8
votes
2answers
259 views

Is there a more practical type of cord to carry than “550 paracord”?

Paracord is widely considered a must-have for wilderness survival, and there are hundreds of tutorials for making bracelets out of it, etc. With this popularity has come a glut of people selling ...
8
votes
3answers
592 views

Do I need to hang a bear cache?

I am considering to get Garcia Machine Backpacker's Cache. According to MEC user reviews, this is the only cache approved in the Adirondack Mountains. Canadian parks, and other places as well, ...
8
votes
3answers
861 views

How do I read a topographic map?

When navigating in the backcountry, you'll usually bring a topographic map that shows the terrain so you can tell if there will be steep slopes or cliffs that might make the route difficult. A ...
8
votes
4answers
749 views

Gas or liquid fuel lighter?

My backpack of course has a rechargeable gas lighter. I am considering buying a good Zippo, as I feel it more resistant, and it does not need to be kept with your hands to stay on. Would you suggest ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Folding versus fixed blade knives

Similar to Serrated vs flat-edge knives, I'm wondering what the strengths and weaknesses are of folding knives versus fixed blade knives? What are fixed blades good for? What are folding knives not ...
8
votes
3answers
155 views

Is climbing an ambidextrous sport?

We know left-footed football players, we know right-handed and left-handed batmen and bowlers, we know left-handed or right-handed tennis players, and so on.. I know being a right handed guy I could ...
8
votes
3answers
596 views

What to consider when buying fins for recreational snorkeling?

I've been on a few beach vacations in the last few years and have discovered that I really enjoy snorkeling. I have at least three trips in the next year where I will probably go snorkeling (a few ...
8
votes
4answers
421 views

Is caffeine helpful or hurtful when backpacking?

When backpacking for several days, is there a benefit to drinking coffee and the likes in the morning, or does the crash that comes later in the day hinder the progress of a group in the back-country? ...
8
votes
3answers
207 views

Are Personal Flotation Devices a good idea when rafting?

Are Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs/life vests/life jackets) good for rafting? It may seem like a silly question, but I have heard several times now that they increase your danger due to the risk of ...
8
votes
2answers
160 views

What is the most effective means of paddling a canoe, against the current, under a bridge?

Today I was out in the canoe on Monongahela River I started out paddling up river, and there was a head wind. I noticed that when I got with in about 100 feet of a bridge the wind picked up. The ...
8
votes
3answers
114 views

What to look for in a winter skills course?

I'm researching winter skills courses for the new year. Most cover all the basics: Self arrest Using crampons and ice axes Avalanche awareness Route planning Is there anything else I should be ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is Paradoxical Undressing a stage beyond Hypothermia?

We all have discussed and read Hypothermia quite a lot of times and are aware of general concepts about it. What made me wonder the most was an incident about a mountaineer on Mt. Everest. With the ...
8
votes
2answers
399 views

“Used” top rope when bouldering

My friend and I often boulder around my home instead of driving to the local area, and when attempting some more challenging features, such as overhangs and slightly taller cliffs, we would feel ...
8
votes
6answers
504 views

Climbing Mount Teide from sea-level

Is it possible to climb Mount Teide from sea-level in 2 days for a reasonably fit person? Essentially, I was thinking of walking up to the Altavista mountain refuge on the first day (can that be done ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Are water purification tablets safe?

There are a few questions regarding safety of water purification, one regarding expiration date, another regarding iodine, but I know that there are more than one types of water purficiation tablets. ...
8
votes
4answers
665 views

What are the major difference between a regular sleeping bag and one designed for women?

I see more and more sleeping bags designed for women. I was wondering what were the major differences with the regular sleeping bag? Does it have to do more with the shape or insulation?
8
votes
3answers
913 views

Sweating in sleeping bag

I sweat a great deal when I sleep. When it's really warm outside at night I just keep my bag unzipped and there's no problem. However, when it starts to get cold and I have to zip my bag up, I soon ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
168 views

Can cold weather be sufficient to act as a refrigerator?

Might be a silly question, but if the place I want to travel to has 35 degree F highs and 27 degree F lows, and the ideal temperature for a refrigerator is 35 degrees F ... can't I just loosely pack ...
8
votes
3answers
423 views

What's the maximum temperature difference wind-chill can account for?

If I understand wind-chill (which I probably don't), the air feels colder because your body doesn't have as much time to heat the air as it passes by. But in that case it seems like there should be a ...
8
votes
2answers
852 views

Is it safe to swim naked in lakes in Northern Europe?

Is it safe to swim naked in lakes (rather smaller ones) in Northern Europe (north from Alps), when it comes to possible interactions with the fauna? I wouldn't expect to meet fishes such as infamous ...
8
votes
4answers
240 views

Is it generally allowed to walk in German forests in the night?

I was geocaching a bit and I've found in many caches the warning not to cache in the night during the winter because of hunting season. My question is, have such limitations a legal basis, and if so, ...
8
votes
2answers
751 views

Is there special etiquette for hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT) during AT Season

Is there any special etiquette or "good things to know" for hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail (AT) during AT, or peak, season (for that section)?
8
votes
1answer
131 views

How can I locate the leak in a inflatable pad, while hiking

Kevin did a nice job of providing a quality answer here for how to find the leak if you are at home. However I usually realize I have a leak when it deflates under me in the middle of the night. If ...
8
votes
2answers
552 views

Preferred way to wrap someone with Hypothermia?

So I know How to treat hypothermia. That question and answer, however, do not address the old recommendation I have heard a 100 times of strip them down and get in a sleeping bag with them. Is that ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Preventing cross-loading on belay carabiners

It happend to me a couple of times now that I've cross-loaded my carabiner when belaying; the frequent change from slack to tension and back, moving the carabiner up and down and all that, can easily ...
8
votes
2answers
156 views

Foam vs hardshell climbing helmets?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of climbing helmet design (foam or hardshell)? Foam Hardshell PS: I do not intend to compare them by how much they cost.
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
146 views

Can you use a rope that has been in storage for a few years?

A guy I'm talking to about buying some rock climbing gear is getting rid of his stuff cause he hasn't used it in five to eight years. He said it wasn't used a lot, maybe 5 to 6 times, and he said no ...
8
votes
3answers
435 views

Who places the anchors that rock climbers use?

I've always wondered about the permanent "hooks" (it seems the proper term for them is "anchors" — pitons, bolts, etc.) that are placed in the some rock climbing routes to help climbers. Since they're ...
8
votes
2answers
52 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
124 views

Is there a web application that can notify you ahead of time if a certain weather forecast is predicted for a certain location?

In other words, it would be a site where you can "subscribe" to certain locations and then have the service email you if the weather forecast matches the kind of weather conditions you are looking ...
8
votes
2answers
359 views

How do I check paracord to determine if it's genuine?

Given some paracord, is there a simple check that I can make to check that it's genuine and not the cheaper knock off stuff? Number of strands seems like the most obvious point, but is there anything ...
8
votes
3answers
173 views

Navigational gear worldwide

Is there any difference in navigational equipment between the northern and southern hemisphere? We live in the northern hemisphere but will be emigrating to the southern in the next few weeks. We'll ...
8
votes
2answers
155 views

I put a big gouge in the bow of my canoe going across rocks. How can I fix it?

While going through some rapids, we slid across a jagged rock and it put a huge gouge in the bow of my fiberglass canoe. What method and process is best for repairing it, so that next time I hit some ...
8
votes
2answers
364 views

Why should the angle in a rope attached to two anchors be 60 degrees or less?

In this question it states that No angle of tension shall exceed 60 degrees. Why?
8
votes
1answer
763 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
262 views

What are good designs for volunteer-buildable trail bridges?

We have several places on local trails maintained by volunteers where the trail crosses a small stream or ditch. In these places the stream is a bit too wide and deep to expect people to jump ...
8
votes
2answers
443 views

Walking through a Thigh-high snow

I have far less experience in trekking where there is snow. I believe walking through snow and through Ice are two different techniques. Is there some sort of safe technique to walk on such snow with ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Will the benefit of an axe outweigh the drawbacks and win over a large knife?

I've hiked some in my life, and gotten used to carrying a small axe for chopping wood for the fire. But after I bought my self a large fixed-blade bowie knife, I find myself relying less and less on ...
8
votes
3answers
309 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
550 views

Do bag liners add the same warmth value to all sleeping bags?

I have a bag liner that claims to add 15 degrees to the "range" of a sleeping bag. Is it reasonable to assume that it would work the same for all bags? For instance, would it extend a 40 degree bag ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

What is a freestanding tent and why should I want one?

What is a free-standing tent? What are the advantages of a free-standing tent as opposed to a tent that isn't, and what are the disadvantages? See also: What is a self erecting tent and why should I ...
8
votes
5answers
165 views

New Zealand recommended hiking maps, books and other resources

Me and my girlfriend will go there in January and we plan on hiking for a week or so. Unfortunately there are no maps or books available for NZ hiking in my area. Could you recommend some for me? ...
8
votes
2answers
600 views

What good options are there for wine transport?

Large glass bottles just don't strike me as a "good idea" for hiking. What options are there for carrying wine and preserving the flavor for a couple of days while hiking?
8
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
301 views

Leader injured during multipitch trad climb, what to do?

I've been working on improving my self-rescue skills, but the skills I've learned so far seem to pertain mostly to single-pitch climbing. For example, a lot of people emphasize knowing how to escape a ...
8
votes
2answers
251 views

What is the best way to transport a kayak?

I am planning on purchasing a kayak for next year, and am trying to strategize on how to transport my boat. I have a small 4 door car no rack and my wife has a slightly larger 4 door crossover style ...
8
votes
1answer
986 views

Is it safe to use a motorcycle helmet instead of a skiing helmet for skiing?

I have a perfectly good motorcycle helmet (one that encompasses the whole head, including the chin) that I never use (I bought it for lessons, but never bought a motorcycle). However, I do not have a ...

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