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
3answers
6k 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
324 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
240 views

How can I tell if a natural snow-bridge is safe to cross?

In early summer in the high mountains, snowfields may lie over rivers. These rivers may be otherwise tricky to ford, and it can be very tempting to use the snowfield to cross the river. However, ...
13
votes
2answers
8k 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
237 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
301 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
678 views

What wood burns toxic?

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.
13
votes
1answer
286 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
603 views

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

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? ...
13
votes
1answer
565 views

Kilimanjaro expedition - trousers - softshell vs. gore-tex

I am going on an expedition to Kilimanjaro and I'm going to buy new trousers specifically for this purpose. Some agencies recommend to take soft shell trousers and I'm not sure if it would be the best ...
13
votes
2answers
756 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
322 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
187 views

What are some good games to play with children on hikes?

Sometimes children find long hikes boring and tiring, but if you can turn it around to play some games along the way they can find things a lot more interesting. What are some good games to play in ...
13
votes
1answer
698 views

What is a good material to patch holes in backpack?

I have a backpack with rip-stop material that is quite beaten up from scrambling over granite boulders. What are some good materials for patching the holes, what kind of thread should I use, and how ...
13
votes
3answers
168 views

Good resources for information about hiking trails near Boston

I'm a Hiker who recently moved to Boston, MA. I'm interested in hiking within a 2 hour drive of the city, and I really would love alpine hiking (above the tree line), on trails that are 4 to 8 miles. ...
12
votes
8answers
552 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
316 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
343 views

Are trekking poles proven to be helpful?

I covered quite a lot of ground, but approaching 36 my knees are starting to give me troubles. Should I expect trekking poles to restore my previous stamina and walking durability? Or are they just ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

If lost in the wilderness, what is the first thing I should do?

If I get lost in the wilderness, what is the very first thing I should do?
12
votes
5answers
1k 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?
12
votes
5answers
901 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.
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Can I use my leather jacket to go to ski?

It might be quite a stupid question but... can I use my leather jacket to go to ski ? I think it is waterproof and it is reasonably warm. If I wear quite heavily under it, do you think I should be ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

What are some natural glues found in nature?

I'm curious how one could get/make some glue when in the wilderness. How did the Native Americans do it?
12
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
527 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
411 views

Is it realistic to teach yourself rock climbing?

I've been wanting to get into rock climbing for a while but I live in a very flat area with no climbing gyms around. I'm planning on moving to the Pacific Northwest soon and I wanted to know what the ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between men's and women's hiking boots?

When I bought my current pair of hiking boots, the brand/style I tried on and liked was out of stock in the womens version, so the storeperson offered me the mens ones instead. I tried them, liked ...
12
votes
5answers
196 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
6k views

Can you eat pine needles in an emergency?

If you are in a survival situation in the woods and REALLY hungry, and you are unsure about which plants are edible, can you eat pine needles?
12
votes
2answers
384 views

Long or short sleeves on a hike in the Desert?

I have heard different things from different people, but here in the South West we do a decent amount of desert hiking. Protection from bugs is usually little concern because most of the time in the ...
12
votes
2answers
390 views

How to make a signal fire that can be seen miles away

If I were lost in the North American woods, how could I make a signal fire that would attract attention many miles away ?
12
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
469 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: ...
12
votes
4answers
3k 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). ...
12
votes
3answers
11k views

How do I use these “guy line runners” to adjust the tension on my tent's lines?

I was given my current tent and I have to admit to being pretty ignorant of tents, having not done much camping since I was a kid some decades ago. Now when it came time to use the guy ropes I ...
12
votes
3answers
347 views

Falling into an ice cold body of water

I've never been hiking in such extreme situations, but if in the situation in the question, i.e. you're hiking in very cold weather and someone falls in (let's say so pretty much their whole body is ...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
207 views

Is it practical to get a satellite phone for communication from remote areas?

When going into remote areas, it would be great to be able to communicate with the outside world, for emergency purposes or just to be able to call home on long trips. Is it practical for an average ...
12
votes
2answers
187 views

Micro-Fractures in Climbing Equipments

I have always been very careful while handling climbing gear. Last year while returning from an expedition, I met a group that was returning from a tough-looking climb. They were selling off a few of ...
12
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
200 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 - ...
12
votes
5answers
213 views

Is a varied diet necessary while backpacking?

Often when planning food for a backpacking trip, I rely heavily on a very large amount of extremely varied trail-mix, and only throw in some jerky and a scant few "cookable" meals for variety. I ...
12
votes
3answers
367 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
791 views

Mountaineering / glacial traverse: rope-up or go it alone?

When crossing a glacier (or other mountaineering activity for that matter) I've heard that roping everyone together without having a fixed anchor is falling out of fashion since more often than not if ...
12
votes
2answers
641 views

Do kevlar sacks work against bears?

We ran into a hiker on the AT last year using a kevlar back to keep out bears and rodents. He said the product was an Ursack and seemed very happy with it. However he'd never had a bear try to get ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What type of knife should I carry while rock climbing?

I carry a cheap folding knife with me while climbing, particularly if I know there is a chance of stuck ropes, grubby anchors, or we are in the backcountry. The knife is held shut with a loop of cord, ...
12
votes
3answers
206 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I tell what time it is without a watch?

Assuming I don't have a watch or other time-telling device with me in the wilderness, is there a way to know what time it is? I don't necessarily want to know the exact minute of the day, but a ...

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