12
votes
3answers
2k 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
1k views

Can I light a kerosene lamp with flint & steel or a magnifying glass?

I am planning a canoe trip, and will be bringing a kerosene lamp for light. As a backup fire lighting option I am planning on bringing flint & steel and possible a magnifying glass. Can either ...
12
votes
3answers
6k 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
5answers
4k views

Eating Matches to repel insects?

I have heard that eating the tips off a few match heads can help keep the bugs off of you. Supposedly you sweat out the sulfur and it repels the bugs. Has anyone else heard this or is there any truth ...
12
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
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
4answers
425 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
4k 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
7k 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
3k views

Can I heat a shelter with fire?

So I built my survival shelter and I decide a nice fire would really warm things up. Is there a way I can build a fire that would heat the shelter without too much smoke? I know I could make the ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Is wild garlic edible? How do you prepare it?

Driving into work this am, the woods were full of wild garlic, you could actually smell it in the car. I've always presumed that it is edible but I'm not 100% sure. Can you eat wild garlic? ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Why don't people in the UK use snowshoes?

I was recently in the mountains of snowdownia in thick snow. It was about 2 foot (about 0.6m) in places. It was a lovely day just after Christmas so it was quite busy too (even a few snow boarders on ...
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
713 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
243 views

How to prevent mosquitoes entering in your mouth while running?

I like to run around lakes and through forests. But when the spring comes and it is wet with high humidity, many little flies and mosquitoes are flying in the air. Thus, sometimes some of these ...
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
1k 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
2answers
1k 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
2answers
9k 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
2answers
558 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 ...
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
361 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
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
1k 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
10k 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
2k 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
4answers
40k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
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
494 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
2answers
575 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
4answers
3k 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
2answers
324 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
502 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
2answers
904 views

When should I retire my rope

I know there is a degree of "gray" in this question but: I have a Beal Top gun II 10.5mm, I've had this rope for around 4 years now and I'm starting to think about retiring it. It's been used ...
12
votes
4answers
419 views

Is cold shock response a real danger, if someone is used to cold water?

Various sources (mostly TV stations, at least in my region) are constantly warning about the danger of cold shock response, if someone goes to water too quickly. But on the other hand, Bear Grylls ...
12
votes
3answers
518 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
544 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
2answers
241 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
3answers
844 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
3answers
656 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?
12
votes
2answers
5k 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?
12
votes
3answers
468 views

Tree bark as food

I saw a youtube video where this guy skinned a spruce tree stick and ate the bark while claiming it is nutritious. That got me curious since trees are everywhere and this could be a great tip so I ...
12
votes
4answers
334 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Mountaineering / glacial traverse: rope-up or go it alone?

When crossing a glacier (or other mountaineering activity for that matter) I've heard that roping everyone together without having a fixed anchor is falling out of fashion since more often than not if ...
12
votes
2answers
988 views

What is a buff?

What is a "buff", how is it used, and why should I have one? I've seen them advocated in numerous places, but I'm not sure why a tube of cloth is better around my neck than a scarf, etc.
12
votes
3answers
489 views

Bear bags vs Bear canisters: which is better?

Most people I know and myself store food in bear bags. However, I have heard that some parks have banned bear bags and require canisters. I've also heard there is a bear in New York that has figured ...
12
votes
1answer
3k 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?
12
votes
1answer
810 views

Minimum equipment recommendations for hammock camping

I'm looking to try out some hammock camping on our next trip to the wilderness, but I don't have any of the gear yet. I could buy it all, but as it's a trial run it might not make sense to pour a ton ...

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