9
votes
1answer
518 views

Climbing gear: can the energy absorbers of a lanyard for via ferratas be used only once?

Is the energy absorber of a gear kit for via ferratas for just one use? I mean, one fall and it has to be replaced? In the product description, there is often mention of it being "tearable."
4
votes
3answers
136 views

Cleaning the sipper pipe of a hydration pack

I use a regular hydration pack. I had given to a friend of mine to use it as she had her pack leaking. I guess she filled it with some sort of refreshment/flavored sports drink, and that has caused ...
4
votes
2answers
64 views

Can fire starting liquid be used in a kerosene lamp?

Supermarkets often have "fire starting liquid" on sale - that's usually transparent oil-like liquid looking much like kerosene. The label typically says the product it "mix of paraffins". It behaves ...
11
votes
1answer
466 views

Train yourself to need less water

I'm interested in doing multi-day hikes (i.e. backpacking) in the desert where water sources are not readily available, thus requiring one to carry in enough water for the duration of the trip. On ...
5
votes
2answers
88 views

Hiking Zion and Bryce in mid-May - feasible?

Is it feasible to hike trails to at least some overlooks around Zion and Bryce in mid-May? If yes, do we need a 4x4, or will a sedan do? We are only interested in day hikes.
2
votes
2answers
95 views

Guidelines for safe use of ATC Nano? [closed]

The photo below shows my new ATC Nano. Sweet! This is an innovative new belay device that is definitely going to be in my ultralight mountaineering setup from now on. After all, when you're bagging ...
2
votes
0answers
93 views

Backpacking in Iceland (March 2016)

Looking for trails that are open in mid-March for a multi-day hike. I believe Laugavegur is closed, and I haven't found much in the way of marked trails.
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Does a tent need special after-trip care when camping on and near ocean beaches?

Does a tent need any special care after camping on or near ocean beaches? I know that salt can corrode metal (e.g. metal in the poles, stakes, zippers, etc.) and sand can mechanically abrade many ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Which mid-line knot is best suited for a trucker's hitch?

I've been using a trucker's hitch knot for a very long time (camping, strapping stuff down, line length adjustment, pulley system) I've always switched my mid-line loop when I've come to not trust ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

How do you build a campfire that leaves no trace? [duplicate]

Say you're camping in the backcountry where there aren't any developed campsites or fire rings. What methods are there for building a camp fire that will leave absolutely no trace afterwards?
10
votes
1answer
230 views

What are the principles of Leave no Trace?

What are the fundamental principles of leaving no trace in the backcountry?
7
votes
3answers
530 views

What kind of car do I need to reach most hiking trailheads near Boulder Colorado, Rocky Mountain NP

I am moving to Boulder, CO for my PhD and am interested in doing a lot of hiking on the weekends. To get to trailheads near Boulder and Rocky Mountain NP, all year around, do I need: High clearance ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

earthy/peaty ground fire lighting

When on slightly peaty ground, (i.e loamy forest rather than very peaty heath) is there any possible safe way to light and tend a small fire? I'd envisaged scraping away the top soil, dousing below ...
4
votes
2answers
864 views

Lowering a climber from above using a belay device in autolocking mode

I recently gave a belay from above to a group of five people who were all doing the same single-pitch climb and then being lowered off. (In this case the reason for belaying from above was that the ...
77
votes
11answers
28k 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?
4
votes
2answers
697 views

Does a cotton lined sleeping bag make sense?

I have always been under the impression that cotton is the enemy of a hiker - it absorbs moisture and just becomes a horrible wet casing around you, transferring away all the heat. I was therefore ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

When are cotton socks actually better?

Cotton retains moisture, thus cotton socks will not do the job properly. When would actually one want to wear exactly cotton socks? A few ideas come to mind, but they are just shooting in the ...
41
votes
7answers
10k views

Does cotton really kill?

For outdoor hiking, backpacking or camping trips, I always hear people saying Cotton Kills. That means don't wear cotton anywhere (underwear, shirts, pants), and no cotton blends. Usually it's given ...
5
votes
1answer
147 views

What's faster on packed, gradual terrain; skinning or booting up with skis on back?

We hiked a well-packed gradual trail in New England (Mt. Moosilauke in NH) and debated what would be faster - skinning up on AT skis or just boots with skis on your back. Argument for skis on the ...
7
votes
4answers
360 views

What's a realistic distance to expect boys aged 11-17 to sea kayak in a single day?

I'm thinking about taking my Scout troop (boys aged 11-17) on a sea kayaking trip. What expectations should I have for the distance that we can travel in one day? Assume good weather (clear skies, ...
7
votes
2answers
865 views

Camping with a tarp, what are risks about animals?

I have never camped using a tarp (and just a sleeping bag under), and I am wondering about it. I am thinking about camping in Canada, and the animals around there are apparently mostly bears and other ...
9
votes
1answer
329 views

Statistics on types and survivability of anchor failures?

The most recent (2013) edition of Climbing Anchors, by Long and Gaines, makes some interesting statements in the preface about catastrophic failures of anchors. Long first says that: when belay ...
6
votes
1answer
437 views

How to tandem rappel/abseil with a child?

So my toddler just barely fits the smallest child's harness on the market, which of course means she's big enough to go climbing and rappelling with daddy ;) I've been playing around with different ...
5
votes
0answers
54 views

What are possible trekking routes in the Atacama region in mid April?

I would like to visit northern Chili and particularly the Atacama region. The goal would be to trek in the area, during about 10-12 days (it can be one long route or several shorter ones). What ...
8
votes
2answers
115 views

Does sleeping with liner shoes make you feel colder?

While reading this article about mountaineering boots I found following quote by Ian Nicholson quite interesting: "When climbing in a double boot, bring the liner in your sleeping bag at night to ...
7
votes
1answer
340 views

How to decide which tarp size to take?

I am thinking about getting some tarp as a 1-person shelter for hiking this summer. There is a large choice of tarps on the market. The difference between them are often the size and the material it ...
6
votes
2answers
165 views

What is the term for/manufacturer of belay devices with a clip that holds the ATC onto the carabiner?

I broke my friend's ATC, and am trying to find a replacement, but I don't quite know what to look for. It was a somewhat unique unit, at least among those I've seen; it was a standard "basket" ATC ...
6
votes
6answers
380 views

How can I survive multiple days in cold environment?

What can I do to survive multiple (2-4) days in a cold environment (like in mountains in winter)? As resources I've normal Skitouring gear with me for a single day, no sleeping bag or bivy bag. What ...
6
votes
1answer
94 views

First ascents by Edward Whymper

Edward Whymper is most known for his sweeping ascent of the Matterhorn 150 years ago. You can read about the competition with J.A. Carrel and the struggle to find a path to the top in the famous book ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Memory foam mattress topper for camping?

I bought a queen-sized four-inch memory topper and cut it into two halves to get two twin(ish)-sized toppers. I use one half on my bed at home, but that left me with another extra half. I've heard ...
3
votes
3answers
110 views

Which camp fuel type is the easiest on your stove?

In reference to this question: Avoiding leaks from stove and fuel bottles? What fuel type is the easiest on your stove as far as cleaning and maintenance are concerned? If you have a stove that can ...
10
votes
4answers
85 views

How do I find known and documented trails for trail running in New England?

In my past experiences running on trails, the paths are demarcated for hikers and bikers and I learned about these running-appropriate paths through word of mouth and in person park information. After ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

How to repair the broken stitching and seams in my leather boots?

After several years of abuse and poor care my boots have completely gone at the seams around the inner ankle (see photos) What can I do to repair my boots? My current plan is to just get some ...
16
votes
4answers
17k views

How do I take care of Gore-Tex boots?

I have a pair of Gore-Tex walking boots that I have used a fair bit now and want to make sure I keep them serviceable for as long as possible. What is the best way to maintain Gore-Tex walking boots? ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

Avoiding leaks from stove and fuel bottles?

I used to use a liquid hydrocarbon-fuel stove for backpacking, but I hated it, one of the main reasons being that the stove and/or fuel bottle were always leaking and stinking up my car and pack. ...
22
votes
7answers
5k views

Do polarized sunglasses protect against snow blindess?

Will regular polarized sunglasses protect me against snow blindness? And if not what type of glasses/goggles will protect me?
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What can I do on a honeymoon in New Zealand while five months pregnant?

We will be in New Zealand in April, the adventure capital of the world, but supposedly I can't do anything because I'm 5 months pregnant. I can't hike (was planning on doing the tongariro crossing ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

when is it OK to hike off trail?

I visited my local forest preserve recently (in a suburb of Chicago, IL) and found new signs every mile or so that read something to the effect of Please stay on the trail so as to preserve the ...
7
votes
4answers
858 views

How to top belay 2 climbers at the same time on multi-pitch climb?

Senario: I am leading the climb with 2 ropes. I reach at the first pitch. I put myself on the self anchor and built a master point. Now I want to top belay 2 climbers at the same time. They both will ...
7
votes
1answer
503 views

Down feather species, which is best?

I've seen several down jackets stating what species of down the jacket is filled with, i.e. Duck, Goose, etc. What are the differences between the various species' down and which is best?
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a good tool for minor trail maintenance while hiking?

I hike a few trails in the lower Appalachians which are very infrequently traveled. Maintenance when it happens, is performed by hikers. I much prefer to just clear smaller blowdowns as I come to ...
8
votes
1answer
354 views

Where can I camp when driving Highway 37 in British Columbia, Canada?

I plan on driving to Alaska via the Stewart-Cassiar Highway (Highway 37) in British Columbia, Canada. Where can I legally camp along or near the highway?
2
votes
2answers
248 views

How to lock a trucker's hitch without losing any tension?

What is the best technique to lock a trucker's hitch in a strong way that's also easy to release, but most important, that doesn't loose any (or the least amount of) tension in the line, when I lock ...
4
votes
1answer
212 views

Ice axe and crampon post winter cleaning/preparation [duplicate]

So winter is well and truly over in Wales. Pretty much all the snow has melted and the weather is improving. So it's time to retire my winter gear until next winter. What should I do with my Ice Axe ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Trekking poles: what are the pros and cons of Anti-shock vs standard designs?

This is not a shopping question just to preface that issue. I'm not looking for a specific brand or model of trekking pole. Also to add some background information, I have borrowed trekking poles ...
5
votes
3answers
128 views

climbing - distance between knot and harness

Recently I heard as a general rule of thumb that one should leave at most the width of your hand as space between the knot (a figure eight for instance) and the harness. Its quite obvious that one ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

When is it not OK to leave feces behind?

I saw this article recently. I also know that human solid (not sure about liquid) waste is collected in buckets on river trips down the Grand Canyon. What are some basic guidelines for determining ...
3
votes
1answer
325 views

Hiking half dome - What are the most efficient logistics for getting a campsite in little Yosemite?

I am looking at hiking half dome, but the hike is so long, it requires camping out the night before. Campsites open up for reservations 8 months before the date at 7am, and immediately fill up. The ...
8
votes
1answer
153 views

Stronger bond between GoPro mount and helmet?

I used a regular curved helmet mount for my GoPro on my recent snowboarding trip, which comes self-adhesive. At one point I fell on my back and hit the back of my helmet, the shock of which unglued ...
16
votes
7answers
4k 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?

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