18
votes
6answers
9k views

How to check if a fence or cable has electricity without having special tools?

You run across a wire cable, or wire fence in the wild, with which you would have to interact in some way. How to check if electricity runs through it without having special tools? EDIT: As the ...
18
votes
7answers
823 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 ...
18
votes
13answers
8k views

What's the best way to avoid slipping on ice?

Where I live, winter is still a good bit away, but last year I slipped on ice and ended up with a black eye and a broken wrist. This year I sincerely want to reduce the chances of that recurring. I ...
18
votes
9answers
686 views

What can I do to keep my hands warm while using touchscreens in the winter?

Now that it is starting to get cold it is more difficult to use touchscreens while outdoors. I use both an iPhone and a Garmin GPS to geocache and both have touchscreens that require me to take my ...
18
votes
6answers
3k views

Best way to illuminate a tent?

Usually when I require light inside the tent I just prop a torch (flashlight) up somewhere, if it's bright enough then up at the roof of the tent the reflected light gives a nice ambient glow. Has ...
18
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
1k views

When will a rattlesnake strike?

There are a few questions about how to avoid rattlers, and what to do if you're bit, but at what point does a rattler actually strike? I had my first rattler encounter ever yesterday, just out in ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Why don't we apply the principles of layering when it comes to pants?

Whenever I see clothing articles geared toward hiking and backpacking that discuss layering (base layer for wicking, mid layer for insulation, etc.), they always seem to discuss these things in terms ...
18
votes
6answers
562 views

When buying a backpack, what should I pay attention to?

I know one can compare backpacks by the following: Content (in liters) Number of external pockets (for quick accessable water bottles for example) Hip belt available are not Waterproof / Water ...
18
votes
5answers
883 views

How can you prevent kids getting lost at night while camping?

When camping in more remote areas with young kids, how can you make sure they don't take a stroll and get lost in the middle of the night? We won't be near lights, established "bathrooms", etc. The ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

First time camping, need advice

Me and my wife have never done camping before and always wanted to do it. This time we are planning to go for a small camping trip but have no idea how to prepare for it. We like to hike and are ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

Selecting backpacking cooking pot – teflon, aluminum, steel, titanium, or cast iron?

What are the relative advantages / dangers of different cooking wear? I'm a one-pot gourmet that has been using the same stainless steel pot for 15 years, but am considering an upgrade. Some things I ...
18
votes
7answers
359 views

Good books to learn survival?

Does anybody have a recommendation to a good book about how to survive in the Norwegian woods and similar?
18
votes
7answers
9k 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. ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

What are some things to keep in mind when stealth camping?

Stealth Camping definition: Stealth camping is the act of quietly finding a place away from people where you can camp for the night and then quickly slip away in the morning without being ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

How to deal with wet feet?

Say for instance I'm walking on boggy ground, I find a small muddy hole or some other minor tragedy that leaves one or both of my feet soaking wet and caked in mud. What is the best way to deal with ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

Why shouldn't I buy an ultra light tent?

I have a workhorse of a tent, an Alpine Meadows, (described in this answer) that I really like. We bought it 30 years ago, and at first we just had way more stuff than we should, and eventually we had ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

Can groundwater still be consumed if after boiling the water turns brown with an oily substance floating on top?

This weekend we went "pole camping". A pole camp site (dutch link only) is a camp site offered by the departments of forestry in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is very basic. What is offered is a ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

Does a life-straw replace my water while hiking?

Let's assume I hike in a region with a lot of streams, rivers and lakes (South-Germany etc.) not longer than for two days. Am I supposed to use a life-straw as my primary water-source or should it be ...
18
votes
4answers
642 views

Why are people so worried about Giardia?

Everyone I have ever been camping with seems to have an unwritten rule never to drink from streams no matter how clear they might seem, for fear of Giardia. I have also heard people telling about ...
18
votes
9answers
3k views

What are good items to leave in a geocache?

I started geocaching roughly a month ago and it's really fun activity to get into. I had a few questions (though one was answered already here > What should be carried in a standard Geocaching bag?) ...
18
votes
6answers
1k views

Repair broken plastic buckle in the middle of Hiking or alternative way to fix it

A month ago while hiking my 60 liter bag packs main Shoulder strap got broken at the very first hour of 4 day high altitude trek in a dense forest. I have tied a knot in that area and because of that ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

How to “spot” someone who is bouldering?

We have discussed a lot and at length about how to climb and other climbing techniques. I haven't come across a single post that talks about Spotting techniques. What are the duties of a Spotter? ...
18
votes
4answers
1k 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. ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

What happens to cams after climbing?

What do people do with their cams after they've reached the top of the rock? Is there some special way of getting them down again? Seeing the prices of around 50 € per piece they can hardly just leave ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

Are Ice grips worth buying

The cold weather has finally hit the UK and once again I am tempted to buy something like https://www.yaktrax.co.uk/shop/yaktrax-pro. For those of you not in the UK we get some snow each year (enough ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there any way to dispose of liquid fuel?

So that's the case - I have a camp stove and a bottle of liquid fuel for it (gas? benzine? petrol? ah, whatever). Hike is over and I have to get on a plane - thus I have to get rid of this fuel. How ...
18
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

What are some effective ways to deal with sand when camping on or near the beach?

I've done plenty of camping in my life, especially since it's part of my job, but one area where I've been particularly challenged is camping where sand is involved. It just gets everywhere and into ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

How to tell the time at night

What is the simplest way to approximate time after the sun has set? Perhaps using the moon's height and phase? This would make the most sense to me, but what could you do in the case of a new moon?
18
votes
6answers
18k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
731 views

What do I need to look for in good, quality hiking boots?

My wife and I are going to buy some hiking boots as we've been using regular tennis shoes anytime we go on a hike. What are the things I need to keep in mind when looking for a good set of quality ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

How to hike without constantly looking down

Every time I go walking or hiking, I generally spend most of my time looking down to make sure I don't step on a snake or hole or dog poop. I don't do it consciously, it just happens. Obviously, I ...
18
votes
3answers
492 views

As an experienced backpacker in the Eastern US, what should I know before hiking in the Western US?

I have done a good deal of hiking and backpacking in the Eastern US (mostly in New England), but I recently moved to California. What are the major differences in terms of preparation or equipment ...
18
votes
1answer
3k views

How much sea water can I safely drink?

Anyone who has played in the ocean knows getting a little sea water in your mouth and swallowing it will not kill you. Seawater contains salt. When humans drink seawater, their cells are thus ...
18
votes
2answers
388 views

What can I do to prevent altitude sickness?

I will be going above 15000 feet (4500 meters) on a trip next month, and I've heard people will often get altitude sickness. Is there anything I can do beforehand to prevent sickness or take while I'm ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

What can I do with a retired rope and harness?

I've recently retired a rope (dynamic) and a harness. They're both in very good shape, but just over 8 years old. Common sense dictates I throw them away, but I wonder if there are other uses I can ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

The best solution for carrying a D-SLR when hiking

I am planning a multi-day hike in the Drakensberg area of South Africa. This is a beautiful landscape with interesting flora and fauna. Consequently I want to have my Digital SLR close to hand. I ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Am I likely to need multiple pairs of boots on the Appalachian Trail?

Reading up on a hiking boot size question, I came across this review from Silver Spring, Maryland for a wide hiking boot. This boot has a "lifespan" of 400 miles. Is that typical of a hiking boot? ...
18
votes
2answers
20k views

What's the UPF of a T-Shirt or jeans?

Many outdoor clothing items advertise themselves with a UPF (Ultraviolet protection factor) of 30 or even 50. How does that compare with a normal cotton T-Shirt or a pair of jeans? Do I have to use ...
18
votes
2answers
616 views

Things to consider when buying sunglasses

I am going to buy sunglasses. Here is how and where I am going to use them: mountain trekking - with altitude mostly below 2000, however I will use them in the following months on higher mountains ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

How to clean vomit from camping gear?

Some background. Whilst car camping down in Weymouth recently I was unfortunate enough to encounter a stomach bug (we initially thought it was food poisoning but later realised it was a bug as my ...
18
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
220 views

Cascades mountaineering school

I'm looking for a mountaineering school on Rainier or elsewhere in the Cascades that provides sufficient training to climb Elbrus. Glacier travel, crampon use, crevasse rescue, and self arrest are the ...
17
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
17
votes
8answers
3k views

What are creative uses for retired carabiners?

I seem to have accumulated a good number of carabiners that, while probably still safe, I won't climb on anymore. They might be worn, of questionable origin, or just plain made obsolete by an upgrade. ...
17
votes
8answers
9k views

How to keep my legs warm in winter?

Winter is coming! Very quickly in Belgium actually, much faster than I'm used to. It's also the first year where I spend a lot of time outside. Soon, that could be a lot of time outside... freezing. ...
17
votes
9answers
3k views

How do you eat nettles?

In my other question Can you eat dock leaves? How can they be prepared? @ThatIdiot says: ... the stinging nettles are one of the best forage foods out there. So how do you prepare these? What ...
17
votes
5answers
5k 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
17
votes
10answers
6k views

Painful leather hiking boots - persevere or give up?

I have a pair of Blacks (own brand) leather hiking boots - they were probably a poor choice to begin with to be honest. They look a bit like this: ...

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