30
votes
5answers
11k views

Should you pop a blister?

When I'm home running or on a day hike, I prefer to pierce the skin as soon as a blister forms and drain all fluid from a blister to reduce the pain and further irritation/inflammation. In this case, ...
19
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
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?
14
votes
2answers
367 views

Where are good places to look for water sources when I have run out on a multi-day hike?

Luckily this has never happened to me, but even the most prepared hiker can often get themselves into difficulties if they run out of water. My question here is in your experience in remote arid ...
12
votes
2answers
413 views

How to make a signal fire that can be seen miles away

If I were lost in the North American woods, how could I make a signal fire that would attract attention many miles away ?
7
votes
1answer
411 views

What should I look for when buying a Lensatic Compass

Lensatic Compasses seem to be priced from $5 to $100 USD. What features should I look for when buying one?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the options for kayak self-rescue without a paddle float?

In a standard kayaking class, you're taught solo self-rescues using a paddle float and assisted rescues using another kayak. Then there are eskimo rolls. But I've also heard about other self-rescue ...
13
votes
2answers
9k views

How should you wash clothes after exposure to poison oak/ivy/sumac?

I have heard that the oils from poison oak, poison ivy, or poison sumac can remain on clothes even through a wash cycle. After hiking through an area with poison ivy (or poison oak/poison sumac), how ...
12
votes
1answer
205 views

What do I need to be aware of if I'm considering purchasing a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)?

Obviously, I can't just buy it, push the button and expect a helicopter to show up. Are there monthly or registration fees? Do I need to get a permit or register with someone? How does it all work? ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Is bear spray effective against other animals?

Is bear spray (pepper spray specially formulated to be effective against bear attacks) effective against other animals, especially mountain lions or wolves? Or is there something in it specifically ...
20
votes
6answers
52k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
483 views

What should you look for when buying hiking socks?

A quick search online shows there are dozens of different types of hiking socks, with different materials, thicknesses, and properties. In general, what should you look for when shopping for hiking ...
11
votes
6answers
212 views

Looking for a Topographical map resource?

Does anyone know of a good way to find topographical maps for either download or purchase?
8
votes
4answers
528 views

How could I treat scrapes outdoors without a first aid kit?

Say I'm hiking outdoors and I get a scrape. I've forgotten my first aid pack, or already used up the appropriate supplies. Is there anything in the wilderness I can use to sterilize and perhaps cover ...
7
votes
1answer
86 views

Do I need skins to drag a pulk on skis?

In a few weeks time I will be taking part in expedition skiing across Iceland. Our kit will be in pulks and we will be skiing with Nordic skis. Uphill I'm sure we'll need skins, but on the flatter ...
6
votes
1answer
156 views

Good ways to avoid snakes when hiking?

I'v been told that walking with a heavy foot-fall will deter snakes. Is this really true?
17
votes
7answers
25k 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?
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I shoot a bear in self-defense?

Can I shoot a bear in self-defense? Will I face fines and jail time if I do?
15
votes
2answers
383 views

If I cross paths with a bear, what should I do?

If I'm out hiking, and I come around a corner and stumble upon a bear, what's the best course of action to take to minimize the chance the bear will act aggressively? Do different types of bear ...
-4
votes
1answer
212 views

Does “Cow Tipping” hurt the cow? [closed]

Does "cow tipping" actually hurt the cow?(other that psychologically)
3
votes
1answer
493 views

What is the most important survival tool I should have when in the wilderness? [closed]

When venturing out into the wilderness, what is the most important thing I should bring?
12
votes
5answers
1k views

If lost in the wilderness, what is the first thing I should do?

If I get lost in the wilderness, what is the very first thing I should do?
22
votes
3answers
829 views

If I have to cross an icy, flowing river, what are some ways I can cross safely?

If I'm alone in a survival situation and I have to cross a very cold river that's still flowing, how should I accomplish this safely?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the best rope to have in a survival situation?

What rope would be most helpful/versatile in a survival situation?
5
votes
2answers
95 views

How to improvise a signal mirror?

If I'm out in the wilderness and I don't have a signal mirror, what other objects could I improvise to work similar to a signal mirror?
5
votes
1answer
124 views

How do you make a snow shelter?

Sometimes when mountaineering, there may be an emergency situation which leaves you in bad weather with no or damaged shelter (such as returning from a summit attempt or after a wild and crazy storm). ...
59
votes
10answers
17k views

Is it warmer to sleep naked in a sleeping bag?

When camping in cold weather, some people say it is actually warmer to sleep naked than to sleep with clothes on. Is that true, or is it better to leave warm clothes on while in the bag?
8
votes
3answers
452 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a way to reduce mosquito bites from swelling [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are some effective ways of reducing itching from a mosquito bite? Anyone have suggestions on how to reduce or prevent mosquito bites from swelling or becoming ...
14
votes
7answers
3k views

How do you prevent mold in CamelBak hydration bladders?

When using a CamelBak (or other hydration bladder system), it is easy for mold to grow if the bladder is left sitting with water in it. What is the best way to avoid mold (or other nasties) growing ...
8
votes
5answers
349 views

What are some effective ways of reducing itching from a mosquito bite?

There are a lot of options for trying to prevent mosquito bites (DEET on skin, permethrin on clothing, mosquito nets while sleeping, etc.), but what about after you get bitten? What is the most ...
19
votes
3answers
350 views

What pattern for casual planes should a castaway create on a desert island?

This answer has inspired me to a question: say you are a castaway on a desert island. There might be a plane flying casualy but you can miss it. So you want to create some pattern (e.g. put some ...
7
votes
4answers
191 views

Time of high / low tide

When in coastal areas, where can I get times of high tide / low tide? I know that Garmin GPS can do it, but without it? What is the simplest way to determine in the wilderness? Which factors does it ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
607 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?
7
votes
3answers
713 views

Backup prusik for Abseiling: Where does it go?

When abseiling from an anchor during rock climbing, I like to use a backup prusik as a potential lifesaver in case I screw up. However, I have heard different advice on where to put it, both for ...
5
votes
3answers
375 views

Pain in the heel after a hike

So, I just went hiking, testing out a pretty new pair of shoes. The test trail was about 6 miles round trip. I started to notice on the way back that the back of my heel was a bit uncomfortable, like ...
6
votes
2answers
606 views

When should you repair rock gouges in skis?

When downhill skiing (although I assume this would apply to cross-country skiing or snowboarding as well), when should a gouge caused by a rock or other obstacle be considered large or serious enough ...
6
votes
2answers
383 views

How can you prevent trekking pole locking mechanisms from slipping?

When using trekking poles with a twist-and-lock locking mechanism, I've experienced slipping (the poles will slightly collapse during use, making you frequently extend and re-lock it). Is there ...
4
votes
1answer
627 views

How do I pack a mummy type sleeping bag in a M10 or M28 haversack?

It is fairly easy to pack a blanket or a small sleeping bag in a haversack, but in cold weather, one would sometimes like to have a warmer bag. A mummy type sleeping bag usually does not roll up ...
20
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
709 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
409 views

What to bring into a tree stand?

What should you be putting into your pack when you head up to a tree stand, beyond your gun or bow and ammo, to hunt whitetail deer?
12
votes
3answers
626 views

What to look for in a quality tarp?

I'd like to purchase a tarp as some point, both to put up over a small camp at some point, and to use over a hammock. When I've camped with my uncle he's used a folded over builders tarp, which has ...
16
votes
3answers
300 views

How should I check climbing equipment to tell whether it is still safe to use?

I have, unfortunately, not had the opportunity to go climbing (and thus use my climbing equipment) for a couple years. I know that such equipment, especially the rope and webbing, can degrade over ...
7
votes
4answers
151 views

How can I avoid putting cinder burn holes in my clothing?

This is especially problematic if you dress up in layers, the last one being, for example, a raincoat. Putting a burn hole through your rain coat let's the rain in... Are there some tricks in ...
7
votes
1answer
234 views

How can I prevent plantar fasciitis?

Every year or so I'll end up with plantar fasciitis after periods of time where I've walked a lot. In general my walking shoes are fine and have arch support but occasionally I'll need to use sturdier ...
12
votes
1answer
190 views

How long is too long to suffer from constipation in the back country?

Quite commonly, due to the barrage of newness the body experiences on an outdoor outing (new sensations, new exercise habits, new diet, etc) the body can stop the system up while it tries to figure ...
15
votes
3answers
332 views

How do you properly dispose of human waste while snow camping?

Assuming the cat-hole is the preferred protocol for waste disposal in the area you are backpacking, what should you do when the soil is buried below A LOT of snow, and/or frozen?
16
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the rules for eating raw, wild meat?

Can you always eat raw meat (wild) as long as it is fresh?

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