13
votes
1answer
1k 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
1answer
214 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? ...
13
votes
1answer
205 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
179 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
1k views

What are creative uses for retired carabiners?

I seem to have accumulated a good number of carabiners that, while probably still safe, I won't climb on anymore. They might be worn, of questionable origin, or just plain made obsolete by an upgrade. ...
12
votes
5answers
333 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

How do you locate the “North Star”?

What if it's night and you want to find north? How do you locate the North Star in the night sky?
12
votes
7answers
502 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?
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Does whiskey help keep you warm in winter?

It is a rare day that I head out into the winter wilds without a flask of sumpt'n-sumpt'n in my pocket. A nip helps one to relax, can mildly embolden timid skiers in my group, and gives one that fiery ...
12
votes
3answers
216 views

Black bears and torch lights

I am hiking in black bear country (no other kinds of bears there). It's dark, I have a whistle hanging around my neck to scare away such a potential bear and I'm using my torch light to be able to see ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What happens if I inadvertently set off a personal locator beacon?

I'm considering buying a personal locator beacon. As I understand it they should only be activated in case of dire emergency. What happens if it is set off accidentally while at home? What about ...
12
votes
3answers
199 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
3k 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. ...
12
votes
2answers
6k 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
2k views

Can I use my leather jacket to go to ski? [closed]

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 fine spending 1 day skiing at high altitude ? ...
12
votes
5answers
612 views

How to make DIY ice axe protectors?

How to make ice axe protectors yourself? I have few ideas from using duck tape to 3D printing, but it would be nice to hear about methods proven to work. The reason I want to add protectors is a lot ...
12
votes
3answers
834 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
6answers
2k 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
4answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How dangerous is a band of coyotes to a lone, unarmed human?

There's a delightful thrill to the call of a band of coyotes when you're alone in the dark woods. Do they present a danger? That is, have healthy coyotes (that is, not rabid) been known to attack or ...
12
votes
5answers
561 views

How can I vet a hiking partner without potential hard feelings?

I'm planning a backpacking trip with a well-established partner. I would like to invite a third person along, but he has not met the second, and I do not want to extend an invitation to the third ...
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
2answers
510 views

How much does a full/empty jetboil canister weigh?

I have a bunch of partially-full Jetboil canisters from various trips, and I'm trying to figure out approximately how much fuel is left in each of them. How much does a full canister weigh (fuel + ...
12
votes
1answer
510 views

What is the loop on the finger of my winter gloves for?

I have a pair of winter /climbing gloves. Each glove has a small loop on the ring finger, top of the glove. Why? What's it for?
12
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the proper way to tarp tent to avoid condensation?

I tried pitching a tarp instead of a tent this weekend. In worked well, kept off the rain etc, except for the condensation. It was far worse than any condensation I've ever had in a tent. We had ...
12
votes
3answers
174 views

Do polarized sunglasses protect against UV?

My eyes are sensitive and tending towards cataracts. I'm told to avoid the Sun's UV, but many polarized sunspecs don't mention UV. I'd appreciate it if someone knows the answer.
12
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Winter Camping: How to warm up your boots in the morning?

Is there a good technique to warm up your boots in the morning? Should you just put them on and warm them up with your feet or is there a better alternative?
12
votes
6answers
940 views

Is department store merino wool less effective than branded (i.e. SmartWool) merino wool in staying warm and wicking moisture?

At my local Costco, I see a Kirkland brand 100% merino wool quarter-zip sweater being sold for $25. On EMS, I see a SmartWool 100% merino wool half-zip sweater costing $140. Would I be potentially ...
12
votes
2answers
9k 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
1k views

What is the difference between single and double wall tents?

Tents are described being either single or double wall. What is the difference and when is one preferred over the other?
12
votes
3answers
932 views

How should I traverse fields with horses in?

I am surprised at how many people I see doing this wrongly (my experience being an ex-horse owner and now hiker in the UK). What is the correct way to traverse a field containing horses? Let's ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a technique to snow-shoeing besides “walk on the snow”?

I've spent a lot more time XC skiing than I have snowshoeing, but have some snowshoeing opportunities available to me in the near future. In the few times I have gone snowshoeing, I've basically just ...
12
votes
5answers
319 views

Ration or consume water?

In a situation where you don't know when you will find water again, is it better to ration the water you have over time (and ever increasing dehydration) or to drink it to quench thirst as soon as ...
12
votes
3answers
14k 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
2answers
512 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
3answers
210 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
278 views

Should one run (or walk) back to civilization if bitten by a rattlesnake?

From what I understand the most important thing to do when bitten by a rattlesnake is to get to a hospital. I often go on hikes where I am a few hours walk from civilization at the midpoint of my ...
12
votes
3answers
382 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?
12
votes
3answers
802 views

What is a good tool for minor trail maintenance while hiking?

I hike a few trails in the lower Appalachians which are very infrequently traveled. Maintenance when it happens, is performed by hikers. I much prefer to just clear smaller blowdowns as I come to ...
12
votes
2answers
495 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
3answers
386 views

How precise is a pedometer for estimating on a backpacking trip?

In practice, how precise is a pedometer for estimating your progress on a trail? For example, if I'm to hike 10 miles, how far should I expect to be from the 10 miles marker? Is there data comparing ...
12
votes
3answers
496 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
3k 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
231 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
4answers
1k views

Best technique to sharpen a knife using a whetstone?

I have a knife and a whetstone. One side of the whetstone is rough and the other is finely grained. I occasionally sharpen my knife but I'm not 100% clear if I'm using it correctly. I normally move ...
12
votes
3answers
798 views

How to set up a tent in deep snow

How should I set up a two-layer dome tent for 2/4 people in deep snow (waist height)? Do I need some additional equipment (snow shovel)? Insulation under the floor (further than the sleeping pads)? ...
12
votes
4answers
241 views

How can I contact emergency services in the US via the internet?

At this very moment, I'm out in the woods typing away on my laptop. I have an internet connection, and my phone can use that connection to send text messages, but I have no voice phone service. How ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I improve my footwork while rock-climbing?

When I'm rock climbing, I feel like I've got hand holds down as far as where to grab on and understand that the hands are mainly for balance. However, I can't seem to figure out my feet. There are ...

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