15
votes
4answers
3k 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?
15
votes
5answers
2k views

What coat should I wear when camping that won't be damaged through melting by embers from a fire?

I've gone sub-freezing camping a few times and each time I've had an ember (without noticing) melt/burn through an outer layer. The first time was through a synthetic down type jacket (fairly thin), ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Learning to fall when leading: what is good fall technique?

I'm learning to lead climbs, and I'm terrified of big falls. Part of this is learning to trust my gear placements, but a large portion is because I don't know how to fall - I've only taken small falls ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

How to prevent fingers from freezing?

I am a traffic officer and in winter I always have issues with fingers freezing. Are there any hints besides hand warmers to keep my fingertips from getting so cold they hurt? I direct traffic so ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Are bears attracted by Lotions and Perfumes?

Bears are mostly attracted by smell of food. That is why we are supposed to keep the food items in airtight and sealed packs or preferably finish up all the food (cooking and consuming) far away from ...
15
votes
3answers
689 views

What makes a good head lamp?

I'm looking for a decent head lamp, with a bright light and good battery life. Most on the market these days seem to be LED based, but aside from those three (perhaps obvious) considerations are there ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What formation to best survive a flood?

I just heard of an incident where a group of people were caught unprepared by a flood. It is known as the "Bulacan State University Field Trip", Looking at the images online, I couldn't help but ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What is “Isolation” and “Prominence” in mountain terms?

When I was browsing through the wikipedia page of the Denali mountain, I came across some piece of information. Refer the screenshot below. What does the term Prominence and Isolation mean?
15
votes
3answers
1k views

What do you do if the fire does get “out of control”?

Let's say you are camping with a large group, and someone starts a camp fire. You're away for a bit and come back to find everyone panicking and the fire to be much larger than actually planned (ie, ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I tell a “trail shoe” from a regular sport shoe?

On a day-to-day basis, I wear regular light-weight sport shoes, such as these: The footwear I saw people using in serious terrain in the USA looked similar, but this answer to my related question ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the purpose of dog boots?

I'm not actually asking about the fashion items, the kind celebrities buy for their dogs... but actual outdoor designed dog boots. What is the purpose of dog boots? Why / when would you use them?
15
votes
4answers
831 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
4k views

Should I get trekking poles for snowshoeing, or stick with ski poles?

Being an avid skier I have ski poles lying around, so I've always used those. Do proper trekking poles offer any advantages for snowshoeing?
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How to walk as a roped party on a glacier?

If you want to walk on a glacier you usually do this roped together as a team. How to walk as a roped party on a glacier? What I have to pay attention to when knotting the rope? Related question: ...
15
votes
4answers
57k views

How do I tie a sleeping bag to my backpack?

I recently upgraded to a modern backpack and I'm stumped as to how to tie accessories down to it. My previous backpack had tie-down points on the bottom of the pack that I could attach long straps to,...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

How to dry Gore-Tex boots in the field

I'm thinking of switching from old and heavy army boots to modern trekking ones. Trying to choose between Gore-Tex and leather with waterproof coating only, I can't get over a simple question - ...
15
votes
4answers
347 views

Keeping the things interesting in a small climbing gym

I had been a regular climber half a decade back. And, then I got off the routine. Now I am trying to get back into climbing. For that, I go to a local climbing gym kind of thing managed by a friend ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

How to light a fire with wet firewood?

There is a wide variety of pre-cut firewood available when camping. In my experience, even wood that's been kept covered is often very wet and can be difficult to light. What are some techniques for ...
15
votes
5answers
8k views

How do I know what size ice axe I should get?

I'm going to start mountaineering. Is there a recommended size per height/weight for ice axes for general mountaineering?
15
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

How to make a traditional torch?

How would you go about preparing an old fashioned torch for use in survival situations where an electrical torch has failed?
15
votes
5answers
990 views

What are the Pros and Cons of No-Cook Backpacking?

While perusing my gear this morning, it occurred to me that I hadn't bothered to buy or make a stove for backpacking. On the whole, I'm not a big fan of hot food, even when I'm a mite chilled. What ...
15
votes
2answers
747 views

How to carry a bicycle in a canoe?

I am contemplating a river journey from Pittsburgh to the Gulf of Mexico. 981 miles on the Ohio river and 2340 miles on the Mississippi River. The current plan calls for completing the journey in 1 ...
15
votes
3answers
742 views

Sailing with a child

Inspired by this question on taking an infant sailing, as it is quite different when they can move, I thought I'd ask the same question in respect of a toddler or child. What essential safety ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Why are backpacks mostly not made of waterproof material?

Many bicycle panniers are made of waterproof material. Backpacks are not, necessitating built-in or separate raincovers. Why don't backpacks use the material that waterproof panniers do? Unlike ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How safe is sleeping in bear country?

We have recently hiked in Slovakian mountains where bears live. I’m not too concerned about the bears during the day, as we make enough noise to avoid an encounter. But I am not sure about sleeping ...
15
votes
2answers
13k views

How do climbers retrieve anchored rope?

The following is a scene I have always been perplexed about. I’ve seen it many times. A mountain climber has no one above him as he descends and is trailing rope behind him that he is using to ...
15
votes
2answers
479 views

Proper technique for self-arrest with an ice axe, when wearing crampons

What is the proper technique to self-arrest and brake a fall, given steep icy (frozen snow) slope, when wearing crampons and wielding an ice axe? Should the crampons be used for stopping or held high ...
15
votes
2answers
537 views

Storing Headlamps: With or without batteries?

When we store our headlamps, currently we store them with the batteries. Should they instead be stored separate from the batteries?
15
votes
2answers
807 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

If you are buried in an avalanche will you survive?

Obviously, my best chance of survival is in not being buried, but if I am unfortunate enough to become buried in an avalanche what are my chances of surviving it?
15
votes
3answers
826 views

What should be carried in a standard Geocaching bag?

As in the title, when going Geocaching what are some standard implements and tools I should carry with me to get started so I'm not caught out?
15
votes
3answers
354 views

What are some proven methods of training for week long backpacking trips in high altitude?

I'm going to Colorado to visit a friend and we will be going on a week long trek across a couple of 14'ners. I'm looking for some ways to help prepare my body for trip.
15
votes
4answers
286 views

Stoveless/fireless hiking food suggestions

In light of the recent forest-fire qualms that have arisen all over the globe (not to imply that any of y'all are irresponsible enough to have the capacity to start any, and hopefully that same would ...
15
votes
3answers
29k views

How to apply duct tapes and mole skin to prevent blisters?

On a question that was asked somewhat regarding preventing/treating blisters, I got this thing being said by a reputed and a respectable climber (DavidR): "Having 'duct tape', 'mole skin', or other ...
15
votes
2answers
589 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
669 views

What's the difference between a fjord and a fjard?

Last year we visited some friends at their summer home in Lamoine, Maine, in Northeast United States. They took us to a place called Somes Sound, on Mount Desert Island. It's either in or near Acadia ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I rescue someone out of a crevasse?

What is the technique involved in crevasse rescues? Presuming a group are all moving together on a glacier and the leader of the party has fallen into a crevasse (collapsed snow bridge, etc.). The ...
15
votes
2answers
290 views

How can I recognize a game trail?

I've been out hiking in wilderness areas when I came across an unmarked trail. It wasn't on a map but it appeared to lead in the direction I wanted to go. I decided not to take it in case it was a ...
15
votes
1answer
7k 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?
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Do kevlar sacks work against bears?

We ran into a hiker on the AT last year using a kevlar back to keep out bears and rodents. He said the product was an Ursack and seemed very happy with it. However he'd never had a bear try to get ...
15
votes
2answers
210 views

wilderness maps

The Norwegian directorate for nature management publishes a map of wilderness showing how far away a particular area is from heavy technical interventions, such as roads, electricity lines, hydro ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Material of shirt for desert hiking

I have pretty much always worn 100% cotton shirts when hiking but I have been reading more and more about the amazing "wicking" properties of other fabrics. Is there one that will keep me cooler ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How to minimise erosion damage to footpaths when walking?

As a fair-weather walker I frequently find myself on routes that have suffered from erosion due to the large numbers of people hiking along them. I wish to cause the least possible amount of further ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

How bright a flashlight would I realistically need for searching through terrain?

Modern flashlights have brightness up to several thousand lumens which is great. However it's not clear how bright a flashlight I might realistically need. Suppose I want to go on a search party such ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

Methods for taping hands, wrists, and fingers for climbing?

I've been climbing off and on since I was a teenager, but one thing I've never done much of is taping my hands. As I gained more experience, it's value is now apparent. What are some good techniques ...
15
votes
2answers
522 views

How do you make a snow shelter?

Sometimes when mountaineering, there may be an emergency situation which leaves you in bad weather with no or damaged shelter (such as returning from a summit attempt or after a wild and crazy storm). ...
15
votes
2answers
756 views

Dealing with very cold climate (clothing)

In the near future I will have to prepare myself for a Siberia expedition. During the winter, average temperatures in Siberia range from -10°F (-23°C) to below -50°C (-45°F).1 What should I ...

15 30 50 per page