8
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I treat a blister? How can I prevent getting them in the first place?

When hiking with a new pair of boots or if I haven't been hiking in a while, my feet might get blisters. How can I treat a blister and keep hiking? Are there things I can do to prevent getting ...
6
votes
1answer
158 views

What EXACTLY is the chemical coating on the outside of GoreTex?

I've got a pretty good understanding of how GoreTex works. I understand that the outside chemical coating effectivly holds water off the outer layer (using little chemical spikes). But I can't ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What kind of Tyvek is suitable for footprint material

When buying Tyvek online, there appear to be a myriad of options and numbers. Which numbers are suitable for making a tent footprint? Known numbers: 1443R, 1622E, 10G, 10GX, 1460, RV, 14M... (may ...
22
votes
2answers
873 views

Numbers on down jackets

I'm looking for a down jacket. They all seem to come with numbers but I'm not sure what they mean. For example : 90/10 Down Fill Power 700 What do they mean?
21
votes
7answers
1k views

What equipment do I need as a beginner outdoor rock climber?

What are the bare essentials that I need in terms of equipment when it comes to rock climbing? I've done indoor rock climbing but always rented my equipment from the rock-climbing gym. (For the ...
15
votes
3answers
911 views

What do you do if the fire does get “out of control”?

Let's say you are camping with a large group, and someone starts a camp fire. You're away for a bit and come back to find everyone panicking and the fire to be much larger than actually planned (ie, ...
15
votes
4answers
5k views

Will a tent provide some protection from bears?

When camping in a bear country, will a tent provide an additional protection from bears, as opposed to just sleeping outside or in a hammock? Provided I take the usual precautions of keeping any ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Are there any low sodium freeze dried meals?

For health reasons, I usually try to keep my sodium intake fairly low. However, most freeze dried dinners offered in camping stores contain an more sodium than I'm looking for. I consider 800mg a ...
13
votes
5answers
242 views

Is a varied diet necessary while backpacking?

Often when planning food for a backpacking trip, I rely heavily on a very large amount of extremely varied trail-mix, and only throw in some jerky and a scant few "cookable" meals for variety. I ...
13
votes
3answers
315 views

What steps should I take if someone starts sinking?

What are the steps that should be taken if someone you're hiking with starts to sink uncontrollably into say a marsh? What are some good techniques and points that should be used to get them out ...
11
votes
4answers
468 views

What proven alternatives are there to DEET?

DEET is an effective mosquito deterrent, but there are many reasons it cannot be used. Per the CDC, cuts, eczema, and being a kid are all problems if you want to use DEET. What proven alternatives ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What should I do when caught in lightning while in my tent?

Suppose I'm caught in a heavy thunderstorm while lying in my tent, on my foam sleeping bad, in my nice waterproof tent. Suppose I have a good campsite so I don't need to worry about flash floods. ...
9
votes
3answers
667 views

Training to prepare for oxygen deficiency in the high mountains

I would like to prepare myself for the climb in the high mountains (for now by "high mountains" I mean elevation 4000 m and more, but eventually eight-thousanders). What can I do to improve my ...
9
votes
8answers
528 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
861 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
117 views

What are the navigation considerations on the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Rivers between Ohiopyle State Park (PA) and Pittsburgh PA?

I want to travel by canoe from Ohiopyle State Park to Pittsburgh Pa on the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Rivers What are the navigation considerations? Also I will have a bike and trailer for the ...
7
votes
2answers
755 views

How to arrange 2 Prusiks when ascending a rope?

If I want to ascend a rope with minimal equipment, I use 2 Prusiks: one tied to my harness, and the second one for my foot. However, there are two ways to arrange the Prusiks on the rope - the foot ...
7
votes
7answers
3k views

How do I fold in / tidy up the straps on my rucksack?

I bought a new rucksack. However, how can I tidy up and hide away the myriad straps so they don't flap about and get caught in things?
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the correct way to attach an autoblock to your harness for rappelling?

When rappelling and using an autoblock consisting of a french prusik knot it seems there may be some options on how and where to attach the autoblock to my harness. Is there a correct placement on ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a typical elongation of a dynamic climbing rope?

I'm looking into buying a rope for rock climbing, and I know that I need a dynamic rope for lead climbing. However, trying to find information on the elongation percentages of ropes is proving tricky. ...
6
votes
1answer
104 views

Differences for bivi packs

I would like to do a winter bivouac but have no gear for it yet. Especially the choice of a bivi pack is really tough for me because I'd prefer to be able to use it also in summer as a rescue item and ...
6
votes
1answer
161 views

How to get started with packrafts?

I love hiking and I'm starting to love longer cycling trips too. I've done combined cycling/hiking trips (cycling to the trailhead of a hike). Last summer I met someone who carried an inflatable raft ...
5
votes
1answer
191 views

Stove/fuel setup for harsh conditions

We already have topics on fuels here and here which give quite an overview. Also REI gives some info how to choose your stove and fuel properly. Still I would like to know what are the best options ...
5
votes
2answers
665 views

How many “Munro” revisions has there been?

In 1891 Hugh Munro published his list of mountains in Scotland over 3000 feet, since then the list has been revised a number of times and the current total stands at 282. How many revisions have been ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is a self erecting tent and why should I want one?

What is a self erecting tent? What are the advantages of a self erecting tent as opposed to a tent that isn't, and what are the disadvantages?
4
votes
2answers
199 views

What are the navigation considerations on the Ohio River between Pittsburgh PA.& Wheeling WV?

I want to travel by canoe from Pittsburgh Pa to Wheeling, West Virginia on the Ohio river. What are the navigation considerations? Also I will have a bike and trailer for the canoe, will be ...
3
votes
4answers
448 views

Dealing with wildlife in the desert of California/Nevada in general and in the White Mountains in particular

I'm planning a hike in the White Mountains of California; see also this related question. So far, all my hiking have either been day hikes in the densely populated hikes, or treks for up to three ...
41
votes
3answers
73k views

How long does water need to be boiled for to kill all bacteria / viruses?

This has come up a few times in a few other questions, but I've heard varying opinions from different people in a number of answers and comments on here - some saying that just boiling for a moment is ...
25
votes
1answer
16k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages between gas, liquid and solid fuel?

It seems you can get fuel for stoves in either gas form (butane, propane, etc.) liquid (methylated spirit) or solid fuel tablets. What are the particular advantages and disadvantages with each ...
53
votes
14answers
17k views

Which will keep my food colder longer, draining the melted ice water, or leaving it in the cooler?

Say you have a cooler of frozen food and ice to last for several days or weeks of river-trip / car camping. To keep things as a cold as possible for as long as possible, is it better to leave the cold ...
25
votes
5answers
6k views

How does one dry clothes in humid weather?

What are some quick ways to dry clothes in moist weather?
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What are common climbing techniques for strongly overhanging walls and roofs?

What are common climbing techniques for strongly overhanging walls and roofs? In order to avoid a strength oriented climbing style and focus on technique.
12
votes
2answers
516 views

What dried vegetarian foods have the highest ratio of calories to volume?

I mostly hike in bear country, which limits how much food I can take to the volume of my bear canister. This excellent question dealt with foods that are great on a trip where food-selection criteria ...
9
votes
4answers
401 views

Tips for a novice backpacker

I would like to get into backpacking and make 2-3 day backpacking trips in moderate climatic conditions in mountainous terrains (mid-Atlantic U.S. or Central Europe, spring-fall). I am looking for ...
27
votes
6answers
7k views

How can I identify edible berries/fruit from poisonous?

How can I identify edible berries/fruit in the wide and avoid the poisonous varieties? Is there a general guideline that can be followed or is each plant specific?
17
votes
3answers
1k views

What are some things to keep in mind when stealth camping?

Stealth Camping definition: Stealth camping is the act of quietly finding a place away from people where you can camp for the night and then quickly slip away in the morning without being ...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

Which knot for climbing: figure eight, yosemite bowline, bowline on a bight?

This is a topic often discussed online, but all I could find so far was people sharing their opinions (including numbers) on what tie-in knot is the best. Here's what I've found out from different ...
14
votes
9answers
8k views

How far would you need to fall for it to be fatal?

A little grim this but I was discussing free soloing with a non-climber in work and I said "Well once you get over a certain height you're not going to survive a fall anyway so anything over ...
39
votes
3answers
21k views

Is drinking urine safe?

We've all heard stories about how people saved their lives by drinking their urine. Is drinking urine safe when there are no other water sources available? Can I filter it with a water purifier?
18
votes
3answers
448 views

What equipment is recommended when camping with a baby?

I have a 3 month old daughter and am currently planning a short camping trip next month here in Australia where the weather should be warm but may also be wet. What should I take to ensure an ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

First time camping, need advice

Me and my wife have never done camping before and always wanted to do it. This time we are planning to go for a small camping trip but have no idea how to prepare for it. We like to hike and are ...
14
votes
2answers
432 views

What foods should I avoid when backpacking?

Are there any foods that should be off-limits when backpacking because they have a negative impact on performance or well-being? I am thinking that candy-bars and very greasy foods might be ...
12
votes
2answers
317 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). ...
39
votes
6answers
12k views

Is it better to wear one pair or two pairs of socks while hiking?

From personal experience I tend to wear two pairs of socks, normally some running socks and then my hiking socks on top of that. It helps me avoid blisters. Quite a few of my friends thinks this is ...
30
votes
6answers
2k views

If I'm caught in lightning above tree-line, what should I do?

We all know the general lightning guidelines, but what if I am above tree-line and caught in a freak lightning storm. Is it better to: Run like mad to toward the trees Lie flat, and find religion ...
20
votes
4answers
30k views

How can I start a fire by rubbing two sticks together?

When trying to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, what does one need to consider? I am assuming I can't just grab any two sticks and start rubbing... Should they be dead or green? Hard ...
19
votes
6answers
622 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
1answer
389 views

Is digging a “cold hole” really effective when sheltering in a snowed area?

One recommendation I got in case of emergency or intentional sheltering in a snowy location is to dig a lower hole, so that the cold air can move there, while one can sleep higher up where the heat ...
17
votes
3answers
660 views

What do I need to look for in good, quality hiking boots?

My wife and I are going to buy some hiking boots as we've been using regular tennis shoes anytime we go on a hike. What are the things I need to keep in mind when looking for a good set of quality ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I improve my footwork while rock-climbing?

When I'm rock climbing, I feel like I've got hand holds down as far as where to grab on and understand that the hands are mainly for balance. However, I can't seem to figure out my feet. There are ...

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