All Questions

14
votes
2answers
367 views

What foods should I avoid when backpacking?

Are there any foods that should be off-limits when backpacking because they have a negative impact on performance or well-being? I am thinking that candy-bars and very greasy foods might be ...
14
votes
2answers
909 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
2answers
2k views

How harmful is the rising/setting sun?

Often, while hiking, my companions and I treat the very early/late sun as being less harmful (as far as skin cancer and UV radiation are concerned). For example, we might not apply sunscreen ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Plastic or fiberglass for a kayak?

I'm an intermediate level kayaker but have only paddled plastic boats. I'm looking for a kayak to do multi-day trips in on the ocean. What are the differences between plastic and fiberglass?
14
votes
1answer
842 views

Which wood sources produce toxic smoke?

So the title says it all. If I am scavenging wood in the wilderness, does some of it burn toxic? If so what kinds. This question is derived from this answer.
14
votes
2answers
144 views

Am I allowed to swim in the Austrian Alps lakes?

The title really says it all, is it legal to swim in the lakes in the Austrian Alps?
14
votes
1answer
4k views

Do CO2-based mosquito traps work?

My parents get a lot of mosquitoes in their garden during the summer. We've tried torches with citronella additives in the oil, but this has not been effective. I don't want to install a UV-based ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

Are there beaches on the East Coast (US) where one can camp without a permit?

Every summer I have a strong desire to go camping on a beach. However, I've discovered that the places near me (Long Island, New York, northern New Jersey) often either: Have a limited number of ...
14
votes
1answer
239 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, ...
13
votes
12answers
1k views

Survival type activies for Scout camp

I taking a bunch of scouts camping next week. While we are staying at a Scout campsite with facilities and some organised activities. We have decided we want to have a bit more of back to ...
13
votes
8answers
1k views

How do you flavour your water on camping trips?

Always drinking pure water can be boring and tasteless, especially when you have to filtrate it or use sterilizer/purification tabs which might cause the water to taste really bad. What are easy ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Permanent Camping Cooler - No Ice Needed

Situation: Forest Clay Ground covered in pine needles Pacific Northwest Climate No River No Electricity Can provide purified water, and whatever building materials needed. Goal: Construct a ...
13
votes
5answers
986 views

Knot to turn cord into loop (load bearing)

What's the best knot for turning a piece of cord into a loop? The cord would then be used for a prusik so needs to be very secure and load bearing.
13
votes
5answers
2k views

What do I do to prevent and treat frostbite?

I'm going to be winter camping, and I'm concerned about getting frostbite. What can I do to protect myself?
13
votes
4answers
982 views

Is it safe to be in a vehicle during lightning/thunderstorms?

Recently a friend and I were offroading in the local mountains and while ascending a trail a storm blew in. We were out in the open near the top of the mountain when lightning started. We weren't sure ...
13
votes
6answers
299 views

Light-weight emergency overnight-gear

What is a good emergency-overnight-sleeping-setup when every ounce counts, like on long technical routes (grade V or VI) where the goal is to do it in one day (without hauling), but one wants to ...
13
votes
3answers
472 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
430 views

What is considered a water source, and why is it recommended to camp so far from them?

I've read one one of the US national forest or wilderness websites that when camping in the wild, one should camp at a certain distance from a water source. Should I understand a water source to mean ...
13
votes
5answers
337 views

What practical issues do I need to be aware of when hiking or camping on my own?

Related to this question, if I'm camping and hiking on my own, I'm obviously at more of a risk than if I were with someone, and some key tasks will definitely be harder with no-one to assist (such as ...
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
649 views

What do you do if the fire does get “out of control”?

Let's say you are camping with a large group, and someone starts a camp fire. You're away for a bit and come back to find everyone panicking and the fire to be much larger than actually planned (ie, ...
13
votes
3answers
747 views

Is it safe to cut a climbing rope in half?

I recently bought a 70 meter climbing rope from REI because it was a great price on the outlet. Last weekend I used it for the first time in the Texas hill country, where 99% of routes need a rope ...
13
votes
5answers
1k 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
5answers
270 views

Are headaches a bad sign at altitude?

Last weekend, we had a nice hike up Price Peak in the Sierras. We went from sea level to 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) in about 6 hours. And I had a ROARING headache. I could hear my heart beat in my ...
13
votes
7answers
679 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
380 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
1k views

Tent placement?

Having found the general area in which to camp, what should I look for when choosing the exact location for my tent? I'm thinking specifically about conditions along the east coast and great dividing ...
13
votes
4answers
625 views

Do you need to purify all mountain water sources

I was just reading this question What is the safest way to purify water? Now I walk a lot in Snowdonia in North Wales and on occasion I drink from mountain streams. I've even camped next to mountain ...
13
votes
3answers
555 views

What are the advantages of short climbers?

My girlfriend often complains that a route or boulder was created for tall climbers. In my experience that sometimes is true: I easily get a hold, she has to jump. However, Lynn Hill proved that a ...
13
votes
3answers
260 views

What steps should I take if someone starts sinking?

What are the steps that should be taken if someone you're hiking with starts to sink uncontrollably into say a marsh? What are some good techniques and points that should be used to get them out ...
13
votes
3answers
9k views

How to apply duct tapes and mole skin to prevent blisters?

On a question that was asked somewhat regarding preventing/treating blisters, I got this thing being said by a reputed and a respectable climber (DavidR): "Having 'duct tape', 'mole skin', or other ...
13
votes
3answers
531 views

Rappelling in the Rain

Last night I had a nightmare that I was 5 pitches off the ground and it started to pour rain. When I woke up I realized I have no idea how to deal with this. Asking around, everyone says two things: ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

How to properly lace hiking boots?

When I go on hiking trips, I wear proper boots. However, when I lace them tight, my ankles swell terribly after a few hours and start feeling funny (bending the joint feels like touching a balloon). ...
13
votes
2answers
147 views

Proper technique for self-arrest with an ice axe, when wearing crampons

What is the proper technique to self-arrest and brake a fall, given steep icy(frozen snow) slope, when wearing crampons and wielding an ice axe? Should the crampons be used for stopping or held high ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Sleeping with two people in one hammock

My girlfriend and I both like sleeping in hammocks in the outdoors. We now sleep in two separate hammocks. However, I've seen many hammocks that are designed, or at least make it possible to sleep ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Pros and Cons of paracord

From a comment on the How to select paracord question I was curious, what is the benefit of paracord over hardware store yellow twisted poly stuff? The yellow stuff is cheap, readily available, ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Are there any low sodium freeze dried meals?

For health reasons, I usually try to keep my sodium intake fairly low. However, most freeze dried dinners offered in camping stores contain an more sodium than I'm looking for. I consider 800mg a ...
13
votes
2answers
724 views

Why are indoor climbing grades easier?

This is possibly a little of a generalisation but, why are indoor grades easier than outdoor grades? Having climbed at many many indoor walls (all over the uk) and done multiple outdoor climbs ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

What shoes keep me warm in the cold?

One of the biggest problems I have keeping warm in the cold are my shoes. When I'm out cycling in temperatures below -20°C, ordinary sport-shoes or hiking boots fail to keep me warm Cycling to work ...
13
votes
3answers
240 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
450 views

Formula for rough amount of water to carry on hike?

Is there a formula which can be used (I'm thinking one that gives amount of water needed factoring in time or distance covered and temperature) to roughly work out the amount of water that needs to be ...
13
votes
3answers
468 views

What are the vitamin considerations for extended backpacking

For short hikes you can generally ignore nutritional concerns, because you don't generally become malnourished in two days. However, for a long trip like the Appalachian Trail or other long hikes (at ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Washing clothes on long hikes

I'm looking for a good solution for clothing (or clothes washing) on long hikes with the following considerations Southeastern United States, Appalachians We hike light 10+ day trips I don't want ...
13
votes
2answers
525 views

How to estimate distance in sea

While kayaking or swimming out in the open waters, it is quite important to be able to judge distances accurately before attempting to get from one point to another, such as from island to island. ...
13
votes
2answers
860 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?
13
votes
3answers
7k 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? ...
13
votes
2answers
9k views

How should you wash clothes after exposure to poison oak/ivy/sumac?

I have heard that the oils from poison oak, poison ivy, or poison sumac can remain on clothes even through a wash cycle. After hiking through an area with poison ivy (or poison oak/poison sumac), how ...
13
votes
3answers
337 views

To stuff or not to stuff (the rain-fly of a tent)

I have friends who say stuffing your rainfly prolongs the life of the tent, because folding waterproof material over and over is going to make it leak. I have other friends who say folding and rolling ...
13
votes
2answers
357 views

Should I worry about moisture in my inflatable sleeping pad?

I use a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir sleeping pad. This is not self inflating, so I have to breathe in to the sleeping pad to inflate it. Are there any precautions for storing the bag to avoid gnarly ...
13
votes
1answer
328 views

Does any tent manufacturer promise to have replacement parts?

A few years ago I got a 2-person tent for backpacking. At some point, I let the rain fly get too hot. It became sticky and its waterproof coating peeled. I tried to buy a replacement rain fly, but ...

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