds of elk standing on or near the trails. What precautions should you take when hiking among elk?
11
votes
1answer
116 views

How can I rescue someone lost in an avalanche?

If someone from our group is caught in an avalanche, what can I do to rescue them?
11
votes
4answers
302 views

How dependable is a cheap compass?

I was reading the BBC news today and there was an ad for an inexpensive "5 in 1 Outdoor Survival Gear Escape Paracord Bracelet Flint / Whistle / Compass / Scraper" I clicked on the link and saw this ...
11
votes
2answers
872 views

For how long afterwards do we benefit from acclimatization?

Consider we are trying to pre-acclimate for an expedition in Himalaya to shorten the actual timespan on site. As an example, I am expecting a benefit if I go in the Alps for several days above 4000m ...
11
votes
1answer
573 views

How can I make Tyvek less noisy?

So I've made myself a handy dandy tent footprint out of Tyvek. It's durable, packs easy, cheap to replace.... and NOISY. My entire camping group has complained that it wakes them up when I roll over ...
11
votes
2answers
824 views

Placing protection efficiently when leading trad?

I'm a beginning trad leader, having done about five easy fifth class leads. I've had some formal instruction, but don't currently have access to a teacher or mentor. I'm finding that I'm extremely ...
11
votes
2answers
523 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
197 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
2answers
80 views

Is there a breathing technique to conserve bottled oxygen?

We all know when people run out of O2 up there, trouble follows. Is there a breathing technique to get more mileage out of bottled oxygen? Let's stick to the basic scenario of the need of bottled ...
11
votes
3answers
225 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
852 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 3....
11
votes
1answer
141 views

If a national park trail with its campsites has been decommisioned, can I still hike and camp there?

I am considering a hike along the Canadian Great Divide Trail from Jasper southward. As described in Dustin Lynx' book Hiking Canada's Great Divide Trail, the middle segment inside Jasper National ...

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