12
votes
2answers
856 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?
12
votes
1answer
115 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

Where can I find an iodine crystal water purification product?

For years I used a product called Polar Pure for water purification when weekend backpacking. It was an iodine based solution, so not great for a thru-hike, but fine for a week or less. Specifically, ...
12
votes
3answers
652 views

What to look for in a quality tarp?

I'd like to purchase a tarp as some point, both to put up over a small camp at some point, and to use over a hammock. When I've camped with my uncle he's used a folded over builders tarp, which has ...
12
votes
2answers
198 views

Trekking in the himalayan region

Which are the better trekking routes in the himalayan region? Also, how safe are the routes? If any of you guys have been around in the region, I would like to know your personal experiences as ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

How do you determine worm color for Large Mouth Bass

When I was growing up and fishing for Large Mouth Bass with my grandfather we primarily used plastic worms. Color and style matters a lot, and different worms had significantly different results. To ...
12
votes
4answers
304 views

What alternative topographic maps exist in the USA?

This answer recommends topographic maps as downloadable from the USGS. A comment holds that those are definitely the best thing for the US. An except for the San Joaquin river near Mammoth Lakes ...
12
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Bowline knot, end at the inside or outside?

Why is it advised to tie a bowline knot with it's ending on the inside and not at the outside (here at outdoors)? See pictures below. If you're unlucky the end can get stuck, and you can't untie it. ...
12
votes
1answer
457 views

Techniques for building a raft from wood

What are some good techniques to use (materials, knots, etc.) for building a raft by gathering wood in the local area? I'm talking about something to sail on still or slow moving bodies of water, not ...
12
votes
1answer
130 views

How do you best treat a turned ankle in the back country?

Possibly the most common injury I see when hiking with groups is when someone turns or rolls their ankle. Assuming that access to a vehicle is not feasible, what is the best way to deal with the ...
12
votes
1answer
207 views

What do I need to be aware of if I'm considering purchasing a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)?

Obviously, I can't just buy it, push the button and expect a helicopter to show up. Are there monthly or registration fees? Do I need to get a permit or register with someone? How does it all work? ...
12
votes
1answer
190 views

How long is too long to suffer from constipation in the back country?

Quite commonly, due to the barrage of newness the body experiences on an outdoor outing (new sensations, new exercise habits, new diet, etc) the body can stop the system up while it tries to figure ...
12
votes
1answer
232 views

How can I go camping in Nepal and Northern Pakistan?

A group of friends would like to go camping in Northern Pakistan on their own. The only problem is to know some locals who can help us with food and a place to find where we can put up our camps. How ...
11
votes
5answers
297 views

Logic behind hikers yielding to horses?

Here in California, a lot of trails have signs with a triangular diagram, showing that cyclists should yield to hikers, and both cyclists and hikers should yield to people on horses. I don't have a ...
11
votes
6answers
221 views

Looking for a Topographical map resource?

Does anyone know of a good way to find topographical maps for either download or purchase?
11
votes
6answers
198 views

Splitting up weight hiking as a couple/mixed gender group

Assuming equivalent fitness, what is a fair way to split up weight when hiking as a couple/in mixed gender groups? Should the weight be proportional to the individuals weight? Are there other ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

How safe is the bowline knot in different situations?

The bowline knot (picture below, source) has a great reputation as a very safe knot. Is it really completely safe in all situations and loads, or are there use cases where it may fail?
11
votes
4answers
8k views

What can I do to help relieve joint pain in fingers after climbing?

After I've been climbing for a while, my finger joints are very sore. Is there anything I can do to relieve that pain?
11
votes
6answers
412 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
161 views

What precautions are needed for caving

I have been hiking/mountaineering for quite a few years now. But, I have never been into a deep cave as yet. We are planning to explore a natural cave that we'll have to rappel into. The cave is ...
11
votes
5answers
1k 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. ...
11
votes
3answers
5k 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?
11
votes
5answers
291 views

How to get started skiing?

I've never skied before, but I'd like to try it out. What sort of gear should I buy (as opposed to renting) before hand? What would be a good strategy to learn to ski?
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Does packing boots with newspaper make them dry faster?

In one of the trail journals I read, the author mentions packing her boots with newspaper to dry them out. On the one hand I can see perhaps some wicking action, but this would greatly reduce ...
11
votes
4answers
701 views

What are the most effective ways to start a fire in the cold?

I frequently hike and camp in the forests of the Midwest (Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, etc). Considering this climate can get quite cold in the Fall & Winter, what are the best strategies to starting ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Will a tent provide some protection from bears?

When camping in a bear country, will a tent provide an additional protection from bears, as opposed to just sleeping outside or in a hammock? Provided I take the usual precautions of keeping any ...
11
votes
4answers
251 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
421 views

How can I signal for help in the wilderness?

What are some different ways I can signal for help in the wilderness? I'm looking for methods that apply in all seasons, particularly in the mountains, with forests or meadows & plateaus.
11
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
1k 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?) ...
11
votes
3answers
343 views

Energy bars for outdoors activities: what are the important criteria?

What are the criteria that I should worry about when buying energy bars ? What are the ingredients to avoid and those to look for ?
11
votes
2answers
367 views

What dried vegetarian foods have the highest ratio of calories to volume?

I mostly hike in bear country, which limits how much food I can take to the volume of my bear canister. This excellent question dealt with foods that are great on a trip where food-selection criteria ...
11
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
182 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
777 views

I found a Deer Tick on my friend and removed it, what should I do now?

While camping with some friends in Anywhere National Forest, I found a deer tick on a friend. After removing it with tweezers, is there anything else I should do? Should we abandon our trip ...
11
votes
4answers
369 views

Camping in (US) national forests

Is it legal to camp in unmarked areas in United States national forests? I'm specifically thinking of Utah/Idaho if state makes any difference.
11
votes
2answers
302 views

Jerky or Freeze-dried food : Is the salt they contain a concern?

Almost all outdoors activities require having a certain quantity of water to prevent dehydration. Many types of jerky or Freeze-dried foods contain high amounts of salt. Should that be considered? If ...
11
votes
3answers
446 views

How effective are portable electric fences?

I am worried about bears and wolves when camping so I'm looking at portable electric fences. Are they effective and more importantly just how dangerous are they?
11
votes
3answers
158 views

How to take care of steel crampons?

What should I do to increase the lifetime of my crampons, maintain them properly, and check whether they can still be used safely?
11
votes
4answers
844 views

Are Trangia and MSR fuel bottles inter changeable?

In other words, could I purchase a 1 litre Trangia fuel bottle and the MSR Dragonfly liquid-fuel camp stove and use them together? Or would the smaller, slightly more expensive MSR fuel bottle be the ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

Is it legal to light bonfires on UK beaches?

Assuming a lack of signage indicating the legalities, is it legal to light a bonfire on a beach in the UK? I haven't been able to find an authoritative source on this either way, hence the question. ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you safely cut wood with a knife?

Several people have talked about having single edge knife so that you can cut down small trees. What is the proper way to cut or carve wood with a knife?
11
votes
2answers
794 views

Why does my belay device have two holes?

I have a belay device that looks like: which I used when I am belaying someone who is top roping or leading. However, my rope only goes through one of those slots. What is the purpose of the other ...
11
votes
2answers
525 views

What are the consequences of — illegally — using a 446 MHz PMR in the North American wilderness?

I've recently bought a pair of PMR446 walkie-talkies with some 5–10 km range, operating at 446 MHz. We've happily used them in Sareks Nationalpark in Sweden. Now I'm moving to Canada, where this ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the difference between Sport Climbing and Traditional Climbing

What is the difference between Sport Climbing and Traditional (Trad) Climbing? Is it just that sport climbing uses bolts?
11
votes
2answers
601 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?
11
votes
1answer
317 views

Does drinking tea cause problems at altitude?

I've heard from a tour leader that you shouldn't drink tea in high altitude because it makes you thirsty and cause problem in blood circulation. Is this true? Should'nt we drink tea in high altitude?
11
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I mount a hangboard in an apartment?

In the last few months I have come to the conclusion that I need to have a fingerboard at home if my climbing is to get to the next level. But the problem is that I live in an apartment. How can I ...
11
votes
1answer
494 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 ...

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