19
votes
3answers
408 views

What pattern for casual planes should a castaway create on a desert island?

This answer has inspired me to a question: say you are a castaway on a desert island. There might be a plane flying casualy but you can miss it. So you want to create some pattern (e.g. put some ...
18
votes
2answers
735 views

Surviving a forest fire by starting another fire

Awhile back I heard on CBC radio about a man who got trapped in a forest fire (surrounded on all sides) and survived. The way he survived was so ridiculous that he was brought to court and almost ...
17
votes
2answers
3k 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
3answers
447 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
837 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. ...
17
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
728 views

What is the first thing to do, when buried in an avalanche?

Are there set rules I should follow which would increase my chances of survival if I get buried by an avalanche? Should I try to do anything if I get caught-up in one, before it has settled?
16
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 ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

How to preserve cheese while backpacking?

Are there specific techniques for carrying/storing cheese while backpacking for a longer time so it doesn´t spoil? This question is related, but different: Cheese and eggs on backpacking trips
15
votes
1answer
298 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, ...
15
votes
2answers
623 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
9k 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?
14
votes
4answers
1k 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 - ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

How to store a backpack while sleeping?

During a recent backpacking trip, we hung the bear bag and got ready to set in for the night and I realized I wasn't sure what I should do with my backpack. Technically the backpack was carrying the ...
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
1k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k 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
2answers
910 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 ...
12
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?
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Can I heat a shelter with fire?

So I built my survival shelter and I decide a nice fire would really warm things up. Is there a way I can build a fire that would heat the shelter without too much smoke? I know I could make the ...
12
votes
3answers
845 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
5answers
9k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k 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
491 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
1answer
733 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
3answers
403 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Leading an inexperienced group

I'm taking a handful (5) work colleagues up a mountain this weekend (Tryfan in Snowdonia). The mountain is a Grade 1 scramble route so it's not overly simple. The group is very inexperienced. I've ...
10
votes
2answers
188 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
3answers
235 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
747 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 ...
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
4answers
652 views

How to stay hydrated with minimum water usage

A friend of mine asked a experienced long distance hiker, how to drink during such a hike. The answer was, drink 0.1l water per hour and then you are fine. Is this correct and can anyone add some ...
9
votes
3answers
621 views

How should I pack for a week of backpacking in the rain?

So, next week I will be leaving on a hiking trip, which was supposed to be in the middle of summer whilst it's at its hottest, but instead it will be raining all week. Luckily there are public use ...
9
votes
3answers
474 views

Vibram FiveFingers, useful, gimic?

Looking at the Vibram FiveFingers shoes, I find myself wondering why? What possible benefits do they bring as opposed to a traditional sole? Their web site (in the why barefoot section) seems to ...
9
votes
1answer
174 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
279 views

Is there a more practical type of cord to carry than “550 paracord”?

Paracord is widely considered a must-have for wilderness survival, and there are hundreds of tutorials for making bracelets out of it, etc. With this popularity has come a glut of people selling ...
8
votes
4answers
684 views

Altitude sickness when going from sea level to 14,000 ft (4,200m) in a single day

My sister lives at sea level -- Baltimore and Chicago. She is coming to visit me in Denver (5280 ft or 1600m). She wishes to climb Mt Bierstadt (14,065 ft or 4200m) the same day she arrives. I have ...
8
votes
2answers
410 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
560 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
3answers
724 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
125 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
393 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
4k 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
2k 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
1answer
543 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Anchor without cordelette?

I have the John Long book on climbing anchors and also a couple of others that describe the subject more briefly (Pesterfield, Traditional Lead Climbing, and Freedom of the Hills). When it comes to ...
7
votes
3answers
181 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How to be safe on lake and river ice and what should I do when I fall through?

It's late October and in cold, northern hemisphere climates, winter has arrived, and moderate northern hemisphere climates will follow soon. In my area, small lakes are already frozen and people have ...
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 ...

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