17
votes
4answers
647 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
3answers
335 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
7k 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 ...
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
2answers
685 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?
14
votes
1answer
240 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
2answers
1k views

Wax paper as a fire starter

One thought led to another and I started wondering how effective wax paper would be to bring along as tinder to start a fire. I've seen suggestions of using paraffin in conjunction with other ...
14
votes
4answers
896 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I know what size ice axe I should get?

I'm going to start mountaineering. Is there a recommended size per height/weight for ice axes for general mountaineering?
13
votes
4answers
533 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
2answers
505 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
872 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
635 views

How to set up a tent in deep snow

How should I set up a two-layer dome tent for 2/4 people in deep snow (waist height)? Do I need some additional equipment (snow shovel)? Insulation under the floor (further than the sleeping pads)? ...
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
7k 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
3answers
407 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
293 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
1answer
588 views

How to toughen up hands?

So I climb. It keeps my hands pretty rough, but for my day job I am a desk jockey now. I was wondering, are there exercises can I do to keep my hands rough so they don't get torn to shreds when I do ...
11
votes
2answers
3k 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
2answers
156 views

Using a “tarp” over the entrance of a snow cave

Is it true that a tarp shouldn't be covering the entrance of a snow-cave while sleeping in one? What's the reasoning to that? Is using a sleeping bag in them just fine?
10
votes
5answers
2k views

When to kill and bleed a fish

I am getting into fishing (I bought an entry-level spinner and plan on going to some nearby rivers/lakes) and have been reading a lot of conflicting information in regards to the sequence of events ...
10
votes
4answers
1k 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
207 views

Adjusting the Torso setting for the backpack

I have been using backpacks which did not have setting for Torso adjustment. This time around I have bought myself a backpack with such adjustment. Product Link: Quechua backpack Product I think I ...
9
votes
2answers
513 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
139 views

Are bears more attracted to menstruating females?

People have speculated that women hiking in bear country during their menstrual cycle might increase their chances of a bear encounter. Is this true? What can be done to minimize risk? Related ...
9
votes
1answer
524 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
307 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
1answer
96 views

Some mobile helper for tree climbing?

When I do geocaching, I meet sometimes caches on trees. Some of them can be climbed by me without equipment, but in some cases I miss some flexibility or height to reach them :) Is there any mobile ...
8
votes
2answers
224 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
3answers
2k views

Sandpapering Finger Tips

Is sandpapering your finger tips an effective way to improve anything about your rock climbing? On occasion, I will see climbers in YouTube videos or people at the local crag using sand paper on ...
8
votes
6answers
1k 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
1k 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
3answers
185 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
1answer
244 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 ...
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
188 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
4answers
1k 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
3answers
110 views

Is there a straightforward way to calculate energy requirements for a trek

If I know my route will take x days, over terrain y, with a change in height of z, in temperatures of p, is there a simple rule of thumb which will let me calculate food requirements? Water is ...
6
votes
2answers
286 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
1answer
247 views

Cramping Fingers

I recently re-started to get into rock climbing but I've been having a lot of tough time with my fingers cramping up after I get off the wall. And the worst part of it is, I have to paddle down a good ...
6
votes
1answer
358 views

Sleeping solutions when camping with dogs?

My dog enjoys hiking. I haven't taken her on any overnight trips yet, but would like to try some summer/fall backcountry camping with her (i.e., what I think Europeans call wild camping -- not car ...
6
votes
3answers
156 views

Advice for first Grand Canyon Hike for Eastern Hikers

My friend wants to do an overnight on the grand canyon this summer. We are experienced hikers in pretty good shape. However we've NEVER hiked out west, much less the Grand Canyon. What are the key ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

Is “altitude” an absolute measure of air “thinness”?

I am wondering if altitude is the only thing you need to know in order to evaluate the "thinness of air" at certain point on Earth. For instance, will climbing a 6000 m peak in the Andes or a 6000 m ...
5
votes
2answers
603 views

Which is more durable: Hard shell or soft shell?

From my experience, I've only ever used hard shells simply because I've always thought they were made for more treacherous weather. However, I recently saw a video by Patagonia that claimed soft ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

How does a route setter grade a climb?

Rock climbing and bouldering tours are classified e.g. Sierra from 5.2 to 5.15c or Fontainbleau 2 to 8c+. As you advance in your climbing experience you achieve higher grades and learn new ...
4
votes
2answers
108 views

What Canadian national/provincial/territorial parks permit random backcountry camping, if any?

From my outdoor experience in the Nordic countries, I'm used to random backcountry camping. I've never seen a backcountry campground in my life, but I've recently moved to Canada and it seems that in ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

Major fall, same for static and dynamic?

The UIAA says that you should retire your gear after a major fall is a fall with fall factor > 1.77. Now I was wondering if this criterion is the same for all kinds of material ? Dynamic ropes ...

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