13
votes
3answers
430 views

What makes a good head lamp?

I'm looking for a decent head lamp, with a bright light and good battery life. Most on the market these days seem to be LED based, but aside from those three (perhaps obvious) considerations are there ...
13
votes
3answers
6k 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? ...
12
votes
3answers
205 views

Sailing with a child

Inspired by this question on taking an infant sailing, as it is quite different when they can move, I thought I'd ask the same question in respect of a toddler or child. What essential safety ...
12
votes
4answers
544 views

What to look for when purchasing a fixed blade knife

I'm planning on doing some back country canoe camping this summer. I would like to avoid bringing a hatchet if possible. I also find my folding knifes get full of gunk and I am a little bit afraid I ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How often should I wax skis?

I have a pair of skis, let's pretend I use them as much as I want to. How often should I wax them? Once a season? Every few ski days? Before or after every ski day? Both? Does it matter what kind of ...
11
votes
4answers
957 views

How safe is the bowline knot in different situations?

The bowline knot (picture below, source) has a great reputation as a very safe knot. Is it really completely safe in all situations and loads, or are there use cases where it may fail?
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I shoot a bear in self-defense?

Can I shoot a bear in self-defense? Will I face fines and jail time if I do?
11
votes
3answers
406 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.
11
votes
3answers
173 views

What are the critical dimensions to a safe bear-bag?

Many outdoor areas that have bears have bear bag-lines setup for hikers. In situations where the bear-bag line is not there or it is full, what dimensions should I keep in mind to protect my goodies ...
10
votes
1answer
105 views

Climbing volcanic mountains

I'm planning to climb a few volcanic mountains in Indonesia the coming year. Mostly Mt Kerinci and a few adjoining ones (I'm still making a list of those near by to Kerinci). I believe that most ...
10
votes
2answers
203 views

Sailing with an infant

My wife and I are thinking about sailing with our ~ 6 month old baby boy. We understand this is not something to take lightly, and we're planning either a canal/river sail or a sail in a very calm sea ...
10
votes
5answers
392 views

Can I replace Dish soap?

I have been trying to get my weight down on longer backpacking trips. I have already taken to buying very strong soap and using very little, but I was wondering is there something I can replace the ...
10
votes
3answers
232 views

Group protocol should the group become separated

A small group (2-10 people total) is travelling in a wilderness area. For whatever reason a person or a couple get separated. What is the best strategy for the lost ones? What is the best strategy to ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

What are the key differences between Mountaineering and Rock Climbing?

I think the title speaks for itself. I have done a basic google search and I do not find the references to be sufficient. I'm looking for a short synopsis that would educate a layman such as myself. ...
10
votes
3answers
7k views

Prevent mosquito bites: insect repellent patch or just eat vitamin B1?

I'd like to use natural malaria prevention. Insect repellent patch seems to be very promising. One patch contains 75 mg of B1 and covers 36 hours. However, it's not very cheap. Many other travellers ...
10
votes
2answers
101 views

How do I make a fin selection for various surfing conditions

There are many surfing fin designs available for modern surf boards. What are the criteria for selecting: Tri-fin Bi-fin Mono-fin No fins And why would I want to have larger or smaller surfing ...
9
votes
1answer
121 views

Are PLBs banned or otherwise useless anywhere?

This comment raises the idea that PLBs may not be allowed inland in the UK. A later comment refuted this, but I never even considered they would be disallowed anywhere, but simply rented one and took ...
9
votes
2answers
567 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
199 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?
8
votes
3answers
378 views

Do I need to hang a bear cache?

I am considering to get Garcia Machine Backpacker's Cache. According to MEC user reviews, this is the only cache approved in the Adirondack Mountains. Canadian parks, and other places as well, ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do people who backpack sleep in tents instead of tarps?

I know that this has been debated for some time (whether it is better to sleep in a tent or a tarp) but recently this debate came up between my friends and me, and I am just feeling out this possible ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a freestanding tent and why should I want one?

What is a free-standing tent? What are the advantages of a free-standing tent as opposed to a tent that isn't, and what are the disadvantages? See also: What is a self erecting tent and why should I ...
8
votes
2answers
359 views

How can I locate the leak in a inflatable pad

I went camping last trip and my nice inflated pad... deflated. I always carry a patch kit but I discovered another issue: I couldn't find the leak. The leak was small. It took quite a while of me ...
8
votes
2answers
265 views

How do I check paracord to determine if it's genuine?

Given some paracord, is there a simple check that I can make to check that it's genuine and not the cheaper knock off stuff? Number of strands seems like the most obvious point, but is there anything ...
8
votes
1answer
83 views

What should I as a beginning surfer consider when buying my first longboard?

I'm a beginning surfer, and I want a longboard. How do I select one? How much should I pay? What is good width and length, etc.?
8
votes
6answers
5k views

How long does mayonnaise last unrefrigerated in the back-country?

Yes, mayonnaise. It is sold unrefrigerated, and is an essential component of any back-country sandwich. Has anyone reached its limit and had it spoil on them? (I haven't. Of course, I've never had an ...
8
votes
4answers
510 views

How could I treat scrapes outdoors without a first aid kit?

Say I'm hiking outdoors and I get a scrape. I've forgotten my first aid pack, or already used up the appropriate supplies. Is there anything in the wilderness I can use to sterilize and perhaps cover ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What should you do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake?

You should obviously avoid rattlesnakes if at all possible. But if you do get bitten by one, what should you do? What supplies can be brought ahead of time to allow for the best treatment, and what ...
8
votes
1answer
530 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
844 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?
8
votes
1answer
498 views

What's the difference between white gas, propane, kerosene, and gasoline?

How do I know what type I should use when I'm planning a camping trip?
7
votes
2answers
372 views

What to do at the top of a sport climb

I dabble a little at leading trad, but have never led a sport route. If I do a sport lead, I want to make sure I don't make some stupid mistake when I get to the top. For example, I don't want to ...
7
votes
5answers
453 views

How to make a fire without burning the ground

I was wondering if there was a way to make a fire pit and start a fire in it, and have a way to protect the ground beneith it as much as possible. I don't really know how I could manage to do that, ...
7
votes
1answer
302 views

Do folding cross country skis exist?

Do folding (or telescoping) cross-country skis exist and if so are they useable? Update: Or are there small cross-country skis that are short enough for easy transport, yet still capable of providing ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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. ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How much heat can a candle lantern provide while winter camping?

In answering this question I tossed out that a candle lantern can add as much as 10 degrees (F) of heat while winter camping. I've heard this tossed about before, but is it true? I assume there are ...
7
votes
1answer
118 views

Trekking Pole Length

I was recently convinced to buy a pair of trekking poles for backpacking. But how long should they be? What is the optimal length to adjust my trekking poles, when carrying a heavy pack? I have ...
7
votes
3answers
778 views

What characteristics should I look for in a good torch/flashlight?

I'm looking to buy a flashlight/torch (or build my own even if that works out cheaper), and am looking to take the following into consideration: Good battery life (LEDs would probably suit best in ...
7
votes
2answers
306 views

Does a red headscarf or hat provide better protection from the sun?

I read in an old tourist guide (from the beginning of the 20th century) that during mountain walks on sunny days one should wear a red headscarf or a hat with red lining to avoid heat stroke, because ...
7
votes
1answer
292 views

How do I correctly clean (remove) Tri-Cams?

Tri-Cams have a reputation for fitting where other protection will not, and they are light weight and inexpensive compared to SLCDs. Unfortunately they also have a reputation for being hard to clean ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

What fps does a bow need to hunt moose?

I have been looking into how strong of a bow would be required to bow hunt moose. I haven't been able to find a specific number as to how many fps you should be shooting to safely hunt moose.
6
votes
1answer
55 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
2answers
229 views

“Used” top rope when bouldering

My friend and I often boulder around my home instead of driving to the local area, and when attempting some more challenging features, such as overhangs and slightly taller cliffs, we would feel ...
6
votes
5answers
981 views

At what point do I need snow goggles or glacier glasses when hiking?

I'll be backpacking Europe in the winter (snow and rain) and parts of my trip will be outdoors, such as hiking in Dolomites, Italy. For purposes of packing light and risk of losing expensive gear, I ...
6
votes
1answer
839 views

Is freeze-dried food healthy?

I've recently heard an opinion (from a sailor that attempted to beat a 122 day, westward route, around the world sailing record) that freeze-dried food is actually very healthy, as it contains less ...
6
votes
1answer
206 views

Does camping in polar bear country require someone to keep guard during the night?

Some animals are big and dangerous and, when hungry, may realise that humans contain a pretty decent amount of meat. I've never hiked in such areas, but they do exist. Photo from Wikipedia, ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to select paracord

What important features should I pay attention to when buying paracord for hiking (such as different types, load limit, etc)? I just use it for bear bags, tarp lines, etc.
6
votes
2answers
361 views

Do I need to break in double plastic mountaineering boots?

I just bought my first pair of mountaineering boots. I know hiking boots need to be properly broken in before taking them on the trail, but what about plastic mountaineering boots? These are ...
6
votes
2answers
595 views

When should you repair rock gouges in skis?

When downhill skiing (although I assume this would apply to cross-country skiing or snowboarding as well), when should a gouge caused by a rock or other obstacle be considered large or serious enough ...
6
votes
3answers
810 views

What can I do to prevent getting poison ivy?

I have a very bad reaction to poison ivy. I take extraordinary measures to avoid any and all contact with it. I wear long socks and full pants in the middle of summer but I still end up getting it ...

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