19
votes
6answers
18k views

What is the fastest method to 'break in' full leather boots?

After purchasing full leather boots (similar to these boots) I had many blisters for the first few hikes until I broke in my boots. What are the fastest ways to age the boot so that when my foot ...
8
votes
1answer
103 views

What is the minimum gap needed for a windscreen on a cat can stove?

I've constructed a cat can jet stove as described here. He has a windscreen design, but it seems to be overkill (and doesn't work for my pot). I've tried a couple of my own now, but they are all ...
10
votes
1answer
254 views

How does the Esbit stove perform in cold & wind?

I was on a group trip this weekend where a fellow hiker brought an Esbit stove which uses hexamine fuel tabs. The temperature was not what I would consider extreme. Temperatures in the high 30s to ...
4
votes
2answers
363 views

How do I tie a double fisherman's knot?

In climbing, a double fisherman's knot is used to tie together two separate pieces of rope. How would I tie such a knot?
5
votes
1answer
93 views

How to get more information about a planned tour?

This summer, I plan to walk from the Wormser Hütte in Austria to the Heilbronner Hütte in Austria. I know that this can be done in 1 day, but when googeling, the tour length differs a lot. Some ...
13
votes
1answer
309 views

Does any tent manufacturer promise to have replacement parts?

A few years ago I got a 2-person tent for backpacking. At some point, I let the rain fly get too hot. It became sticky and its waterproof coating peeled. I tried to buy a replacement rain fly, but ...
7
votes
3answers
440 views

Gas or liquid fuel lighter?

My backpack of course has a rechargeable gas lighter. I am considering buying a good Zippo, as I feel it more resistant, and it does not need to be kept with your hands to stay on. Would you suggest ...
25
votes
4answers
3k views

What are some good tips and techniques for packing a backpack?

How do I pack a backpack to prevent injury to my back and keep it comfortable while hiking?
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Cooking by pouring hot water into plastic bags?

Recently I came across pour and store bags. They seem a bit similar to the bags for trekking freeze-dried meals like Travel lunch. That gave me the idea of preparing the meals myself beforehand and ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

How do I store a bivy sack?

I bought a BlocVent bivy sack. What’s a good way to store it for a long time? Obviously I’ll dry it after a hike, but is it okay to roll it up and put it into a small stuff sack afterwards? Or should ...
9
votes
3answers
299 views

What's the advantage to a bent-shaft paddle?

What's the advantage (or advantages) of a bent-shaft canoe paddle? I've been told that it allows for more efficient use of both arms: the rationale I heard was that your arm on the grip does more ...
12
votes
1answer
858 views

Mountaineering / glacial traverse: rope-up or go it alone?

When crossing a glacier (or other mountaineering activity for that matter) I've heard that roping everyone together without having a fixed anchor is falling out of fashion since more often than not if ...
13
votes
1answer
650 views

Am I likely to need multiple pairs of boots on the AT?

Reading up on a hiking boot size question, I came across this review from Silver Spring, Maryland for a wide hiking boot. This boot has a "lifespan" of 400 miles. Is that typical of a hiking boot? ...
5
votes
1answer
516 views

evenk / siberian hitch

Is it normal for the evenk / Siberian hitch to open out in use, particularly when tied to a large diameter object (think tree) where the rope enters the knot close to right angles from the load ? ...
19
votes
1answer
423 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
109 views

Where to find hiking shorts that last more than a few months?

I'm one of these crazy people that tend to wear cargo shorts all year round, and do a lot of hiking and general outdoor activities in them. However, because of this they tend to wear out relatively ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How to safely carry a fixed-blade knife?

I worry about carrying a fixed-blade knife on my hip, because if I fall or wrestle my kids or whatever, I worry I could get stabbed. I've had pointy blades push through a cheap sheath before. I stick ...
13
votes
1answer
584 views

Kilimanjaro expedition - trousers - softshell vs. gore-tex

I am going on an expedition to Kilimanjaro and I'm going to buy new trousers specifically for this purpose. Some agencies recommend to take soft shell trousers and I'm not sure if it would be the best ...
14
votes
6answers
315 views

How should I treat poison ivy?

If I'm struck by poison ivy, what should I do? Is there a way to suppress the itch?
8
votes
1answer
94 views

Magnetic deviation at either pole

I know that the magnetic north is not exactly at the polar north, so when hiking very close to the Northern Pole, you have to take the difference into account. This got me thinking: Is this also a ...
8
votes
2answers
92 views

How can I calculate the time of sunrise?

From time to time I enjoy taking hikes in the mountains to see a beautiful sunrise and sunset. When doing this, I always guess when the sun will rise that day and then I plan my tour accordingly. But ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the impact of clothing color in a tropical jungle environment?

I heard that light colors attract less insects than dark, that dark colors could be warmer, and I was advised against wearing white in the jungle. Where can I get a comprehensive list of the effects ...
12
votes
3answers
377 views

Falling into an ice cold body of water

I've never been hiking in such extreme situations, but if in the situation in the question, i.e. you're hiking in very cold weather and someone falls in (let's say so pretty much their whole body is ...
8
votes
2answers
388 views

What good options are there for wine transport?

Large glass bottles just don't strike me as a "good idea" for hiking. What options are there for carrying wine and preserving the flavor for a couple of days while hiking?
18
votes
1answer
765 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the effect of changing side and edge bevel on ski edges?

I'm always struggling with how edge bevel and side bevel affect my ski's behavior, and accurately grinding those bevels. What are the effects of various edge and side bevels on the ski behavior, and ...
7
votes
2answers
248 views

What is the best way to break up a fight among dogs on a sled line?

Fights happen. Sled dogs have personalities that aren't always compatible... Is there a technique to breaking up a fight that will minimize risk of injury to both me and my dogs?
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How often should I wax skis?

I have a pair of skis, let's pretend I use them as much as I want to. How often should I wax them? Once a season? Every few ski days? Before or after every ski day? Both? Does it matter what kind of ...
11
votes
1answer
347 views

Left-Handed Helical Fletching

When you are fletching your arrows does a lefty shoot with a left helix in their fletching or is it still at a right helix? The reason I ask is the most common fletching tools are to give a right ...
10
votes
2answers
479 views

Starting cross-country skiing off trails

I've done a bit of crosscountry skiing on trails at local mountains, but I'm more interested in getting off the trails and out into the woods. The terrain around here is pretty steep in general with ...
6
votes
0answers
114 views

NuCanoe 12' vs. NuFontier 12' [closed]

I'm in the market for a kayak that will be used for inshore fishing, paddling, and occasionally hunting. Can anyone help me with the differences between the NuCanoe 12' and the NuFontier 12'?
6
votes
1answer
721 views

If you get a “clean” kill on a deer how long do you have to field dress?

If you are out and get a "clean" kill on a deer, meaning that you have hit only its vitals, how long do you have to field dress the deer? Also, beyond that how long do you have to get that deer ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What type of knife should I carry while rock climbing?

I carry a cheap folding knife with me while climbing, particularly if I know there is a chance of stuck ropes, grubby anchors, or we are in the backcountry. The knife is held shut with a loop of cord, ...
11
votes
1answer
434 views

How to treat shin splints while backpacking

It's been a couple of years since I last had bad shin splits but I can still recall how painful they can be. I was able to heal them before mostly with a couple weeks rest. If the pain came back ...
9
votes
1answer
150 views

How do you sharpen a hand chain saw?

For group hikes where we plan on having a fire, I carry a hand chain saw for dead wood. We've used ours for a while now and it is definitely getting dull. How do you sharpen this?
8
votes
1answer
165 views

Is it possible to improvise a knife sharpener in the wild?

Assuming I am lost with minimal tools, but have my knife, is there any way to improvise a knife sharpener in the woods?
8
votes
2answers
129 views

Is it necessary to carry a knife sharpener?

Under the assumption that an emergency kit like the ones listed here are for the emergency of getting lost and being stranded for days, how necessary is a knife sharpener?
4
votes
2answers
235 views

How do I tie a stopper knot?

A stopper knot is often used to prevent rope from unexpectedly going throu some hole, such as a belay device. How would I tie a stopper knot?
6
votes
3answers
308 views

What qualities to look for in a good emergency whistle?

I've always been taught to keep a whistle on me in case of emergencies - it makes sense since it's small and lightweight but could really help in an emergency. However, something I've never really ...
7
votes
1answer
7k views

Kitesurfing optimal conditions

What are the optimal wind speed, direction, and surf conditions for Kitesurfing? Please provide a description for various ability levels.
8
votes
2answers
128 views

Are there any specific techniques that should be used when starting a fire in the rain?

Starting a fire can sometimes be hard enough when it's dry, let alone when it's tipping it down. But when it is, what steps should you follow to try to ensure the fire gets going successfully? I'm ...
8
votes
1answer
630 views

What can be safely trimmed on a backpack

When trimming weight there are a lot of options. Lighter gear, less gear, etc. One of those options is to take an existing pack and trim off "unnecessary" extras. For instance, I have (no kidding) ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I tell what time it is without a watch?

Assuming I don't have a watch or other time-telling device with me in the wilderness, is there a way to know what time it is? I don't necessarily want to know the exact minute of the day, but a ...
19
votes
3answers
356 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
640 views

What happens to cams after climbing?

What do people do with their cams after they've reached the top of the rock? Is there some special way of getting them down again? Seeing the prices of around 50 € per piece they can hardly just leave ...
5
votes
1answer
205 views

Good qualities in carabiners

If I was looking to purchase some carabiners, what sort of things should I look out for to ensure they're good quality? I'm not planning on using them for climbing, more in the way of general use so ...
13
votes
3answers
450 views

What makes a good head lamp?

I'm looking for a decent head lamp, with a bright light and good battery life. Most on the market these days seem to be LED based, but aside from those three (perhaps obvious) considerations are there ...
17
votes
1answer
390 views

Why tunnel tents for the poles, Geodesic for the mountains?

I've noticed that polar expeditions seem to favour tunnel tents, and mountaineering expeditions prefer geodesic designs. Is there a reason why one design fares better than the other in its preferred ...
18
votes
2answers
209 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?
10
votes
1answer
228 views

How to tell if water is likely to have cryptosporidium?

I often use CLO2 (for example this product) to treat drinking water when I’m backpacking and boiling is not convenient. The instructions for the product say that the dose should be tripled if the ...

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