12
votes
2answers
819 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?
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Are Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel truly toxic to burn in a campfire?

For a very long time now, I've believed and taught that burning Rhododendron or Mountain Laurel in a campfire will make you sick because of the toxins in these plants becoming airborne then inhaled ...
12
votes
5answers
6k views

When to kill and bleed a fish

I am getting into fishing (I bought an entry-level spinner and plan on going to some nearby rivers/lakes) and have been reading a lot of conflicting information in regards to the sequence of events ...
12
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I tell what time it is without a watch?

Assuming I don't have a watch or other time-telling device with me in the wilderness, is there a way to know what time it is? I don't necessarily want to know the exact minute of the day, but a ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Is bear spray effective against other animals?

Is bear spray (pepper spray specially formulated to be effective against bear attacks) effective against other animals, especially mountain lions or wolves? Or is there something in it specifically ...
12
votes
2answers
317 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). ...
12
votes
2answers
412 views

Travelling and taking climbing chalk through customs

Anyone had any experience getting climbing chalk though customs? I'm off to Guernsey and I don't think I'll be able to buy chalk there so I'm putting it in my hold luggage. Are customs likely to ...
12
votes
2answers
208 views

Resoling climbing shoes yourself

Does anyone have experience trying to resole climbing shoes using products like the Five Ten resole kits? If so, how involved was the process and how did it turn out? I'm trying to decide whether to ...
12
votes
3answers
369 views

Features to look for when buying a stove (for car camping)

We (wife, 5 year old and me) are planning to go camping next summer (UK). It will be car camping - i.e. drive, set up tent and, knowing the UK, sit in the tent as it rains. I'm looking at equipment ...
12
votes
2answers
694 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
176 views

Are there any specific guidelines for edible plants in North America?

I know there are dangerous plants and fruits to eat, but are there any basic rules one can use when in an emergency situation that apply to all safe foods? The 'rules' don't necessarily have to apply ...
12
votes
2answers
164 views

Paramo vs Gore-Tex jackets?

I'm considering replacing my North Face Gore-tex jacket as it's starting to get a bit tatty, some of the zips are breaking, etc. I've seen quite a few Paramo jackets about. I'm presuming they're ...
12
votes
2answers
1k 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
2answers
286 views

What should I look for if I want to buy a winter-proofed tent?

I really like to go snowshoeing during the winter. I'm going up to 3500 meters and when I'm doing long tours I would really enjoy to try out winter camping in very remote areas. Is it a good idea to ...
12
votes
1answer
127 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
5answers
618 views

How can rope/cordage be packed to minimize tangles?

I generally pack my cordage in little bundles like Unfortunately for any significant length (100' for instance) it just turns into a wadded mess when I try and use it. How can I pack this stuff ...
12
votes
4answers
3k 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
1answer
595 views

How to treat shin splints while backpacking

It's been a couple of years since I last had bad shin splits but I can still recall how painful they can be. I was able to heal them before mostly with a couple weeks rest. If the pain came back ...
12
votes
2answers
219 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
1answer
150 views

Why do big wall harnesses have two belay loops?

I've been looking at big wall harnesses and I've been noticing that a lot of them come with two belay loops: I know that it isn't there as a back up. What's the advantage of having two belay ...
12
votes
4answers
464 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
3answers
2k 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
263 views

What would be a safe ascent rate when mountaineering?

I'm training to climb large mountains. What kind of ascent should I train for at altitude. Let's say above 12000 feet and carrying up to 60 lbs?
12
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I extend the life of waterproof leather boots?

I've got some leather boots that are showing some wear and tear. More importantly, the seam between the sole and boot is starting to crack and allow some water in. Do products like ShoeGoo or FreeSole ...
12
votes
1answer
147 views

V-threads (Abalakov): How many holes are too many?

V-threads, or Abalakov threads (after the inventor Vitaly Abalakov), can be tricky to make (especially left handed in the dark...), but when you miss the mark on your first attempt, or second attempt, ...
12
votes
1answer
151 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
315 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
7answers
2k views

How can I test out my equipment before a backpacking trip?

I'm in the slow process of acquiring all of the gear I think I will need to do a week-long backpacking trip somewhere in the Midwest. Many of the more experienced backpackers I've spoken with or read ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

How can one find the difficult to find geocaches?

I've recently been getting into the hobby of Geocaching. However, I'm finding there are many, particularly in cities, that I just cannot find no matter how hard I look for them. They tend to be very ...
11
votes
6answers
265 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

Is buying an expensive sleeping bag better?

I went camping a week ago and it was so cold. I woke up many times at night shaking because of the cold. I have a cheap and old Wal-Mart sleeping bag, and I am thinking about buying one of these $150 ...
11
votes
6answers
746 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
4answers
2k 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
3answers
8k 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
404 views

What are some alternative ways of fishing - i.e. catching fish?

If I'm out in the wilderness and want to catch fish to survive, what are some ways I can do this without a conventional fishing pole/line?
11
votes
6answers
4k views

How can you make a MSR WhisperLite stove simmer?

MSR WhisperLite backpacking stoves are ubiquitous, but they lack a key function: the ability to simmer easily. How can you set a WhisperLite to simmer without having to constantly watch the stove and ...
11
votes
5answers
237 views

Back country solution to itchy insect bites

On a recent walk I got bitten to death by midgies. I was itching all day until I got home and put some antihistamine cream on them. Is there anything available (plants, etc.) that I could of applied ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it safe to wear a down jacket while building a fire

The outside of a down jacket is usually made of nylon or polyester, which is inflammable. While trying to build a fire, is it safe to wear this jacket? Or will the flying embers be enough to set the ...
11
votes
2answers
792 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
600 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
528 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
2answers
230 views

Is there any difference between a harness used for rock climbing vs for mountaineering?

I've recently taken an interest in both rock climbing and mountaineering. Both require a harness, but is there any difference in the harness used for each activity? I understand that the most basic ...
11
votes
3answers
419 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
5answers
3k 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
5answers
723 views

Reacting to tornado warnings while camping with no buildings nearby

This afternoon there was a tornado warning - TAKE SHELTER IN A PERMANENT BUILDING IMMEDIATELY - for the west half of Algonquin Park issued through the usual channels including Twitter. I believe by ...
11
votes
3answers
91 views

How did people make topographical maps in the pre-modern?

I've been getting into making maps with compass and a ruler and just triangulating positions of objects. I would like to start making topographical maps but how? How did they make them before the ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I spray a 'good' raincoat with 'water proof' spray?

I come from a family where outdoors activities include picknick baskets and a time limit of four hours tops. However, my girlfriends family loves taking me on outdoor holidays, the kind where you ...
11
votes
4answers
167 views

Kayaking in the UK

My fiancé and I are both avid walkers / hikers but for a long time have been wanting to get into kayaking. Both of us have kayaked in the past. Separately we did it on school trips - many years ago - ...
11
votes
5answers
146 views

Resources for finding public hunting land

Are there any good resources out there for locating publicly available hunting land? UPDATE: I should have stated that I'm looking for land in the US. Also, I'm interested in any public land ...

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