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
1answer
773 views

How to treat shin splints while backpacking

It's been a couple of years since I last had bad shin splits but I can still recall how painful they can be. I was able to heal them before mostly with a couple weeks rest. If the pain came back ...
10
votes
1answer
201 views

How do you sharpen a hand chain saw?

For group hikes where we plan on having a fire, I carry a hand chain saw for dead wood. We've used ours for a while now and it is definitely getting dull. How do you sharpen this?
8
votes
1answer
207 views

Is it possible to improvise a knife sharpener in the wild?

Assuming I am lost with minimal tools, but have my knife, is there any way to improvise a knife sharpener in the woods?
9
votes
2answers
173 views

Is it necessary to carry a knife sharpener?

Under the assumption that an emergency kit like the ones listed here are for the emergency of getting lost and being stranded for days, how necessary is a knife sharpener?
5
votes
2answers
298 views

How do I tie a stopper knot?

A stopper knot is often used to prevent rope from unexpectedly going throu some hole, such as a belay device. How would I tie a stopper knot?
6
votes
3answers
438 views

What qualities to look for in a good emergency whistle?

I've always been taught to keep a whistle on me in case of emergencies - it makes sense since it's small and lightweight but could really help in an emergency. However, something I've never really ...
8
votes
1answer
15k views

Kitesurfing optimal conditions

What are the optimal wind speed, direction, and surf conditions for Kitesurfing? Please provide a description for various ability levels.
10
votes
1answer
964 views

What can be safely trimmed on a backpack

When trimming weight there are a lot of options. Lighter gear, less gear, etc. One of those options is to take an existing pack and trim off "unnecessary" extras. For instance, I have (no kidding) ...
13
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
479 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
282 views

Good qualities in carabiners

If I was looking to purchase some carabiners, what sort of things should I look out for to ensure they're good quality? I'm not planning on using them for climbing, more in the way of general use so ...
20
votes
1answer
597 views

Why tunnel tents for the poles, Geodesic for the mountains?

I've noticed that polar expeditions seem to favour tunnel tents, and mountaineering expeditions prefer geodesic designs. Is there a reason why one design fares better than the other in its preferred ...
18
votes
2answers
233 views

Which careers allow working in the wild on a daily basis?

If someone wants his job to take place mostly in the wild, what kind of career should he look into?
10
votes
1answer
292 views

How to tell if water is likely to have cryptosporidium?

I often use CLO2 (for example this product) to treat drinking water when I’m backpacking and boiling is not convenient. The instructions for the product say that the dose should be tripled if the ...
8
votes
2answers
469 views

What are the most important indicators of an high-risk avalanche zone?

If I'm heading out ski touring into an area I haven't been, what are the most important things to look for and think about to avoid high-risk areas for avalanches?
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it legal to collect firewood (to take away) from woods and forests in the UK?

I've seen lots of people do this, and unless it was clearly stealing en-masse for profit I doubt there'd be a problem, but is it legal to pick up dead logs, kindling etc. and take them away to use ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How to reduce pain of wasp stings

Assuming I am not allergic, or showing signs of allergic reaction, what's the best way to treat multiple yellow jacket (a type of wasp) stings in the outdoors while hiking/backpacking? My key concern ...
15
votes
3answers
658 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
416 views

In rock-climbing, how do I safely belay another climber? [closed]

I am learning to rock climb, and I have heard that I will need to belay climbers, so if they fall, my belay will stop the fall and prevent an injury. What do I need to do to properly belay my ...
6
votes
1answer
760 views

How is ATA measured on a compound bow?

I know that ATA is axle to axle, but is that when the bow is drawn and the limbs are flexed or when the limbs are relaxed and the compound bow is undrawn?
7
votes
1answer
166 views

What levels of 'waterproofness' and 'breathability' should I be looking for in a ski jacket?

When looking at items like jackets and ski trousers and other clothing, I see stats on the garments similar to the following: Waterproofness - 10000mm Breathability - 15000g/m Lining - 100% Polyester ...
10
votes
1answer
340 views

For a DIY wood burning stove, is there a significant advantage of the double wall “bushbuddy” style?

I made myself a simple wood burning stove from a small tomato can, and I am pretty happy with it, but now I am wondering if I would get significantly increased performance by making a more complicated ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What things should I look for when buying a compass?

Compasses seem to come in all shapes, sizes and (especially) prices! What sets a good compass apart from a bad one and what are some good characteristics to look for when making a purchase?
14
votes
2answers
253 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
1answer
681 views

What should you look for when buying hiking socks?

A quick search online shows there are dozens of different types of hiking socks, with different materials, thicknesses, and properties. In general, what should you look for when shopping for hiking ...
5
votes
1answer
609 views

How do you punch out toes in ski-touring boots?

I've got a pair of custom moulded Scarpa Spirit 4 touring boots where the big toes are bit too tight (I've lost the nails after a day or two of touring more than once). What is the proper technique ...
9
votes
3answers
163 views

How to find objective reviews of outdoors gear? [closed]

It is often difficult to know what to look for when shopping for outdoors gear. Is there some magazine, website, or other resource that does Consumer Reports style objective evaluation of outdoors ...
7
votes
2answers
390 views

what are the differences between high-end sleeping pads and cut to fit foam mats

I'm pretty tall and I find that to purchase a brand-name sleeping pad means shelling out serious $$$. To solve this I have always just purchased a roll of foam padding that I could cut to make sure it ...
9
votes
2answers
84 views

How to store fuel tablets for travel

I'm looking into using some fuel tablets for cooking with a stove like this esbit as a backup/emergency stove when rafting. However I have heard that the fuel can easily foul food, clothing, etc. ...
3
votes
0answers
225 views

Are there performance differences between lead and lead-free ammunition? [closed]

According to this article (full disclosure: I wrote it) lead-based ammunition is a well-known threat to Condors and other scavengers, and may have negative effects on humans who unknowingly ingest ...
7
votes
2answers
396 views

Is there a functional safety difference in types of helmets

From a pure safety standpoint is there a functional difference between a climbing helmet, cycling helmet, etc? Is a cycling helmet actually the safest solution for a cyclist, or would the greater ...
6
votes
2answers
106 views

How to improvise a signal mirror?

If I'm out in the wilderness and I don't have a signal mirror, what other objects could I improvise to work similar to a signal mirror?
6
votes
1answer
698 views

Does Fjällräven produce serious outdoors gear, or is it just trendy? [closed]

I noticed that there is a lot of (quite expensive) Fjällräven outdoors gear for sale here in Germany and am curious whether this is a brand worth looking into, or whether their products are more ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Should a hiker be concerned about wolves in the back-country?

In this question, it was asked whether bear-spray was effective against other animals, such as wolves. I know the old adage that "there has never been record of a healthy wolf attacking an adult" is ...
9
votes
4answers
891 views

How could I treat scrapes outdoors without a first aid kit?

Say I'm hiking outdoors and I get a scrape. I've forgotten my first aid pack, or already used up the appropriate supplies. Is there anything in the wilderness I can use to sterilize and perhaps cover ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

What are the rules for eating raw, wild meat?

Can you always eat raw meat (wild) as long as it is fresh?
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Handling feminine hygiene on multiple-month treks?

How can I handle multiple months of menstrual cycles on a long trek like the Appalachian Trail? I am asking about how to handle the mess. Here are my personal considerations: Using hormonal birth ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

How bad do circumstances need to be before activating a PLB?

Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) can be carried during outdoor activities to use in case of an emergency. But are there any guidelines on what exactly constitutes an "emergency"? For example, what ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

What does IBO on a bow mean and how is it calculated?

When I look at bow manufacturers' websites, I see bows are rated with an IBO for their arrows speed. I was wondering what IBO stands for and how it is calculated.
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What precautions should I take when hiking among herds of elk?

During certain times of the year, some of the hiking trails near where I live wind through herds of elk standing on or near the trails. What precautions should you take when hiking among elk?
3
votes
2answers
65 views

Sky map for tropics

I like to use rotational sky maps to use in the field, but I have this only for latitude 50°N. I'd like to have a similar sky map for tropics: 10°N. Do you know where I can order one?
7
votes
1answer
98 views

Do I need skins to drag a pulk on skis?

In a few weeks time I will be taking part in expedition skiing across Iceland. Our kit will be in pulks and we will be skiing with Nordic skis. Uphill I'm sure we'll need skins, but on the flatter ...
9
votes
2answers
424 views

How much fuel to carry for melting snow?

I'm using a multi fuel stove (MSR Dragonfly) for a 10 day ski tour, how much fuel should I allow to provide sufficient water for cooking and drinking. Meals will be mostly dehydrated just-add-water ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

What exercises are recommended to build strength for hiking?

I've not had much opportunity to go hiking for any decent distance recently and I feel the next time I do my body will probably complain a lot. However, I've access to a gym with a lot of equipment so ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I pack a mummy type sleeping bag in a M10 or M28 haversack?

It is fairly easy to pack a blanket or a small sleeping bag in a haversack, but in cold weather, one would sometimes like to have a warmer bag. A mummy type sleeping bag usually does not roll up ...
15
votes
3answers
695 views

What kind of canteen material will have the least effect on the taste of water?

I want to buy a canteen, and I have choice between aluminum, stainless steel, enamel and various kinds of plastic. I had canteens before that made any liquid taste horrible after just few hours. I ...
10
votes
2answers
299 views

Staying dry in severe weather

I've been in pretty big storms before on campouts, but only two were big enough that the water would seep in through the sides of the tent. One of those times I used a tarp, rope, trees, and ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What should you do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake?

You should obviously avoid rattlesnakes if at all possible. But if you do get bitten by one, what should you do? What supplies can be brought ahead of time to allow for the best treatment, and what ...
15
votes
2answers
559 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 ...

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