4
votes
1answer
126 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
327 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

Prevent mosquito bites: insect repellent patch or just eat vitamin B1?

I'd like to use natural malaria prevention. Insect repellent patch seems to be very promising. One patch contains 75 mg of B1 and covers 36 hours. However, it's not very cheap. Many other travellers ...
8
votes
3answers
121 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

reliability and performance of NIS mounting plates (x-country skis)

How do NNN bindings mounted on cross-country skis with NIS mounting plates compare with the screwed-in versions in terms of reliability (are they more likely to break) and performance (do I get ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

NIS mounting plate for x-country skis: why only for NNN bindings?

I see a lot of higher-end cross country skis now have an NIS mounting plate to enable the mounting of bindings without drilling any holes (and easy adjustment). But why are the only NIS compatible ...
9
votes
3answers
188 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
669 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
212 views

Trekking in the himalayan region

Which are the better trekking routes in the himalayan region? Also, how safe are the routes? If any of you guys have been around in the region, I would like to know your personal experiences as ...
17
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
270 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 advices a pretty sophisticated way to protect food ...
2
votes
3answers
342 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
877 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

How do you get the right shape on trim-to-fit insoles?

My hiking shoes starting having problems with the insoles, so I got replacements. However the replacements I have are "Trim to fit." How do I get the proper shape so that I don't end up with any ...
3
votes
3answers
616 views

A removeable solution for slipping insoles?

Is there anything that can be done to stop my insoles sliding? has a pretty good answer for semi-permanent solving of insole slippage. However, I switch my insoles between two pairs of shoes on a ...
8
votes
5answers
379 views

Water-resistant shoes for Trekking in New Zealand

My spouse and I are going for 3-weeks vacation on the southern island of New Zealand. We intend to go for one multi-day trek (the Kepler Track), and a few more day treks. Do we need water-resistant ...
11
votes
2answers
232 views

How are backpacking conditions at Yosemite in April?

Looking at the webcam, it looks like things are still pretty wintery in that area. Being Michiganders, some snow is not going to deter us (we love winter camping), but we at least want to be prepared ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Thinking about a road trip out West

My wife and I are thinking of taking a road trip from northwest Ohio to "out west" - Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, etc. I've never been farther west than Indiana, so it's a whole new ...
4
votes
1answer
223 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
906 views

Is there a consensus or ethic for rappelling off a tree?

When trad climbing I have seen many people wrap their rope around a tree and then rappel, and then yank the rope down at the next belay station or tree. I have also seen the scarring as a result of ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

When rock climbing, what is the difference between top-roping and leading?

I'm starting to learn how to rock climb, and there seem to be two types of climbing, top-rope climbing and lead climbing. What's the difference between the two, and what would be better for a ...
4
votes
2answers
203 views

Different kinds of Down: comparing insulation

There's many different kinds of "down" filling: "100% down" must legally be only down, while "down" can be any mixture containing down. Then there's "fill power" ranging from about 400 to 1200, which ...
4
votes
1answer
198 views

How do I Plan a Hiking Trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

I need some help planning a a hiking trip to CO. I have been on a couple of hiking trips and have grown up going into the mountains with my family but I have never been the one to plan a trip. I'm ...
12
votes
1answer
296 views

How can I go camping in Nepal and Northern Pakistan?

A group of friends would like to go camping in Northern Pakistan on their own. The only problem is to know some locals who can help us with food and a place to find where we can put up our camps. How ...
10
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
232 views

GPS topo map downloads

I know the USGS and many others offer free downloadable raster topo maps for almost anywhere. But what if I want vector maps using GPS coords? I'm new to GIS but I would assume there is a de facto ...
12
votes
1answer
507 views

Techniques for building a raft from wood

What are some good techniques to use (materials, knots, etc.) for building a raft by gathering wood in the local area? I'm talking about something to sail on still or slow moving bodies of water, not ...
5
votes
2answers
117 views

What do unusual waymarks in France mean?

I recognize the official system for French waymarks of Grand Randonees and local paths like shown here: but I've also seen large white rectangles with a horizontal red line in the middle. They are ...
7
votes
3answers
134 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
268 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
801 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).
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
145 views

Tips for outdoor during the dark winter?

The dark winter is approaching on the northern hemisphere. At my latitude (67½°N), the sun sets at 15:00 by now, and a little more than a month away the polar night will start. So far, I'm virtually ...
14
votes
2answers
233 views

How much gear will the AT eat?

We're planning on hiking the AT, and this question prompted me to ask: What gear should we expect to replace, and how often, on the Appalachian Trail? Assume that we know basic gear maintenance and ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

How harmful is the rising/setting sun?

Often, while hiking, my companions and I treat the very early/late sun as being less harmful (as far as skin cancer and UV radiation are concerned). For example, we might not apply sunscreen ...
11
votes
4answers
459 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.
4
votes
4answers
903 views

How small is “too small” for tent guylines?

In my ongoing effort to cut tent weight we have replaced stakes, changed ground pads, and we're looking at replacing the guylines (no really, it's amazing how much cordage weighs!). At what diameter ...
15
votes
2answers
574 views

How to inspect climbing bolts?

I am most interested in setting up a top rope anchor on 2 bolts side by side. I feel like in this case you almost have to be more careful using bolts for a top rope than sport climbing because in ...
15
votes
3answers
533 views

What should be carried in a standard Geocaching bag?

As in the title, when going Geocaching what are some standard implements and tools I should carry with me to get started so I'm not caught out?
4
votes
3answers
335 views

How should we split up a 3 person tent?

If carrying a three person tent when backpacking, what's the recommended way to split it up so that the weight is balanced out among all three people going?
4
votes
1answer
508 views

Why are there ropes on fingerboards?

I picked up a couple fingerboards from the pro shop, and hung them on the rafters in our basement. However, I have no idea what the ropes are for, unless someone might tie the boards to a tree. What ...
6
votes
3answers
396 views

Will glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate prevent or repair damage to climbers’ fingers?

I've heard that I can take glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate supplements to prevent damage to my fingers when I'm climbing. Is it true, or is just an old wives' tale?
8
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Should I re-wax downhill skis after using skins?

I was skinning into a yurt last weekend with my regular downhill (telemark) skis. On the way back out, I noticed a lot more snow sticking to my skis... Granted, the weather was hot, and snow was ...
6
votes
2answers
131 views

Covering up ears at higher altitudes

Recently I went on a trek to a placed named "Har ki Doon". The trek took us around an altitude of 3500 meters(15000 ft). When we were there, our guide advised us not to cover up our ears. According to ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

What do I do to prevent and treat frostbite?

I'm going to be winter camping, and I'm concerned about getting frostbite. What can I do to protect myself?
2
votes
2answers
93 views

Thermal rating on vintage sleeping bags

These days, almost every sleeping bag sold is given a thermal insulation numeric "rating", either the USA version or the more accurate European version. But vintage bags did not have this industry ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Winter Camping: How to warm up your boots in the morning?

Is there a good technique to warm up your boots in the morning? Should you just put them on and warm them up with your feet or is there a better alternative?
6
votes
1answer
355 views

Trekking poles with many attachments?

Can anyone point to any commercial or DIY trekking poles whose end-piece can be swapped -- i.e. regular pole point, sharp spear, raft paddle, camera screw, etc?

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