All Questions

12
votes
2answers
922 views

What things should I look for when buying a compass?

Compasses seem to come in all shapes, sizes and (especially) prices! What sets a good compass apart from a bad one and what are some good characteristics to look for when making a purchase?
12
votes
1answer
474 views

Techniques for building a raft from wood

What are some good techniques to use (materials, knots, etc.) for building a raft by gathering wood in the local area? I'm talking about something to sail on still or slow moving bodies of water, not ...
10
votes
4answers
377 views

Is it worth buying a footprint?

I recently bought a new tent, is it worth the extra $40 to purchase a footprint for it as well? Or are there alternatives that can be found on the trail or even made at home?
13
votes
3answers
340 views

What is the best way to store my tent?

How can I store my tent when I'm not using it for months at a time, so that it is still in good condition when I use it again?
32
votes
5answers
6k views

What is the best way to store my sleeping bag for long periods of time?

I've heard that storing a sleeping bag in its stuff sack for long periods of time will cause it to lose loft, and won't provide as much comfort or warmth when used again. If so, how should I store my ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between single and double wall tents?

Tents are described being either single or double wall. What is the difference and when is one preferred over the other?
7
votes
1answer
207 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?
11
votes
2answers
666 views

How do I inspect a climbing rope?

It is imperative that climbing ropes are in excellent shape so they don't split while someone is climbing. How do I properly inspect the rope when I'm about to start a climb?
6
votes
2answers
44 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
358 views

In rock-climbing, how do I safely belay another climber? [closed]

I am learning to rock climb, and I have heard that I will need to belay climbers, so if they fall, my belay will stop the fall and prevent an injury. What do I need to do to properly belay my ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

When rock climbing, what is the difference between top-roping and leading?

I'm starting to learn how to rock climb, and there seem to be two types of climbing, top-rope climbing and lead climbing. What's the difference between the two, and what would be better for a ...
2
votes
1answer
601 views

What is the difference between camber and rocker shaped snowboards?

When looking at snowboards, they are described as being camber-shaped, rocker-shaped, or a hybrid? What's the difference between them, and when is one preferred over the other?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between the different types of snowboards? (all-mountain/freestyle/freeride/etc)

I'm looking into buying my first snowboard, and there's all kinds of types: All mountain Freestyle Freeride Splitboards Powder What's the difference between these types?
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?
14
votes
5answers
9k views

What can I do to help relieve joint pain in fingers after climbing?

After I've been climbing for a while, my finger joints are very sore. Is there anything I can do to relieve that pain?
6
votes
3answers
356 views

Will glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate prevent or repair damage to climbers’ fingers?

I've heard that I can take glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate supplements to prevent damage to my fingers when I'm climbing. Is it true, or is just an old wives' tale?
12
votes
1answer
221 views

What would be a safe ascent rate when mountaineering?

I'm training to climb large mountains. What kind of ascent should I train for at altitude. Let's say above 12000 feet and carrying up to 60 lbs?
10
votes
4answers
701 views

Does drinking alcohol cause problems at altitude?

If I'm going to be climbing a mountain, would drinking a small amount at altitude have any negative effects (besides general alcohol effects)?
7
votes
2answers
153 views

Where can I find information on letterboxing in my area?

Letterboxing is a precursor to geocaching, wherein participants leave notes / stamps in boxes in the wild... It's helpful to have a list or guide to letterbox sites when embarking on a search, as ...
8
votes
1answer
592 views

What to do if you're bitten by an adder?

I've heard that while adder bites are venomous the number of people who have died from them are extremely low. If you're on a trek and you're bitten is it safe to continue for a couple more days ...
13
votes
2answers
867 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?
18
votes
3answers
329 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between men's and women's hiking boots?

When I bought my current pair of hiking boots, the brand/style I tried on and liked was out of stock in the womens version, so the storeperson offered me the mens ones instead. I tried them, liked ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I desalinate seawater?

I know I shouldn't drink seawater (because of the salt it contains), but how can I desalinate it?
27
votes
6answers
6k 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?
11
votes
3answers
439 views

How can I signal for help in the wilderness?

What are some different ways I can signal for help in the wilderness? I'm looking for methods that apply in all seasons, particularly in the mountains, with forests or meadows & plateaus.
35
votes
3answers
19k 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?
14
votes
3answers
363 views

Which stove fuel has best weight to bulk to heat ratio?

Pack stoves come in a variety of flavors, consuming white gas, denatured alcohol, propane, wood, gels, unleaded, kerosene... etc. Given the assumption that I will be carrying all the fuel I need (no ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How should I treat hypothermia?

When I recognize the symptoms of hypothermia, how should I treat it? And what are the dangers if the symptoms are ignored?
9
votes
1answer
213 views

How do I recognize if someone is suffering from hypothermia?

How can I recognize symptoms of hypothermia on myself and other people I camp with?
17
votes
4answers
630 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
6k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
379 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 ...
21
votes
6answers
880 views

What precautions should I take to protect myself and my camp from bears?

Most of my prior hiking experience has been in areas that are not home to bears, so what precautions should I take to protect my camp (and myself as I am hiking) from bears. I am aware of a couple of ...
10
votes
4answers
597 views

How can one find the difficult to find geocaches?

I've recently been getting into the hobby of Geocaching. However, I'm finding there are many, particularly in cities, that I just cannot find no matter how hard I look for them. They tend to be very ...
18
votes
4answers
25k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

How do you stop blood-flow from a leech bite?

Although leeches are relatively harmless, and you are not likely to bleed out from a bite, the blood stain on your clothes can be off-putting to your hiking buddies. Is there any effective way to ...
29
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 ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

Does hiking with a dog in bear country increase or decrease your risk of a bear encounter?

I've heard various rumors that dogs might help keep bears away, or might be a bear attractant. Is there anything more concrete than anecdotal evidence to go on? From the companionship end, they are a ...
11
votes
4answers
31k views

How do I tie a sleeping bag to my backpack?

I recently upgraded to a modern backpack and I'm stumped as to how to tie accessories down to it. My previous backpack had tie-down points on the bottom of the pack that I could attach long straps ...
8
votes
2answers
612 views

What style crampon should I use for my hiking boots and how do I adjust them?

I've been using microspikes on my hiking boots and find that they aren't up to the challenge of hiking up snowy peaks. I use snowshoes but find some mountains would be better served by crampons and ...
12
votes
5answers
224 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
4answers
4k views

Can any waterborne pathogens survive boiling?

I know that boiling does little to break down chemical contaminants or heavy metals. But I'm unsure if it kills all microbial life. Are there any waterborne illness-causing ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What negative consequences can result from having too much toe room in a shoe

I have large feet, that can be difficult to find the correct size shoe. Typically, I've been wearing size 13, but I have found that I get too many blisters with this size, and I don't have much wiggle ...
21
votes
9answers
6k views

How much water should be carried while hiking in the desert?

I live in the Arizona desert, and during the summer, despite my best intentions, I always seem to end up doing some hiking in the summer heat. What is a good formula to figure out how much water I ...
9
votes
1answer
323 views

Are drop bears dangerous? [closed]

I recently visited Australia, Sydney region. I've been warned about animals called drop bears. What kind of animal is it? Is it dangerous ?
10
votes
1answer
230 views

When stranded at sea, should I not ask for a tow?

I've been told that you should never ask for a tow when you are stranded at sea. The reason given is that the person towing can claim a huge share of the stranded boat, potentially all of it if it's ...
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 ...
14
votes
5answers
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
344 views

How should I check the anchor is secure when I anchoring a small yacht off unfamiliar land?

When sailing I may anchor in a different bay each evening and take a dinghy in to land to sleep in a tent overnight. I always worry that when I wake up in the morning the boat may no longer be ...

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