All Questions

7
votes
3answers
586 views

Does Moss only grow on the North side of trees?

Well does it? Or does it only grow on one side? Or does it grow only on the side further from the equator? Is there any truth to this old adage?
8
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
175 views

What are the options for stopping wetsuit booties becoming water logged?

Whenever I surf with wetsuit booties on, either the boots themselves become waterlogged or the leg of the wetsuit fills with water. I've seen people use tape. Is this an effective method? What tape ...
6
votes
1answer
115 views

Bleaching Dyneema/Spectra

My white full Dyneema backpack is old and dirty and stained. How do I clean it? Can I wash it in chlorine bleach or some other fabric bleaching chemical? If so, how? Even if the bleaching agent does ...
10
votes
2answers
282 views

How should I correctly use poles and other equipment to avoid back pain on long hikes?

3 of my lower vertebra have irreparable damage, so I have various workarounds to minimise pain and swelling at home and in the office, and even on short term hikes (ibuprofen FTW) but on a longer hike ...
12
votes
3answers
234 views

What are some proven methods of training for week long backpacking trips in high altitude?

I'm going to Colorado to visit a friend and we will be going on a week long trek across a couple of 14'ners. I'm looking for some ways to help prepare my body for trip.
9
votes
4answers
944 views

Is buying an expensive sleeping bag better?

I went camping a week ago and it was so cold. I woke up many times at night shaking because of the cold. I have a cheap and old Wal-Mart sleeping bag, and I am thinking about buying one of these $150 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I heat a shelter with fire?

So I built my survival shelter and I decide a nice fire would really warm things up. Is there a way I can build a fire that would heat the shelter without too much smoke? I know I could make the ...
8
votes
1answer
105 views

Storing Fuel Canisters with Stove Pump Attached

The Question Can I store my white gas fuel canister with the stove pump attached? Follow-up Questions Is it safe to store white gas fuel canisters partially filled with white gas? Does this hold ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

What's the best climbing website? [closed]

I've not found a "must read," general information (news, trends, photos, product reviews, etc.) rock climbing website. Climbing.com, for example, is riddled with missing images and dead links, which ...
6
votes
1answer
209 views

Spectra/Dyneema groundsheet punctures

I'm about to purchase a full 4.2oz/yd Spectra/Dyneema woven groundsheet (with no coatings) to use under an inflated raft with a 150lb person sleeping on top of it. Question: Is woven full ...
6
votes
2answers
659 views

How to estimate current speed and direction at sea?

In an episode in the tv series "I shouldn't be alive", crew members of a yacht racing team got caught in a violent storm and found themselves stranded in the Gulf of Mexico after their boat capsized. ...
6
votes
2answers
101 views

How do I reduce bow string travel on a bow drill?

I have created a bow-drill for the purpose of starting fires. The wooden shaft's diameter is about the diameter of a typical male thumb, and is approximately 11 inches in length. The bow string is ...
13
votes
1answer
379 views

Will Iodine Tablets Ruin My CamelBak?

In the past, I have gone backpacking with some fairly expensive, heavy water purification tools. But the more I read about water safety in California's Sierras (here and here), the less I think these ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

How to properly lace hiking boots?

When I go on hiking trips, I wear proper boots. However, when I lace them tight, my ankles swell terribly after a few hours and start feeling funny (bending the joint feels like touching a balloon). ...
10
votes
3answers
576 views

Soft or hard drinking bottle?

When choosing a water bottle for hiking, a very distinct choice I can make (amongst all the other types of materials and hardiness, size and so on) is weighing up whether to purchase a "hard" plastic ...
7
votes
1answer
455 views

How much waterproofing spray to apply to my softshell jacket

I have a Showers Pass Portland Rain Jacket. The manufacturer recommends using Nikwax TX Direct Spray On to maintain waterproofing properties. How much should I apply to the jacket? How do I know if ...
7
votes
2answers
296 views

Which types of wood will make food taste bad?

So other than toxic burning wood, which types of wood are safe to use for cooking fires but will just make my food taste bad? I live in the Southwest, and all types of woods that I have cooked over ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

How much garlic in the mountain kitchen? [closed]

How much garlic should I use in the mountain kitchen during backpacking camps? I'm asking from the perspective of the person who wants to plan such a camp and the menu on it. Walking a lot with a ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it safe to use water purification tablets after their expiration date?

As I understand it, water purification tablets (Chlorine, in this case) are just chemical tablets sealed in foil. So what causes them to expire? Are they still safe to use after their expiration date? ...
0
votes
2answers
174 views

Gloves, but not for keeping warm? [closed]

It's a bit of a long shot, but I am looking for one right hand glove that doesn't keep you warm. It must not be fingerless, it must be comfortable to wear for a long time and made of something thin, ...
4
votes
1answer
254 views

Rain pants for tall people

I've been looking for a rain pants for myself. My attention was caught by Outdoor Research Paladin Pants. These have side zips which are really great. The problem is: it comes in regular fit only and ...
9
votes
2answers
225 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
390 views

Campsites in Virginia which allow alcohol? [closed]

Shenandoah National Park allows alcohol, but it's a bit far from me for a one-night getaway with family. Do you know of a list of camp sites in Northern VA which allow alcohol?
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there an accepted way to self-belay yourself on top rope?

I have seen a handfull of methods and devices on the market: http://www.rockexotica.com/products/downloads/belay.html But its not clear to me that any of the these devices do a better job than a ...
10
votes
1answer
957 views

What should I do if caught in a sand storm?

If I find myself caught in a sand storm, what should I do? Should I sit it out, or try to keep moving somehow? Can this depend on the severity of the sand storm?
8
votes
2answers
265 views

Does a groover have to stink?

I have used several different products and none of them work that well. Bottom line, is there a product that will subdue the offending groover? So a groover is a river toilet. On multiple day river ...
14
votes
7answers
3k views

What can I do about those obnoxious biting flies?

In addition to Mosquitos, many of us northwoods campers have been made victim to the vast swarms of biting flies. Despite slathering myself with DEET, they don't seem deterred, and they especially ...
8
votes
3answers
438 views

Are used climbing shoes safe?

We have several used gear shops locally, which also sell climbing shoes. I'm looking to start climbing and I am considering buying used shoes to save cost. Is it ever safe to buy used shoes, and if ...
9
votes
1answer
953 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
219 views

Does anyone have an account of someone using a survival tin in a survival situation

I have read several books about survival and outdoor field craft skills. Many of these books suggest building a survival kit out of an Altoids tin or something similar. These kits include very basic ...
13
votes
2answers
525 views

How to estimate distance in sea

While kayaking or swimming out in the open waters, it is quite important to be able to judge distances accurately before attempting to get from one point to another, such as from island to island. ...
10
votes
2answers
115 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 ...
27
votes
9answers
8k views

What hand and finger exercises help with climbing?

It's been a while since I went rock climbing but I'd like to get back into it. What are some hand exercises that will help with climbing?
8
votes
1answer
88 views

When should you be alert for snakes?

Are there specific seasons or temperatures that increase the likelihood that a hiker would encounter a snake? I go backpacking solo in the mid-Atlantic (US) and carry a snakebite kit as an extra ...
13
votes
7answers
678 views

What to look for when purchasing a fixed blade knife

I'm planning on doing some back country canoe camping this summer. I would like to avoid bringing a hatchet if possible. I also find my folding knifes get full of gunk and I am a little bit afraid I ...
11
votes
1answer
91 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 ?
7
votes
5answers
270 views

What should I do if I break a shoelace in the wilderness?

If I'm hiking in the wilderness and my shoelace breaks, what's the best way to go about fixing it assuming I have no spare?
5
votes
1answer
108 views

Changing the shrouds, how would I know how far if I need to?

I have a lelievlet and want to add a lignite and a mizzen mast. Therefore I need to know how much I need to change the shrouds, anyone can help me by explaining how? edit: What data do I need to ...
4
votes
2answers
133 views

Number of people in a boat?

Is there a good rule of thumb for number of people in a boat? I looked on the Hull Idendification plate, but it only had the HIN and max horsepower on it.
5
votes
1answer
78 views

Bending wood, how do I know it is far enough?

Am building a Frisian schouw, I have oakwood and build a frame on which the wood can rest. How would I know the wood has bend enough and how serious would it be if it is bend to far?
6
votes
2answers
165 views

How do I identify dangerous, marshy land?

At a casual look, grass with a bit of surface water on it can look very similar to a potentially deadly marsh, and in many rural places there can be lots of both after it's been raining! In dry ...
10
votes
4answers
578 views

How can one find the difficult to find geocaches?

I've recently been getting into the hobby of Geocaching. However, I'm finding there are many, particularly in cities, that I just cannot find no matter how hard I look for them. They tend to be very ...
11
votes
1answer
165 views

Am I allowed to sleep in the wild in the Austrian Alps?

I don't mean to use a tent, just a mat + a sleeping bag, or possibly a bivy sack if the weather is foul.
8
votes
2answers
253 views

How to maximise the chances of survival when stranded in open sea?

I read with interest about news of a scuba diver being stranded in the open sea when the diving operator failed to account for all members of a group. Mishaps like this and accidents such as boat ...
6
votes
2answers
356 views

Tanto or Utility knife to carry mountaineering?

I have been mountaineering for about four years, now and one of the things I have learned is how important a good knife really is. A knife that is sharp, durable, and can take a beating can make a ...
14
votes
3answers
211 views

What are the key features to look for in mobile device apps for hiking/camping?

I've used EveryTrail and was satisfied but am looking for something better... What are the features I should focus on for selecting an app? What bells and whistles are really useful on the trail?
11
votes
1answer
124 views

Is there simple guidance on sunburn risk associated with altitude?

When skiing, if the weather is good, I often come back with a better tan than if I have been at the beach. Obviously with altitude, there is less blocking of UV rays by the atmosphere. But how much ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Tent floor waterproof rating

I'm currently looking to buy a new tent. The old one had a floor that was said to withstand a hydrostatic head of 10000 mm, but the tents I find in the stores here go to at most 3000 mm for the floor, ...
11
votes
3answers
189 views

What are the critical dimensions to a safe bear-bag?

Many outdoor areas that have bears have bear bag-lines setup for hikers. In situations where the bear-bag line is not there or it is full, what dimensions should I keep in mind to protect my goodies ...

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