15
votes
1answer
1k 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.
15
votes
2answers
356 views

What is the proper tension for a tent line

When setting up a tent and staking it out, what is the proper tension for the lines? I generally just make them arbitrarily tight, but have no idea how that would perform in high wind or other ...
15
votes
2answers
208 views

A little bit of acclimatisation or no acclimatisation at all?

This summer I'm planning to mount my first 4000 m mountain in Switzerland. So far I only got around 3300 meters while hiking and had no problems. However 4000 meter an above is definitively a ...
14
votes
9answers
931 views

What kind of mementos, if any, am I allowed to collect from State and National parks in small quantities?

What kind of mementos am I allowed to collect from State and National parks in small quantities, if any? I am especially wondering about: pebbles, shells, sea-urchin-skeletons, sand-dollar-skeletons ...
14
votes
12answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

When should you carry a firearm when hiking/trekking?

When my friend planned to hike the Appalachian trail, his mother insisted he take her small handgun. I didn't think it would be a great idea in that case, but I'm sure there must be times when such ...
14
votes
7answers
384 views

Activities at the campsite

Inspired by a comment by Kate Gregory I just have to ask this question: What to do on your spare time while being at the campsite? Being outdoors several days while having good friends around and ...
14
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 ...
14
votes
5answers
1k 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.
14
votes
7answers
3k views

What can I do about those obnoxious biting flies?

In addition to Mosquitos, many of us northwoods campers have been made victim to the vast swarms of biting flies. Despite slathering myself with DEET, they don't seem deterred, and they especially ...
14
votes
6answers
19k views

What is the ultimate car camping bed solution — for two people?

I've been camping since I was a teenager in the scouts, and I've never really had a very comfortable night out. As an adult with a girlfriend, 20 years later, I'd like to just throw some money at the ...
14
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?
14
votes
4answers
348 views

When sailing, how do I rescue a man overboard?

If someone falls overboard from a sailboat, it is firstly imperative not to lose sight of the person since finding a man in water, especially when there's waves, can be very difficult. What ...
14
votes
4answers
7k views

How To Quickly Warm A Tent

Some background links to Aravona's question here. Basically I am her other half and over the course of the night the tent was opened many times. As people will know opening a tent in the wee hours of ...
14
votes
6answers
7k views

Does packing boots with newspaper make them dry faster?

In one of the trail journals I read, the author mentions packing her boots with newspaper to dry them out. On the one hand I can see perhaps some wicking action, but this would greatly reduce ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Please Explain Rock Climbing Grades

I have seen various grades for different climbs such as 5.14b, 8b+, 8b - 150m It seems there are different parts to the grade, e.g. the last one is it 8b for 150 metres? Do these grades only ...
14
votes
3answers
482 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
585 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?
14
votes
4answers
4k views

Will a tent provide some protection from bears?

When camping in a bear country, will a tent provide an additional protection from bears, as opposed to just sleeping outside or in a hammock? Provided I take the usual precautions of keeping any ...
14
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
329 views

How should I treat poison ivy?

If I'm struck by poison ivy, what should I do? Is there a way to suppress the itch?
14
votes
5answers
4k 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?
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Which side of an emergency blanket should I use?

an emergency blanket has two sides, one orange and one silver. Which one should I keep on the inside?
14
votes
4answers
567 views

Walking up the slopes. To walk brisk or to walk slow?

This question has been eating my head for quite some time now. I trek often and most of the treks involve climbing up to a peak or something similar. I usually carry heavy loads of around 13-15kgs on ...
14
votes
7answers
4k views

How do you prevent mold in CamelBak hydration bladders?

When using a CamelBak (or other hydration bladder system), it is easy for mold to grow if the bladder is left sitting with water in it. What is the best way to avoid mold (or other nasties) growing ...
14
votes
2answers
666 views

Is my tent pole a lightning rod?

I have used the Mega Mid tent almost exclusively for hundreds of nights out over the last many years. It's versatile, well ventilated, light... but has this pole sticking straight up the middle. Is ...
14
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
825 views

Why did my new sleeping bag come with 2 bags - one large and one stuff sack?

I just bought a new sleeping bag online and it came in a large draw cord bag and there was also a small stuff sack in the package. What is the point of the large draw cord bag?
14
votes
3answers
450 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
305 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
607 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: ...
14
votes
5answers
294 views

How to minimize sea sickness?

I love sailing, and my wife loves the ocean, but she gets sea-sick often. Any advice on how to avoid sea-sickness in people prone to it? I'm looking for advice in terms of foods that are less of an ...
14
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). ...
14
votes
4answers
990 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
2answers
413 views

Where are good places to look for water sources when I have run out on a multi-day hike?

Luckily this has never happened to me, but even the most prepared hiker can often get themselves into difficulties if they run out of water. My question here is in your experience in remote arid ...
14
votes
1answer
4k views

Is it safe to use denatured alcohol as an antiseptic?

A lot of hikers carry denatured alcohol for cooking. Is there any risk to using it as an antiseptic for cuts and lacerations?
14
votes
3answers
215 views

What are the key features to look for in mobile device apps for hiking/camping?

I've used EveryTrail and was satisfied but am looking for something better... What are the features I should focus on for selecting an app? What bells and whistles are really useful on the trail?
14
votes
1answer
202 views

How can I make a snow shoe in the wilderness from commonly available materials and simple tools?

As in the title really. In the hypothetical situation that I'm caught in the wilderness in winter and there's a heavy snow storm resulting in an unexpected level of snow, snow shoes could well come in ...
14
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
202 views

Where can I find help identifying an owl by its call?

I am in a semi-rural area of Aldergrove, BC Canada--close to the US border. From our house we can hear the call of what we think is an owl, but would like to know what particular species. We were ...
14
votes
4answers
9k 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? ...
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
2answers
231 views

How much gear will the AT eat?

We're planning on hiking the AT, and this question prompted me to ask: What gear should we expect to replace, and how often, on the Appalachian Trail? Assume that we know basic gear maintenance and ...
14
votes
2answers
392 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
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
10k 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 ...
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
427 views

Will Iodine Tablets Ruin My CamelBak?

In the past, I have gone backpacking with some fairly expensive, heavy water purification tools. But the more I read about water safety in California's Sierras (here and here), the less I think these ...
14
votes
2answers
148 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 ...

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