13
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
8k 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?
13
votes
3answers
617 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 ...
13
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? ...
13
votes
5answers
730 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
980 views

Measuring a dangerous snow slope

I'm reading up on winter technique. The book im reading states: Most (slab) avalanches happen on slopes between 30 and 45 degrees I think I've seen this before but ; how do I recognise (easily) ...
13
votes
5answers
431 views

What practical issues do I need to be aware of when hiking or camping on my own?

Related to this question, if I'm camping and hiking on my own, I'm obviously at more of a risk than if I were with someone, and some key tasks will definitely be harder with no-one to assist (such as ...
13
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 ...
13
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
12k 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?
13
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?
13
votes
5answers
946 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Can a human survive in Saltstraumen or other whirlpool?

I am fascinated and afraid (at the same time) of whirlpools and water currents. I wonder if a average human could survive water currents or whirlpools or maybe even the Saltstraumen?
13
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does sunscreen not work all day?

All over the internet it says that sunscreen does not work all day, but does not say anything about why. Why does sunscreen not work all day? Does the matrials get destroyed by the UV rays? Or is it ...
13
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a mesh mini-tent on the market that covers head, shoulders and arms, allowing you read comfortably in buggy terrain?

I like to read for a couple of hours after getting into my sleeping bag, and I don't like to use the tent unless the weather is bad. So usually I am lying propped up against my pack (food removed) ...
13
votes
6answers
10k views

Is it safe to drink out of a rusty thermos?

I've got a thermos for coffee and/or water storage that I use on hikes and for bike touring since it keeps things hot for hours. However, it seems like the inside is rusting a bit. Is this safe to ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Hydration for pets

We all know when we get dehydrated. And hence we make sure it doesn't get worst. I was on a trek this weekend. A strong stray dog from a village chose to accompany me and being alone, I was happy ...
13
votes
4answers
264 views

When should you use gear to climb a tree?

After a long night of geocaching with some friends, one of them had a car full of climbing gear which he said he used for tree climbing - if the cache is up a tree. A couple of times now myself or my ...
13
votes
4answers
170 views

How do I get my fingers and toes warm before rock climbing at cold temperatures?

I've had now a couple of days when going rock climbing while the temperatures are below the general comfort zone (meaning below 6 °C/ 43 °F). When starting to climb, my fingers got cold rather fast ...
13
votes
4answers
650 views

What trees/bushes are best suited for a simple bow?

This question is about the simple type of bow often (but not exclusively :) ) made by children that consists of a branch of wood with a cord tied to both its ends. Obviously such a branch should be ...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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 + ...
13
votes
3answers
999 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Are fires in natural caves/overhangs safe?

I have heard that a fire in a cave or under an overhang can cause a rock collapse, potentially injuring the occupant. Is this a real risk?
13
votes
3answers
975 views

Legality of “semi-permanent” wooden structures in state and national forests in the US

Imagine the following situation: A group of friends found a remote spot in a state or national forest that they really like. They keep returning to the place quite often, lately there are at least ...
13
votes
2answers
672 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 ?
13
votes
3answers
458 views

What is a good source of vitamin C in the wild?

I know I could just carry a bottle, but scavenging is much more fun. What is a good source of vitamin C in the wild? Have spruce needles really got enough?
13
votes
3answers
764 views

Legal situation for camping in the German Elbsandsteingebirge

Am I allowed to bivouac in the German Elbsandsteingebirge (Elbe Sandstone Mountains)? If no, is it considered as a peccadillo/unenforced law (Kavaliersdelikt)? In both countries ((Czech and ...
13
votes
3answers
698 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
9k views

What makes nylon an effective material for hiking pants?

I often see 100% nylon pants a lot in stores. What properties does it have that make it effective when hiking? Is it effective in all seasons or just under certain conditions?
13
votes
3answers
427 views

What steps should I take if someone starts sinking?

What are the steps that should be taken if someone you're hiking with starts to sink uncontrollably into say a marsh? What are some good techniques and points that should be used to get them out ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Maintaining a Mountain Hut

I loved and appreciate the concept of Mountain Huts. Though I have never visited one, this really sounds appealing. In my country, India, we don't have Mountain Huts, so we have to manage it all on ...
13
votes
3answers
751 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?
13
votes
2answers
164 views

Is it better to camp in a disturbed area, or pick a new spot and let the first rest?

When practicing Leave No Trace camping (which I am sure we all do), which camp spot should I choose, assuming there is not an obvious well-impacted "sacrifice site" nearby to concentrate my impact in: ...
13
votes
3answers
560 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Ice skating on a frozen lake — how thick should the ice be?

When ice skating on a frozen lake or river, how thick should the ice be in order to have fairly high confidence you aren't going to fall through? A small drill (for ice fishing) is available to ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Climbing with a much lighter partner?

Both my fiancee and myself bought some climbing gear recently and we're planning our first trip to an indoor rock gym this weekend. We decided to practice our knots and belay technique before we went ...
13
votes
2answers
511 views

How to prepare for and survive wildfire?

In some areas, such as the western US, wildfires are common during the summer dry season. "Fire safety" advice usually centers on not starting a wildfire, e.g. extinguishing or avoiding campfires. ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Pros and Cons of paracord

From a comment on the How to select paracord question I was curious, what is the benefit of paracord over hardware store yellow twisted poly stuff? The yellow stuff is cheap, readily available, ...
13
votes
4answers
6k views

Are there any low sodium freeze dried meals?

For health reasons, I usually try to keep my sodium intake fairly low. However, most freeze dried dinners offered in camping stores contain an more sodium than I'm looking for. I consider 800mg a ...
13
votes
2answers
483 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
857 views

Formula for rough amount of water to carry on hike?

Is there a formula which can be used (I'm thinking one that gives amount of water needed factoring in time or distance covered and temperature) to roughly work out the amount of water that needs to be ...
13
votes
4answers
13k 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. ...
13
votes
2answers
278 views

What to do with a wet dog while camping

I thought about this question a while ago and have yet to find an answer. We have a small two person tent, just enough for my wife and I, and our dog. The issue is drying said dog when it is raining. ...
13
votes
3answers
475 views

What are the real dangers of climbing at high altitude?

I had a campfire discussion not long ago with a man that got pulmonary edema while attempting the summit of Aconcagua, and we got into the discussion of the effects of high elevation. I had always ...
13
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I keep my backpack from resting directly against my back?

I have a backpack that I often wear on my (outdoor) walks to and from work each day. The walk is 30 minutes one-way and mostly in an open field/park area, so in the afternoon it's usually warm enough ...
13
votes
2answers
610 views

Toproping with two ropes joined by a double fisherman's

The other day we were waiting in line for a popular 200 foot single pitch climb in the valley and the party in front of us was using two 70 meter ropes they had joined together with a double ...
13
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 ...

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