19
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I wash Gore-Tex clothing?

I have a bunch of dirty hard-shell pants and jackets. Are these safe to put in the washer and dryer? If not, how should I clean them?
19
votes
1answer
344 views

Putting in contact lenses when outdoors

I am wearing contact lenses on a daily basis. Many times, when outdoors, I cannot put in my contact lenses (because of limited time or just no sterile conditions). Is there any cleaner I could safely ...
18
votes
7answers
872 views

How can you navigate / determine your location in thick fog?

Are there any good hints, tips and ways you can use to navigate around and find your location in thick fog (apart from a GPS)?
18
votes
5answers
7k views

Tent and sleeping bag: pack inside or strap outside a backpack?

When I bought my pack, we were told to always pack the tent and sleeping bag in the pack. Since then I have seen a lot of articles and hikers doing the outside. What are the benefits on packing the ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I treat hot spots and blisters when I have no moleskin?

A few times I've been out walking or backpacking and have no moleskin with me. Sure enough, my boots start giving me blisters. How can I prevent or treat hotspots and blisters without using ...
18
votes
2answers
414 views

What to look for in a durable, 3-season sleeping bag?

I'm looking to purchase a camping sleeping bag. I'd like one that's high-quality, durable, and suitable for weekend hiking/camping trips during spring, summer, and fall in New England. (Most of my ...
18
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages between gas, liquid and solid fuel?

It seems you can get fuel for stoves in either gas form (butane, propane, etc.) liquid (methylated spirit) or solid fuel tablets. What are the particular advantages and disadvantages with each ...
18
votes
1answer
526 views

Why do shin splints happen?

I've gotten shin splints on long hikes - once 2 weeks into a hike, and another time 2 months. I wasn't able to determine how I got them though, which has really annoyed me! I get that I could ...
18
votes
1answer
589 views

How to calculate backpacking food requirements for a dog

So I know how to calculate how many additional calories a day I need while backpacking. My question is how do I calculate how much food my dog will need while backpacking. I'm hoping for a general ...
18
votes
1answer
256 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. ...
17
votes
6answers
5k views

How to keep water cold in hot weather?

When doing outdoor sports like hiking or biking I'll always take a lot of cold water with me. I love to drink cold water and I feel more refreshed compared to drinking warm or not-so-cold water. But ...
17
votes
6answers
346 views

When buying a backpack, what should I pay attention to?

I know one can compare backpacks by the following: Content (in liters) Number of external pockets (for quick accessable water bottles for example) Hip belt available are not Waterproof / Water ...
17
votes
7answers
21k views

What are areas of the body which lose heat more quickly, and how can I reduce that loss?

What are the higher heat loss areas of the body and how can I reduce heat loss in those areas?
17
votes
5answers
2k views

How to deal with wet feet?

Say for instance I'm walking on boggy ground, I find a small muddy hole or some other minor tragedy that leaves one or both of my feet soaking wet and caked in mud. What is the best way to deal with ...
17
votes
2answers
10k views

What are the different methods to purify water?

What methods can I use to purify water? And what's the difference between those several methods (safety, duration needed, ...)?
17
votes
2answers
449 views

Surviving a forest fire by starting another fire

Awhile back I heard on CBC radio about a man who got trapped in a forest fire (surrounded on all sides) and survived. The way he survived was so ridiculous that he was brought to court and almost ...
17
votes
5answers
430 views

Barefoot Backpacking: Liquid Boots?

Yes, you read it right: Is there something that works like epoxy or natural tar that I can apply to the most delicate impact points of my feet (balls and heel) that will form a very durable bond, and ...
17
votes
2answers
187 views

Which careers allow working in the wild on a daily basis?

If someone wants his job to take place mostly in the wild, what kind of career should he look into?
17
votes
5answers
368 views

How to cheaply introduce someone to backpacking

I meet a fair number people who would like to try backpacking. Unfortunately the initial cost seems to be pretty high. Even an overnight requires a lot of big ticket gear (tent, sleeping bag, etc). ...
17
votes
3answers
229 views

What equipment is recommended when camping with a baby?

I have a 3 month old daughter and am currently planning a short camping trip next month here in Australia where the weather should be warm but may also be wet. What should I take to ensure an ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I hike across the Grand Canyon if I don't have a backcountry permit?

I am going to try to hike across the Grand Canyon in May, from the South Rim to the North Rim, and back. Unfortunately, I have discovered that I am probably too late to secure a back-country permit ...
17
votes
3answers
533 views

What do I need to look for in good, quality hiking boots?

My wife and I are going to buy some hiking boots as we've been using regular tennis shoes anytime we go on a hike. What are the things I need to keep in mind when looking for a good set of quality ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

What essential items should go in a small first aid kit?

Another question asked what survival equipment should be carried in an emergency kit. But very little was about medical or first aid supplies (band-aids, gauze, tylenol, moleskin, etc). What items ...
17
votes
2answers
262 views

As an experienced backpacker in the Eastern US, what should I know before hiking in the Western US?

I have done a good deal of hiking and backpacking in the Eastern US (mostly in New England), but I recently moved to California. What are the major differences in terms of preparation or equipment ...
17
votes
5answers
946 views

How bad do circumstances need to be before activating a PLB?

Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) can be carried during outdoor activities to use in case of an emergency. But are there any guidelines on what exactly constitutes an "emergency"? For example, what ...
17
votes
2answers
210 views

What can I do to prevent altitude sickness?

I will be going above 15000 feet (4500 meters) on a trip next month, and I've heard people will often get altitude sickness. Is there anything I can do beforehand to prevent sickness or take while I'm ...
17
votes
2answers
974 views

Raw meat on hikes

When backpacking we often carry raw beef which we have salted and frozen, usually cut into strips that can be easily cooked through. I'm confident that this is good for 24 hours, and I know that meat ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Best/safest wood to carve a spoon from?

Say I want to carve a spoon from wood that I find, are there any trees I shouldn't use due to their toxicity? Are any that are particularly easy to carve or hardy?
16
votes
7answers
2k views

Can/Should I cook in my tent?

When camping in bad weather I'm always asking myself if it is a good idea to cook in my tent with a gas cooker. Obviously there is the danger of fire. But how dangerous is this really? Can you easily ...
16
votes
5answers
404 views

Keeping warm in an emergency

When roaming the outdoors, it might happen that one finds oneself in a situation that is much, much colder than one planned for. What can one do in such an emergency, especially when it's so cold ...
16
votes
5answers
973 views

Selecting backpacking cooking pot – teflon, aluminum, steel, titanium, or cast iron?

What are the relative advantages / dangers of different cooking wear? I'm a one-pot gourmet that has been using the same stainless steel pot for 15 years, but am considering an upgrade. Some things I ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the difference between external and internal-frame packs?

I am starting backpacking and there are both internal and external-frame packs. What is the difference, and is one recommended over the other?
16
votes
3answers
530 views

What do you do if you see a cougar?

Hiking on the west coast of British Columbia, there are likely to be cougars around the trails. What do you do if you see one?
16
votes
4answers
899 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
484 views

Are Ice grips worth buying

The cold weather has finally hit the UK and once again I am tempted to buy something like https://www.yaktrax.co.uk/shop/yaktrax-pro. For those of you not in the UK we get some snow each year (enough ...
16
votes
4answers
473 views

What should I do when I'm lost?

What should I do when I get disoriented or lost? How can I find help or make myself easier to find? This is a general question to do when lost in the wilderness, whether it is a meadow or mountain. ...
16
votes
4answers
32k views

How do you determine how long a hike will take?

Is there a general rule of thumb for converting miles to hours when looking at a potential hike? For example, how long does it take an average person walking at an average speed to walk a mile on the ...
16
votes
4answers
17k views

How can I start a fire by rubbing two sticks together?

When trying to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, what does one need to consider? I am assuming I can't just grab any two sticks and start rubbing... Should they be dead or green? Hard ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the dangers of swimming in natural waters?

What are the dangers of swimming in natural bodies of water? In essence I would like to know about all types of waters, but I am mostly interested in sea because it is most relevant to me. Like many ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

What are some toilet paper alternatives you could use in the woods?

When in the great outdoors, nature is bound to come calling, so what are some good natural toilet paper substitutes when the real thing isn't available?
16
votes
4answers
760 views

What are the rules for eating raw, wild meat?

Can you always eat raw meat (wild) as long as it is fresh?
16
votes
2answers
5k views

Climbing rope is rated to X UIAA falls. What is a UIAA fall?

When looking at buying climbing ropes, they are rated to a number of "UIAA falls". What does that mean?
16
votes
1answer
220 views

Is digging a “cold hole” really effective when sheltering in a snowed area?

One recommendation I got in case of emergency or intentional sheltering in a snowy location is to dig a lower hole, so that the cold air can move there, while one can sleep higher up where the heat ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it safe to camp in the desert without a tent?

I'm looking to hike the Grand Canyon (found out that as a single I do have a good shot at securing the permit!), and now I'm trying to make sure I carry as little as possible on said hike. First ...
16
votes
3answers
185 views

Do I need any technical skills to climb Kilimanjaro?

Ive heard that climbing Kilimanjaro doesn't require any mountaineering skills and is really just a (very difficult) hike? Is that true? Is there any gear I would need besides traditional hiking ...
16
votes
1answer
125 views

Tree Identification

I'd like to start identifying trees in my area as a project with my kids while we are hiking. What is best for tree identification, a good color book such as the Audobon Field Guide to North ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

What's the UPF of a T-Shirt or jeans?

Many outdoor clothing items advertise themselves with a UPF (Ultraviolet protection factor) of 30 or even 50. How does that compare with a normal cotton T-Shirt or a pair of jeans? Do I have to use ...
16
votes
2answers
234 views

What everyday tasks can be adapted in a way that helps build muscles and technique for bouldering?

(This is related to "What hand and finger exercises help with climbing?" but asking for what can be done when not climbing/training.) Like most climbers, I don't get to do as much as I'd like, and I ...
16
votes
2answers
138 views

Cascades mountaineering school

I'm looking for a mountaineering school on Rainier or elsewhere in the Cascades that provides sufficient training to climb Elbrus. Glacier travel, crampon use, crevasse rescue, and self arrest are the ...

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