17
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
84 views

New to fishing in Virginia

I just moved to Virginia (Fairfax County) a few months ago. I've done some hiking around the area, mostly by the Potomac. With Spring starting I want to get in to some fishing. Can anyone give me some ...
3
votes
3answers
206 views

Memorial Day Backpacking in the Northwest

I've been set on getting my feet wet with backpacking this year. I did my first overnight trip along Thunder Creek a couples weeks ago, and was hoping to do a 3-day trip for Memorial Day weekend. My ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

How to prevent bear bag line from tangling? [duplicate]

While backpacking, I usually carry 50 feet of spectra cord (2mm) to be used as part of my bear bagging system. More often than I would like, I end up having to untangle the line before being able to ...
8
votes
3answers
233 views

How can I conserve water over long treks?

Is there any way I can balance out drinking water when taking a trek, or simply taking a hike to one of the local peaks around here? Even if I come stocked, I tend to end up run out of water close to ...
4
votes
2answers
323 views

Are sleeping bags needed in southern Spain in summer?

My girlfriend and I are going camping in Europe this summer and are starting off in Spain. We have this tent, and are looking into sleeping bags. We have also been keeping an eye on the weather in ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How is hygiene possible with ocean water only?

Is it possible to clean yourself and clothes with ocean water only, without polluting the water and almost without budget ? If so, how ? I've read that it's possible to: brush your teeth with sand, ...
7
votes
3answers
815 views

swapping lead when climbing in a group of three using a pair of half ropes

On a multi-pitch route when all climbers have reached the belay point, what is the best way/ what considerations need to be made, in order to swap lead. obviously the leader will need to be tied into ...
3
votes
1answer
282 views

what to do with the lap coiled rope if the belayer wishes to lead consecutive pitches

Imagine a multi-pitch climbing situation where a lead climber has just finished belaying the second from a hanging belay position. The rope is coiled over the anchor cord (or clove hitched sharp end). ...
3
votes
1answer
266 views

old windfinder forecast googlemap

On www.windfinder.com they changed the forecast map. now it looks like this: before, it had much more details, and you could zoom in it to find out the perfect spot for the forecasted wind ...
3
votes
2answers
662 views

How do I properly use the cinch-straps that came with my daypack?

I just purchased a daypack to stuff inside my larger backpack while travelling. It came with cinch-straps but I'm not sure of the proper way to use them (if there is one). The daypack is a North ...
13
votes
3answers
400 views

Sailing with a child

Inspired by this question on taking an infant sailing, as it is quite different when they can move, I thought I'd ask the same question in respect of a toddler or child. What essential safety ...
10
votes
3answers
252 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “expedition-weight” mean with regard to clothing?

I'm going on a trip to Alaska in September, including a guided camping/trekking trip in Denali. In the packing list I received from the company, they recommend having an "expedition-weight" top and ...
12
votes
2answers
517 views

Toproping with two ropes joined by a double fisherman's

The other day we were waiting in line for a popular 200 foot single pitch climb in the valley and the party in front of us was using two 70 meter ropes they had joined together with a double ...
10
votes
2answers
300 views

Sailing with an infant

My wife and I are thinking about sailing with our ~ 6 month old baby boy. We understand this is not something to take lightly, and we're planning either a canal/river sail or a sail in a very calm sea ...
5
votes
1answer
48 views

What should you be aware of when planning late-season or summer skiing?

Until now, all my skiing has been during the (local) winter. I recently had a spare day while in Switzerland, and found that one of the nearby resorts was still open, so for the first time I tried ...
16
votes
3answers
835 views

Washing dishes with seawater or freshwater?

When backpacking in a coastal region, you sometimes have access to both fresh water (e.g. a stream) and salt water (sea, bay, etc.). If you do not treat the water used for washing dishes, what are ...
3
votes
2answers
484 views

Two to four day backpacking trip in Washington State for May [closed]

I am looking for a backpacking trip somewhere between two and four days long in Washington State that is possible to do under current conditions (May). Any recommendations?
9
votes
3answers
608 views

How much warmth dead leaves add if placed under your tent/pad?

During the fall season, fallen leaves from deciduous trees such as maple, oak, etc. can be found in abundance. Dead leaves can be gathered and placed under your sleeping system in order to sleep more ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

5-hour loop hike near Boulder, Colorado

I'll have the good part of a Saturday to enjoy in Boulder, Colorado on 18 May. What is a suitable area for a day, loop hike close to the city? My criterion for "close" is that the start of the trail ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

What features to consider when buying a bouldering slipper?

I've been using the same Evolv shoes for bouldering that I bought for top-roping. It seems like they're worn enough to start considering a new pair of shoes. Since I'm doing bouldering almost ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

Any tips to reduce chance that I have to get up and pee in the night (not counting dehydration, of course)

Well, here's the situation. You're on an outdoor trip in winter. It's cold outside and after a long day all you want to do is crawl into your warm sleeping bag and not get out of it until the next ...
6
votes
2answers
366 views

If an autoblock inteferes with a belay device will a fireman belay have any effect?

When rappeling I understand the need for a backup--whether an autoblock below the belay device, or a second person providing a fireman belay. My understanding is that using an autoblock incorrectly ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the correct way to attach an autoblock to your harness for rappelling?

When rappelling and using an autoblock consisting of a french prusik knot it seems there may be some options on how and where to attach the autoblock to my harness. Is there a correct placement on ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

When climbing should a carabiner ever be clipped to the tie-in loops, and should anything other than a carabiner ever attach to the belay loop?

I'm a beginning climber and am trying to resolve conflicting instruction related to tying into my harness. During a recent outing a friend (an experienced climber, but not an instructor) was showing ...
9
votes
3answers
206 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
745 views

While backpacking, should one bring hand sanitizer, soap, or both?

What are the advantages of hand sanitizer over soap on a backpacking trip? Do they fulfill the same purpose? What would you recommend for hand sanitization?
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Do kevlar sacks work against bears?

We ran into a hiker on the AT last year using a kevlar back to keep out bears and rodents. He said the product was an Ursack and seemed very happy with it. However he'd never had a bear try to get ...
14
votes
3answers
541 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
371 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
117 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, ...
5
votes
3answers
352 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 advises a pretty sophisticated way to protect ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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
229 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
174 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
1k 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
3k 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
4answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
4k 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
236 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
3k 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
269 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
173 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
450 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
4k 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
2k 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
143 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
565 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
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 ...

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