17
votes
7answers
440 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?
17
votes
2answers
983 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?
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it ever safe to let a hypothermic person sleep?

My understanding is that with severely hypothermic patients you want to keep them awake if possible. I'd heard moving a hypothermic patient is risky as you dont want to jostle them, some wilderness ...
17
votes
3answers
6k views

Which side of an emergency blanket should I use?

A common emergency blanket has two sides, one is orange and the other silver. Which one should I keep on the inside?
17
votes
4answers
14k views

Is it possible to develop immunity against mosquitos?

For me, every bite by mosquito results in heavy itching and the blister, which size is dependent on how long the mosquito was sucking the blood, in worst cases even 1 cm in diameter. If I would stay ...
17
votes
4answers
835 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I inspect a climbing rope?

It is imperative that climbing ropes are in excellent shape so they don't split while someone is climbing. How do I properly inspect the rope when I'm about to start a climb?
17
votes
1answer
666 views

If the Dawn Wall's been climbed before why is the current attempt so difficult?

There's a lot of talk in the media at the moment about Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell Free ascent of the dawn wall of El Capitan. This wall's been climbed before but this is the first time it's ...
17
votes
2answers
328 views

Why did the wolf-pack withdraw from attacking me?

While this has happened about 22 years ago, I never really stopped thinking about it and still regard it as unsolved mystery. While I asked plenty outdoormen, nobody had this experience. Having ...
17
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the difference between white gas, propane, kerosene, and gasoline?

How do I know what type I should use when I'm planning a camping trip?
17
votes
3answers
241 views

When is it appropriate to make a cairn?

Cairns are small stacks of rocks used to mark trails. These can be especially useful above the tree line where other trail blazes would be inappropriate or unsightly. This answer discourages their ...
17
votes
3answers
388 views

where is the optimal place to do dishes in the backcountry

I just came back from a backpacking trip in an alpine area. I was cleaning some kitchen items (pot, spork, pan, etc) with some remnant food particles that were coming off. I use a very small amount of ...
17
votes
2answers
4k views

Should I be worried about bears when sleeping in a hammock?

I'm going on a multi day backpacking trip and I am planning on taking only a backpacking hammock instead of a tent. When I mentioned this to a friend of mine he jokingly referred to me as a bear ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

How to carry dslr camera when rock-climbing

I am interested in hearing how people take their dslrs onto multi-pitch-rock-climbs. I have carried mine up in a small pack, but I end up taking hardly any pictures, since it is so cumbersome to get ...
17
votes
2answers
256 views

Why is it tiring to “keep down” with a slower person on a walk or hike?

It is understandable why it is tiring to walk faster than one's normal pace in order to keep up with someone younger and/or fitter than oneself. Simple physics: one is exerting more energy per unit ...
17
votes
2answers
511 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
5k views

Raw meat on hikes

When backpacking we often carry raw beef which we have salted and frozen, usually cut into strips that can be easily cooked through. I'm confident that this is good for 24 hours, and I know that meat ...
17
votes
2answers
284 views

Is a tepee, log cabin, or lean-to configuration most effective for starting a fire?

As long as the wood is dry and you have good kindling, does it matter how I start a fire?
17
votes
1answer
3k 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.
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Washing dishes with seawater or freshwater?

When backpacking in a coastal region, you sometimes have access to both fresh water (e.g. a stream) and salt water (sea, bay, etc.). If you do not treat the water used for washing dishes, what are ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

What hazardous wildlife is there in the UK?

And what situations should I try and avoid in regards to wildlife and areas prone to hazards in the UK? Edited my question to cover the other answers more as they were very good additions to the ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

What's the purpose of the sling on the heel of boots?

Nearly every outdoor shoe has this sling on its heel. No matter whether it's a hiking-boot, snowboard-boot or something else. In the left-hand side of this picture for example: What's the purpose ...
16
votes
7answers
4k 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?
16
votes
7answers
530 views

How can I boost morale on long backpacking trips?

Not just children can be whiny on long backpacking trips. I am interested in learning how to boost morale with both, adult groups, or when hiking with children.
16
votes
5answers
1k views

Diving mask colouring

I'm learning to dive and the first purchase is a mask and snorkel. The issue I have is discerning what mask to get colour-wise. There seem to be two main types for the silicon, clear and black. The ...
16
votes
8answers
305 views

Looking for a Topographical map resource?

Does anyone know of a good way to find topographical maps for either download or purchase?
16
votes
5answers
10k views

What do I do if a black bear is right outside my tent?

Even if I was to follow the advice of letting bears know I am in the area, keeping my cooking and anything that smells at least 100m from my camp & downwind, etc, suppose a bear finds my tent and ...
16
votes
4answers
14k views

Can I shoot a bear in self-defense?

Can I shoot a bear in self-defense? Will I face fines and jail time if I do?
16
votes
8answers
2k views

How can I keep my iPhone going on a multiday hike?

Taking a five day hike, and I want to take a bazillion pictures. It would be nice to have the compass & GPS functionality too, and I want something really small. The obvious choice is my ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I help people enjoy camping/hiking (like I do!)?

I have finally convinced my brother and our good friend to go hiking with me. I love hiking and being outside as much as possible, but they seem to hate it. How can I make our hiking trip fun and more ...
16
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
969 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

Pack of coyotes in my neighborhood

Coyotes are coming through the lot next to my house. There are several. One ran across my driveway 2 nights ago. When I take my pomeranian out before bed, I hear them about 100 feet to the left of my ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

What are common climbing techniques for strongly overhanging walls and roofs?

What are common climbing techniques for strongly overhanging walls and roofs? In order to avoid a strength oriented climbing style and focus on technique.
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Buying a Backpacking Knife

I am a first-time knife buyer. What should I look for in an all-purpose, lightweight backpacking knife? I aim to use it for cutting trail plants and fish. My top priority is a knife that doesn't ...
16
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
7k views

Is there a difference in performance between a fishing kayak and touring kayak?

Last year my wife and I rented a couple of SOT kayaks and used them to paddle around our local lake. We enjoyed it so much we have decided to purchase our own this year. We are looking at some entry ...
16
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Vetting belayers at the gym?

The other night I went to the climbing gym, intending to look for a climbing partner once I got there. (My usual gym climbing partner isn't available to climb as often as I want to.) The gym provides ...
16
votes
6answers
5k views

Why do many climbers appear to not trust their belay loops?

The belay loop is the strongest part of the climbing harness, so why do so many climbers not trust it? It’s very common to see climbers backing up their belay loop with a separate piece of webbing or ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Reacting to tornado warnings while camping with no buildings nearby

This afternoon there was a tornado warning - TAKE SHELTER IN A PERMANENT BUILDING IMMEDIATELY - for the west half of Algonquin Park issued through the usual channels including Twitter. I believe by ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

How to safely mark a rope

I was reading this question and the first thing that popped into my head is what do you use to mark the middle of the rope? I was taught not to use any kind of marker on the rope (because there's no ...
16
votes
4answers
22k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
767 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it a bad idea to dry clothes by the fire?

Is there too great a chance of accidentally setting your only pair of undies on fire? What about putting the undies on a hot rock? Or would the rock explode ...
16
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Paramo vs Gore-Tex jackets?

I'm considering replacing my North Face Gore-tex jacket as it's starting to get a bit tatty, some of the zips are breaking, etc. I've seen quite a few Paramo jackets about. I'm presuming they're ...

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