19
votes
6answers
558 views

How to cheaply introduce someone to backpacking

I meet a fair number people who would like to try backpacking. Unfortunately the initial cost seems to be pretty high. Even an overnight requires a lot of big ticket gear (tent, sleeping bag, etc). ...
18
votes
4answers
732 views

How to stay clean on a multi-day hike?

I love hiking but there is a serious problem - I find it disgusting to be sweaty or dirty. I am literally unable to function properly if I do not get a thorough and warm shower every morning. This ...
18
votes
2answers
474 views

What to look for in a durable, 3-season sleeping bag?

I'm looking to purchase a camping sleeping bag. I'd like one that's high-quality, durable, and suitable for weekend hiking/camping trips during spring, summer, and fall in New England. (Most of my ...
17
votes
3answers
852 views

Why don't we apply the principles of layering when it comes to pants?

Whenever I see clothing articles geared toward hiking and backpacking that discuss layering (base layer for wicking, mid layer for insulation, etc.), they always seem to discuss these things in terms ...
17
votes
4answers
426 views

How can you prevent kids getting lost at night while camping?

When camping in more remote areas with young kids, how can you make sure they don't take a stroll and get lost in the middle of the night? We won't be near lights, established "bathrooms", etc. The ...
15
votes
7answers
358 views

How can I boost morale on long backpacking trips?

Not just children can be whiny on long backpacking trips. I am interested in learning how to boost morale with both, adult groups, or when hiking with children.
15
votes
3answers
774 views

Buying a Backpacking Knife

I am a first-time knife buyer. What should I look for in an all-purpose, lightweight backpacking knife? I aim to use it for cutting trail plants and fish. My top priority is a knife that doesn't ...
15
votes
3answers
431 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?
14
votes
1answer
734 views

Which wood sources produce toxic smoke?

So the title says it all. If I am scavenging wood in the wilderness, does some of it burn toxic? If so what kinds. This question is derived from this answer.
13
votes
1answer
640 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? ...
12
votes
3answers
365 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the proper way to tarp tent to avoid condensation?

I tried pitching a tarp instead of a tent this weekend. In worked well, kept off the rain etc, except for the condensation. It was far worse than any condensation I've ever had in a tent. We had ...
10
votes
1answer
98 views

How well does solar recharging work when strapped to the backpack?

This answer recommends solar cells to recharge batteries. However, this likely works best during a layover day. I usually don't have those. For a nice-to-have situation, how well does it work to ...
10
votes
2answers
137 views

Reference request: books on self-rescue while climbing

Can people recommend books or online resources on self-rescue for roped climbing? As a beginning trad leader, I think I should have a basic understanding of topics like how to escape a belay and how ...
10
votes
1answer
183 views

May hiking in Eastern California

In May this year (6–8 May) I will have a workshop in Mammoth Lakes, California. I would like to do some hiking in addition to this workshop (roughly one week). I have never been to the United States, ...
9
votes
2answers
994 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
201 views

Serrated vs flat-edge knives

Each has their purpose, I'm sure. So for what activities is each better? When would I use one over the other? What about half-serrated blades?
3
votes
4answers
487 views

Rifugio (Mountain Hut) trek in Austria

I'm interested in combining a three to five day "rifugio" based trek in southern Austria with a visit to Vienna. In other words, I'd like to be able to fly in to somewhere nearby - Vienna, Salzburg, ...
20
votes
1answer
6k views

What's the difference between a 2, 3, 4, and 5 season tent?

I'm looking to buy a new trekking tent, a good quality one, e.g. Hilleberg, Fjällräven, Vaude, etc. At Vaude they categorise tents in 2, 3, 4, or 5-season. What's the difference between a 4- and a ...
19
votes
3answers
351 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
529 views

Surviving a forest fire by starting another fire

Awhile back I heard on CBC radio about a man who got trapped in a forest fire (surrounded on all sides) and survived. The way he survived was so ridiculous that he was brought to court and almost ...
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 ...
16
votes
4answers
569 views

What should I do when I'm lost?

What should I do when I get disoriented or lost? How can I find help or make myself easier to find? This is a general question to do when lost in the wilderness, whether it is a meadow or mountain. ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Camping with a dog for the first time

In a few months my fiance and I will be joining two friends camping. My friends chocolate labrador will be joining us for the weekend. My fiance and I, whilst both dog lovers, have no experience ...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

How do I avoid leeches?

The last time I was attacked by leeches I thought I'd taken enough precautions such as pulling my socks over my trousers and avoiding walking through particularly wet areas or long grass but I still ...
14
votes
1answer
230 views

Is backcountry hiking in northwestern Russia safe?

Is it safe to go backcountry hiking in the Tundra's of northwestern Russia, e.g. the Kola peninsula, such as the Khibin mountains? There is some heavy industry around there; can one safely go around, ...
14
votes
4answers
794 views

Taking care of hiking backpack

I've had a 60 L backpack for almost seven years now. Nothing on it is broken and it fits my needs, so right now I don't have any thoughts about replacing it (Getting a light pack might be the only ...
13
votes
4answers
273 views

How to dry Gore-Tex boots in the field

I'm thinking of switching from old and heavy army boots to modern trekking ones. Trying to choose between Gore-Tex and leather with waterproof coating only, I can't get over a simple question - ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I keep my iPhone going on a multiday hike?

Taking a five day hike, and I want to take a bazillion pictures. It would be nice to have the compass & GPS functionality too, and I want something really small. The obvious choice is my ...
12
votes
2answers
426 views

Dealing with very cold climate (clothing)

In the near future I will have to prepare myself for a Siberia expedition. During the winter, average temperatures in Siberia range from -10°F (-23°C) to below -50°C (-45°F).1 What should I ...
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

How do you remove mold from a tent?

Of course, the best way is to prevent mold on a tent from occurring by airing, cleaning and storing it appropriately. When doing this I've never had any issues. However, there may well be cases where ...
12
votes
2answers
815 views

What should you do if you see a rattle snake?

In the area where I live, I have periodically seen a rattle snake when hiking, occasionally at the ready to strike pose. What should I do?
12
votes
3answers
387 views

Bear bags vs Bear canisters: which is better?

Most people I know and myself store food in bear bags. However, I have heard that some parks have banned bear bags and require canisters. I've also heard there is a bear in New York that has figured ...
11
votes
4answers
241 views

What do I do if I lose my belay plate?

The scenario My climbing partner and I are at the top of a pitch and we drop a belay plate to the ground. There is no safe descent, we were planning on rappelling down off safe anchors. What do we ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you safely cut wood with a knife?

Several people have talked about having single edge knife so that you can cut down small trees. What is the proper way to cut or carve wood with a knife?
10
votes
4answers
856 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?
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What can an injured person in the outdoors do to prevent infection by flesh-eating bacteria?

Perhaps you've heard about Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old adventurer who contracted a flesh-eating disease after getting injured in a zip line accident over the Tallapoosa River. She's already lost ...
9
votes
1answer
476 views

Material of shirt for Desert hiking

I have pretty much always worn 100% cotton shirts when hiking but I have been reading more and more about the amazing "wicking" properties of other fabrics. Is there one that will keep me cooler ...
8
votes
4answers
233 views

How high to climb before clipping on a sport climb?

The guy who taught me to lead sport in the gym suggested that when I'm going for a clip, I position my body so that the clip is somewhere between my hips and my chest. He claimed it was a bad thing ...
8
votes
2answers
174 views

Why should the angle in a rope attached to two anchors be 60 degrees or less?

In this question it states that No angle of tension shall exceed 60 degrees. Why?
8
votes
2answers
430 views

When should I retire my rope

I know there is a degree of "gray" in this question but: I have a Beal Top gun II 10.5mm, I've had this rope for around 4 years now and I'm starting to think about retiring it. It's been used ...
8
votes
6answers
806 views

Practical uses for urine

When on extended outdoor excursions are there any scenarios where you can leverage urine as an efficient tool? An example would be: You're in your sleeping bag in a tent and it's -30*C outside, you ...
8
votes
2answers
883 views

How dangerous is it to fall 3 meters when lead climbing?

Consider a vertical rock with clip-ins 3 meters apart, dynamic rope, no more than 15 meters ascent. I guess most probable and dangerous is to fall just as one is clipping in. This way the rope is ...
8
votes
1answer
144 views

When is it too cold for Tarping?

I'm looking to get a tarp, and considering when I want to go out with it. My three season tent with the rain fly has pretty good heat retention, and while it doesn't get toasty, it does stay warmer ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I set a top rope anchor?

When rock-climbing, I need to set up a top-rope anchor so if I fall, it will minimize chance of injury. So, how would I safely set one up?
7
votes
3answers
128 views

What to consider when buying fins for recreational snorkeling?

I've been on a few beach vacations in the last few years and have discovered that I really enjoy snorkeling. I have at least three trips in the next year where I will probably go snorkeling (a few ...
7
votes
2answers
251 views

Do you need to purify all mountain water sources

I was just reading this question What is the safest way to purify water? Now I walk a lot in Snowdonia in North Wales and on occasion I drink from mountain streams. I've even camped next to mountain ...
7
votes
4answers
891 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 ...
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 ...

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