17
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the dangers of swimming in natural waters?

What are the dangers of swimming in natural bodies of water? In essence I would like to know about all types of waters, but I am mostly interested in sea because it is most relevant to me. Like many ...
17
votes
3answers
586 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
288 views

As an experienced backpacker in the Eastern US, what should I know before hiking in the Western US?

I have done a good deal of hiking and backpacking in the Eastern US (mostly in New England), but I recently moved to California. What are the major differences in terms of preparation or equipment ...
17
votes
2answers
226 views

How to clean a sleeping bag ?

A sleeping bag will eventually need a cleaning. How do you proceed, in particular according to the different materials?
17
votes
2answers
235 views

What can I do to prevent altitude sickness?

I will be going above 15000 feet (4500 meters) on a trip next month, and I've heard people will often get altitude sickness. Is there anything I can do beforehand to prevent sickness or take while I'm ...
17
votes
1answer
351 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Raw meat on hikes

When backpacking we often carry raw beef which we have salted and frozen, usually cut into strips that can be easily cooked through. I'm confident that this is good for 24 hours, and I know that meat ...
17
votes
2answers
261 views

What everyday tasks can be adapted in a way that helps build muscles and technique for bouldering?

(This is related to "What hand and finger exercises help with climbing?" but asking for what can be done when not climbing/training.) Like most climbers, I don't get to do as much as I'd like, and I ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it dangerous to sleep in a tent alone in a forest in -20?

Can I spend the night alone in a tent in a forest outside Stockholm in -20 degrees Celsius without risking my life? The backstory From the end of January, I'm starting my studies in a suburb of ...
16
votes
5answers
5k views

Why go without socks with climbing shoes?

I've been going climbing (indoor bouldering) for about six months, using shoes I rented at the gym, and wearing socks (and everything was fine). I've recently got a pair of climbing shoes, and want to ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the difference between external and internal-frame packs?

I am starting backpacking and there are both internal and external-frame packs. What is the difference, and is one recommended over the other?
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Ideal and Minimal Rope Diameter for Lead Climbing

I'm thinking of a single rope that it's safe to take long lead falls, but also light to carry around. I weight 75 kgs and I might climb with heavier partners (80-90 Kgs)
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it ever safe to let a hypothermic person sleep?

My understanding is that with severely hypothermic patients you want to keep them awake if possible. I'd heard moving a hypothermic patient is risky as you dont want to jostle them, some wilderness ...
16
votes
7answers
510 views

Are Ice grips worth buying

The cold weather has finally hit the UK and once again I am tempted to buy something like https://www.yaktrax.co.uk/shop/yaktrax-pro. For those of you not in the UK we get some snow each year (enough ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

What foods are unsafe to cook over an open fire?

My friends and I went camping this weekend and I bought a package of Johnsonville brats to cook over the fire. Many a person said that one should 'never bring raw brats to cook over a campfire', their ...
16
votes
7answers
21k views

What is this knee pain when going downhill?

I can hike uphill practically all day. However as very soon after I start a descent, pain builds on the outside of my knee. What is causing this and can I do anything to prevent/mitigate it (other ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Things to keep away from climbing ropes

There are some no brainers like don't throw your climbing rope next to car batteries in the back of your car. The effect of bug sprays containing Deet seem to be controversial. I have also heard a ...
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. ...
16
votes
4answers
23k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

Is it possible to sunburn through clothing?

I sat for 45 minutes last summer in the hot sun (100 degrees) I was pinned in on the bleachers so I wans't able to get up and move, I could feel the sun burning through my pants, now I have everyday ...
16
votes
3answers
447 views

Are carabiners useful tools to have in the wilderness? If so, what would they be used for?

Carabiners are obviously essential in certain circumstances, such as with any type of climbing / rappelling. But are they a good tool to have generally as well, and if so what might be some example ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Where in the Alps is it safe to drink the water without filtering?

In some places, the Swedish Lappland for example, it's perfectly fine and even recommended to drink water directly from streams. Is it also recommended whilst hiking in the Alps, and if so is it only ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

What are some toilet paper alternatives you could use in the woods?

When in the great outdoors, nature is bound to come calling, so what are some good natural toilet paper substitutes when the real thing isn't available?
16
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the rules for eating raw, wild meat?

Can you always eat raw meat (wild) as long as it is fresh?
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it safe to camp in the desert without a tent?

I'm looking to hike the Grand Canyon (found out that as a single I do have a good shot at securing the permit!), and now I'm trying to make sure I carry as little as possible on said hike. First ...
16
votes
1answer
244 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
227 views

When do I need a permit to go into nature?

When on holiday, I want to get as far as possible from civilisation — the furthest I've come is seeing only a single cairn during a full day. In Scandinavia, hiking and camping is permitted unless ...
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
3answers
706 views

How should a climbing rope be stored?

I've purchased my first climbing rope and am wondering how it should be stored when not in use. I have a rope bag which I assume is a good home for the rope; should it be kept tightly coiled inside ...
16
votes
3answers
202 views

Do I need any technical skills to climb Kilimanjaro?

Ive heard that climbing Kilimanjaro doesn't require any mountaineering skills and is really just a (very difficult) hike? Is that true? Is there any gear I would need besides traditional hiking ...
16
votes
2answers
9k views

What's the UPF of a T-Shirt or jeans?

Many outdoor clothing items advertise themselves with a UPF (Ultraviolet protection factor) of 30 or even 50. How does that compare with a normal cotton T-Shirt or a pair of jeans? Do I have to use ...
16
votes
2answers
487 views

How can I prevent my sun glasses from fogging up when skiing?

When I'm cross-country skiing, I usually wear glacier glasses to protect from the intense glare off the snow. When I'm moving, they usually stay clear . Whenever I stop though, my glasses seem to fog ...
16
votes
3answers
535 views

Washing dishes with seawater or freshwater?

When backpacking in a coastal region, you sometimes have access to both fresh water (e.g. a stream) and salt water (sea, bay, etc.). If you do not treat the water used for washing dishes, what are ...
16
votes
2answers
150 views

Cascades mountaineering school

I'm looking for a mountaineering school on Rainier or elsewhere in the Cascades that provides sufficient training to climb Elbrus. Glacier travel, crampon use, crevasse rescue, and self arrest are the ...
15
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I take duct tape with me backpacking?

I'm going on a backpacking trip later this summer and on the list of things to bring is 3 yards of duct tape. I don't want to bring an entire roll of duct tape because it would be heavy and ...
15
votes
7answers
357 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
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 ...
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
9answers
1k views

Painful leather hiking boots - persevere or give up?

I have a pair of Blacks (own brand) leather hiking boots - they were probably a poor choice to begin with to be honest. They look a bit like this: ...
15
votes
3answers
772 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
8answers
6k views

How to Clean Rock-Climbing Shoes

I have never found a good answer to this one: How do you clean rock-climbing shoes, without ruining them? Let me be more specific. I have a pair of modern leather-and-fancy-rubber climbing shoes ...
15
votes
3answers
429 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?
15
votes
2answers
6k views

What does it mean to cross load a carabiner?

What does it mean to cross load a carabiner? I know it's bad, and not to do it, but I don't really know what exactly it is.
15
votes
3answers
941 views

Synthetic vs Down sleeping bags?

What are the best conditions to use a synthetic sleeping bag vs a down one? Can you always use a down sleeping bag as long as you keep it in a dry waterproof bag?
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What can I do with a retired rope and harness?

I've recently retired a rope (dynamic) and a harness. They're both in very good shape, but just over 8 years old. Common sense dictates I throw them away, but I wonder if there are other uses I can ...
15
votes
2answers
384 views

If I cross paths with a bear, what should I do?

If I'm out hiking, and I come around a corner and stumble upon a bear, what's the best course of action to take to minimize the chance the bear will act aggressively? Do different types of bear ...
15
votes
3answers
332 views

How do you properly dispose of human waste while snow camping?

Assuming the cat-hole is the preferred protocol for waste disposal in the area you are backpacking, what should you do when the soil is buried below A LOT of snow, and/or frozen?
15
votes
2answers
445 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
1k views

Hiking boots vs trail shoes

I have two sets of shoes that I wear while hiking. My favorite by far are my light weight trail running shoes. I have worn them on 9 mile hikes without any break-in, and went blister free. From a ...
15
votes
3answers
2k 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?

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