7
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there an accepted way to self-belay yourself on top rope?

I have seen a handfull of methods and devices on the market: http://www.rockexotica.com/products/downloads/belay.html But its not clear to me that any of the these devices do a better job than a ...
9
votes
2answers
457 views

Does a groover have to stink?

I have used several different products and none of them work that well. Bottom line, is there a product that will subdue the offending groover? So a groover is a river toilet. On multiple day river ...
15
votes
7answers
11k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
756 views

Are used climbing shoes safe?

We have several used gear shops locally, which also sell climbing shoes. I'm looking to start climbing and I am considering buying used shoes to save cost. Is it ever safe to buy used shoes, and if ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What are “Aggressive” climbing Shoes?

This question was borrowed from a comment on this question. But what is meant by an "aggressive" climbing shoe? What is the difference in a non-aggressive shoe? And when would you use one over the ...
8
votes
2answers
462 views

Does anyone have an account of someone using a survival tin in a survival situation

I have read several books about survival and outdoor field craft skills. Many of these books suggest building a survival kit out of an Altoids tin or something similar. These kits include very basic ...
14
votes
2answers
952 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. ...
11
votes
2answers
147 views

How do I make a fin selection for various surfing conditions

There are many surfing fin designs available for modern surf boards. What are the criteria for selecting: Tri-fin Bi-fin Mono-fin No fins And why would I want to have larger or smaller surfing ...
9
votes
1answer
153 views

When should you be alert for snakes?

Are there specific seasons or temperatures that increase the likelihood that a hiker would encounter a snake? I go backpacking solo in the mid-Atlantic (US) and carry a snakebite kit as an extra ...
15
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
116 views

Dealing with a campsite that is full of rocks or not flat terrain?

What do you do before setting up your tent when the your camping site is either: full of rocks ? not flat ?
8
votes
5answers
482 views

What should I do if I break a shoelace in the wilderness?

If I'm hiking in the wilderness and my shoelace breaks, what's the best way to go about fixing it assuming I have no spare?
6
votes
1answer
171 views

Bending wood, how do I know it is far enough?

Am building a Frisian schouw, I have oakwood and build a frame on which the wood can rest. How would I know the wood has bend enough and how serious would it be if it is bend to far?
6
votes
2answers
241 views

How do I identify dangerous, marshy land?

At a casual look, grass with a bit of surface water on it can look very similar to a potentially deadly marsh, and in many rural places there can be lots of both after it's been raining! In dry ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

How to maximise the chances of survival when stranded in open sea?

I read with interest about news of a scuba diver being stranded in the open sea when the diving operator failed to account for all members of a group. Mishaps like this and accidents such as boat ...
14
votes
3answers
240 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
239 views

Is there simple guidance on sunburn risk associated with altitude?

When skiing, if the weather is good, I often come back with a better tan than if I have been at the beach. Obviously with altitude, there is less blocking of UV rays by the atmosphere. But how much ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Tent floor waterproof rating

I'm currently looking to buy a new tent. The old one had a floor that was said to withstand a hydrostatic head of 10000 mm, but the tents I find in the stores here go to at most 3000 mm for the floor, ...
14
votes
3answers
373 views

What are the critical dimensions to a safe bear-bag?

Many outdoor areas that have bears have bear bag-lines setup for hikers. In situations where the bear-bag line is not there or it is full, what dimensions should I keep in mind to protect my goodies ...
5
votes
3answers
173 views

Forecasting the weather in the wilderness

We didn't always have the weather forecast available everywhere, and there's times when it would be useful to be able to be able to take a good guess at weather conditions in the near future by ...
10
votes
1answer
781 views

Are there boots made for a longer 2nd toe?

I have a longer 2nd toe than the big toe (Morton's toe or royal toe). The major problem is finding boots or sports shoes that fit properly. If I didn't have this longer toe I would wear a 9 or 9.5 (...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to choose a class of rapids for a variety of skill levels?

I've been whitewater rafting (and inadvertent whitewater canoeing ;) a couple times, and I'd like to get a bunch of friends together to go with me. I'd bring enough people to fill a raft (5 or 6), but ...
7
votes
2answers
977 views

What brands make propane lanterns, stoves, heaters, and accessories in America?

The accessories I'm looking for are things like propane trees and hoses, and obviously stoves, heaters, and lanterns are self explanatory. Nobody seems to talk about where things are made anymore, and ...
12
votes
2answers
157 views

What to look out for when buying used backpacks

I'm looking to buy a used backpack in the near future. What are the key things I should look out for/avoid when inspecting used paks?
8
votes
1answer
197 views

How to get started with packrafts?

I love hiking and I'm starting to love longer cycling trips too. I've done combined cycling/hiking trips (cycling to the trailhead of a hike). Last summer I met someone who carried an inflatable raft ...
12
votes
1answer
163 views

What qualities should I look for in a good walking pole?

I've seen walking poles range from <£10 to >£100 - and to a casual observer there doesn't often seem to be much to distinguish them, with both having good grips and shock relief / suspension. What ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Probability of Being Struck by Lightning

I just moved to a new place (Edmonton, Alberta) and I wasn't really prepared for the strange weather here. My room is really hot right now and I want to sit outside for a bit in the rain where it's ...
7
votes
1answer
957 views

Calculating time until sunset

Is there a relatively reliable way of calculating the time until sunset, without any specialist equipment, when I'm in the wilderness?
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 don'...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

How much vertical distance is it possible to make in a day?

Are there some numbers on how much vertical distance can people make in a day’s hike? I know that greatly depends on fitness and other factors, but I’d be happy with some statistical curve that would ...
6
votes
2answers
569 views

Big group/basecamp tent

I want to buy a large group tent. I want it to be our communal cooking/dining tent. I'm look at things like the Mountain Hardware Yurtini or Space Station but it won't be used at altitude (so the ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

What pre/post season maintenance is recommended for a 2 cycle outboard motor?

I just acquired a used Yamaha 50TLR. I'd like to know what kind of routine maintenance I should preform to keep it in good working order.
3
votes
1answer
616 views

What can I do I to loosen up my outboard steering?

The steering on my Yamaha 50TLR outboard motor is very stiff. What can I do to make it easier to steer?
5
votes
1answer
532 views

How to make two strand cord or string?

How is two-strand cord braided? What shape cordage material works best for this technique? Do you need to start from relatively round cordage or can something strong but more flat (like a tough grass)...
6
votes
1answer
415 views

Should I leave my boat lift above water or submerged?

I have a boat lift in my boat house. I'm concerned that leaving the lift in the water will cause the carpeted bunks and metal cross beams to deteriorate more quickly. Should I keep it up or down when ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Avoiding compression when packing synthetic sleeping bag

I came across the following comment (From durable 3-season bag.): don't forget that synthetic doesn't last nearly as long even if you take extremely good care of it (i.e. never compress it) – ...
7
votes
2answers
205 views

What is the best stroke for swimming in rapids aggressively?

So I know that most swimming in rapids should be defensive, on your back feet together and pointed downstream. However, there are times you need some good aggressive swimming to get to an eddie or out ...
19
votes
2answers
753 views

What to look for in a durable, 3-season sleeping bag?

I'm looking to purchase a camping sleeping bag. I'd like one that's high-quality, durable, and suitable for weekend hiking/camping trips during spring, summer, and fall in New England. (Most of my ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Will boiling be enough to decontaminate standing water from pathogens and toxins?

Will the boiling of the water itself be enough to decontaminate water taken from such standing water reservoir as that: This water looks horrible, and probably drinking it raw would cause serial ...
10
votes
3answers
605 views

Would a tampon be a good addition to a survival kit

Jezebel magazine suggests a tampon for your survival kit. I don't question that, if you just happen to have a tampon, you can use it. But at the end of the article they suggest even guys carry one ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there any repellent against wasps, bees and hornets?

On my trip I've been accompanied by a few wasps. I don't know what attracted them but they were trying to sit on me, which wasn't comfortable to me, since a bite of a wasp is causing by me a swelling ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

What to do if you cross paths with a buck?

On my last bike ride I was riding on a trail and I was going pretty fast, fast enough that I went around a corner really fast and there was a doe right in front of me. I stopped as fast as I could. We ...
7
votes
2answers
185 views

How is “pack weight” measured

In ultralight or lightweight hiking, "pack weight" is a very common number to discuss. What does pack weight exclude? Is it limited to just what's in your pack, or does it also include clothes, ...
9
votes
3answers
374 views

An alternative to geocaching, but with classic maps instead of GPS?

Geocaching is a great fun, but it is oriented on GPS devices. I'd like to participate in searching caches, which location is given on the map (full, or fragmented, or just a drawing) - like in ...
10
votes
1answer
118 views

Under which conditions are weather forecasts reliable?

All outdoors activities precautions include taking note of the weather forecasts for the day. However, I have seen those forecasts be terribly wrong in many places, even for a two-hours ahead ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it safe to camp in the desert without a tent?

I'm looking to hike the Grand Canyon (found out that as a single I do have a good shot at securing the permit!), and now I'm trying to make sure I carry as little as possible on said hike. First ...
15
votes
2answers
810 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
119 views

Is there a straightforward way to calculate energy requirements for a trek

If I know my route will take x days, over terrain y, with a change in height of z, in temperatures of p, is there a simple rule of thumb which will let me calculate food requirements? Water is ...
10
votes
2answers
194 views

What is Geocaching?

There are questions on this site tagged geocaching. This appears to be some kind of GPS game. How is it played? (This is an easy question to Google but I'd like the StackExchange version, thank you....
5
votes
1answer
96 views

Searching for a lost group member

Following on from this question, what searching methods and techniques are best used in scenarios where a single group member (or perhaps couple of group members) become lost and separated from a ...

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