8
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I treat a blister? How can I prevent getting them in the first place?

When hiking with a new pair of boots or if I haven't been hiking in a while, my feet might get blisters. How can I treat a blister and keep hiking? Are there things I can do to prevent getting ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How far is a reasonable distance for someone to hike on their first trip?

How far is a reasonable distance for someone to hike on their first trip? I understand this depends on a lot of variables, such as the person's fitness, the route they are planning to do, etc, but ...
8
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
251 views

Vibram FiveFingers, useful, gimic?

Looking at the Vibram FiveFingers shoes, I find myself wondering why? What possible benefits do they bring as opposed to a traditional sole? Their web site (in the why barefoot section) seems to ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Tips for travelling through Europe with just a tent

Myself and my girlfriend are hoping to start off in the Netherlands and hitchhike our way down to the south of Spain through various French towns / cities. We are planning on just bringing sleeping ...
8
votes
4answers
175 views

How do you keep the inside of your backpack organized?

Here's my current setup. First I put my earthpad in my pack, using it like a cylinder to provide cushion and make my pack stay upright. Then I place a plastic bag within the earthpad for ...
8
votes
5answers
183 views

Light-weight emergency overnight-gear

What is a good emergency-overnight-sleeping-setup when every ounce counts, like on long technical routes (grade V or VI) where the goal is to do it in one day (without hauling), but one wants to ...
8
votes
2answers
839 views

Thinking about a road trip out West

My wife and I are thinking of taking a road trip from northwest Ohio to "out west" - Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, etc. I've never been farther west than Indiana, so it's a whole new ...
8
votes
2answers
500 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?
8
votes
4answers
138 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
294 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 ?
8
votes
3answers
710 views

How do I prevent rocks or sand from getting in my boots?

So when I hike, usually I get a small pebble or two, or sand in my boots. How can I prevent this? I already wear pretty tight boots, and stopping every so often to take off a boot and get a rock out ...
8
votes
2answers
324 views

Will boiling be enough to decontaminate standing water from pathogens and toxins?

Will the boiling of the water itself be enough to decontaminate water taken from such standing water reservoir as that: This water looks horrible, and probably drinking it raw would cause serial ...
8
votes
3answers
201 views

Are Personal Flotation Devices a good idea when rafting?

Are Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs/life vests/life jackets) good for rafting? It may seem like a silly question, but I have heard several times now that they increase your danger due to the risk of ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I desalinate seawater?

I know I shouldn't drink seawater (because of the salt it contains), but how can I desalinate it?
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it safe to eat poison ivy berries since I don't react to the leaves?

Is it safe for someone who doesn't react to poison ivy to eat the berries? I am not going to try it without authority from someone who knows. Is it like smoke from burning vines, that can affect even ...
8
votes
3answers
322 views

What's the maximum temperature difference wind-chill can account for?

If I understand wind-chill (which I probably don't), the air feels colder because your body doesn't have as much time to heat the air as it passes by. But in that case it seems like there should be a ...
8
votes
4answers
145 views

Is it generally allowed to walk in German forests in the night?

I was geocaching a bit and I've found in many caches the warning not to cache in the night during the winter because of hunting season. My question is, have such limitations a legal basis, and if so, ...
8
votes
2answers
151 views

Safest months to hike in Colorado

I've read that the summer months (June, July, and August) are the safest months to hike in Colorado because these are the least-likely times to run into ice patches that can't be crossed with normal ...
8
votes
2answers
104 views

What is Geocaching?

There are questions on this site tagged geocaching. This appears to be some kind of GPS game. How is it played? (This is an easy question to Google but I'd like the StackExchange version, thank ...
8
votes
2answers
333 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
96 views

What kinds of things are the “defensive driving” equivalent to handling campfires?

In What do you do if the fire does get "out of control"?, someone asked a legitimate question, and @berry120 wrote detailed response, and ended with a "tl;dr" saying, " but if the proper ...
8
votes
3answers
114 views

Is there a web application that can notify you ahead of time if a certain weather forecast is predicted for a certain location?

In other words, it would be a site where you can "subscribe" to certain locations and then have the service email you if the weather forecast matches the kind of weather conditions you are looking ...
8
votes
3answers
919 views

Preventing cross-loading on belay carabiners

It happend to me a couple of times now that I've cross-loaded my carabiner when belaying; the frequent change from slack to tension and back, moving the carabiner up and down and all that, can easily ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I catch fish with fish hooks but no bait?

As most survival kits come with fish hooks, I am wondering how do I catch fish without any bait?
8
votes
3answers
203 views

Logs & Rocks - Step on or over?

Growing up we were always taught to never step straight over a rock or log because it is a good way to step on or startle a snake that you cannot see. However, on a lot of hiking forums I see it ...
8
votes
3answers
988 views

What natural (non-synthetic) fabrics are good for the winter?

Which natural (non-synthetic) fabrics are good for hiking winter weather? I know cotton will generally trap moisture and invite hypothermia, while wool is warm but heavy. What other natural fabrics ...
8
votes
2answers
255 views

Does wash in waterproofing work on a non-waterproof shell?

I'm considering an ultralight (non-waterproof) shell and Nikwax wash-in waterproofing as a rain layer. I'd like it to be waterproof through several wearings (a week or more). Does this result in ...
8
votes
2answers
279 views

What good options are there for wine transport?

Large glass bottles just don't strike me as a "good idea" for hiking. What options are there for carrying wine and preserving the flavor for a couple of days while hiking?
8
votes
2answers
109 views

I put a big gouge in the bow of my canoe going across rocks. How can I fix it?

While going through some rapids, we slid across a jagged rock and it put a huge gouge in the bow of my fiberglass canoe. What method and process is best for repairing it, so that next time I hit some ...
8
votes
2answers
100 views

Why should the angle in a rope attached to two anchors be 60 degrees or less?

In this question it states that No angle of tension shall exceed 60 degrees. Why?
8
votes
2answers
117 views

Hot or cold shower better after exertion?

Most of us go around, doing different physical activities. Whether it is indoors or outdoors, the common factor is that we often sweat, make our muscles, joints, tendons, ligament, etc work harder ...
8
votes
2answers
304 views

Do bag liners add the same warmth value to all sleeping bags?

I have a bag liner that claims to add 15 degrees to the "range" of a sleeping bag. Is it reasonable to assume that it would work the same for all bags? For instance, would it extend a 40 degree bag ...
8
votes
2answers
108 views

Is it necessary to carry a knife sharpener?

Under the assumption that an emergency kit like the ones listed here are for the emergency of getting lost and being stranded for days, how necessary is a knife sharpener?
8
votes
4answers
459 views

How could I treat scrapes outdoors without a first aid kit?

Say I'm hiking outdoors and I get a scrape. I've forgotten my first aid pack, or already used up the appropriate supplies. Is there anything in the wilderness I can use to sterilize and perhaps cover ...
8
votes
1answer
327 views

What causes an avalanche and can I predict one?

Avalanches are extremely dangerous when mountaineering, winter backpacking/camping, or backcountry skiing/snowboarding. What causes them and is there any way I can predict when an avalanche is about ...
8
votes
3answers
707 views

How do you dry wet socks when camping/backpacking if it's raining and the socks cannot be hung to dry outside

How do you dry wet socks when camping/backpacking if it's raining and the socks cannot be hung to dry outside? I've been compiling a list of recommendations on this subject for a little while. ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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?
8
votes
4answers
3k views

What exercises should you do before a ski trip to build leg stamina?

I'm planning to go skiing this winter, having not been for a few years. I remember that in the past, the first few days often ended up being cut a little short as my legs were aching too much from the ...
8
votes
1answer
916 views

When rock climbing, what is the difference between top-roping and leading?

I'm starting to learn how to rock climb, and there seem to be two types of climbing, top-rope climbing and lead climbing. What's the difference between the two, and what would be better for a ...
8
votes
2answers
777 views

How should I treat hypothermia?

When I recognize the symptoms of hypothermia, how should I treat it? And what are the dangers if the symptoms are ignored?
8
votes
3answers
146 views

What purpose does a mesh liner serve in outdoors clothing?

(I am not sure if this question fits here, but it does concern outdoors clothing.) Some outdoors clothing have an inner mesh lining of polyester (or similar) fabric. What purpose does such a lining ...
8
votes
2answers
86 views

Cutting snow steps on slopes

In many of the mountaineering expedition books that I've read, there are references to cutting of snow steps on slopes. What is the advantage of cutting snow steps? Why not use crampons and do a ...
8
votes
1answer
290 views

Are there boots made for a longer 2nd toe?

I have a longer 2nd toe than the big toe (Morton's toe or royal toe). The major problem is finding boots or sports shoes that fit properly. If I didn't have this longer toe I would wear a 9 or 9.5 ...
8
votes
2answers
486 views

What are the best ways to increase your draw weight?

What exercises exist for increasing your strength in order to increase the amount of draw weight you can pull back on your bow? I was told just push-ups but, is there anything more that can be done?
8
votes
2answers
90 views

How do I make a fin selection for various surfing conditions

There are many surfing fin designs available for modern surf boards. What are the criteria for selecting: Tri-fin Bi-fin Mono-fin No fins And why would I want to have larger or smaller surfing ...
8
votes
2answers
143 views

First crampon grade to buy

I'm looking at getting my first set of crampons, for winter Wales/Scotland trekking, with a view of working my way up into the Alps (during summer) eventually. I've been reading that a 10 point C2/B2 ...
8
votes
2answers
100 views

What parks are still open during the US government shutdown?

The US government just shut down, stopping funding for (and thus closing) most National Parks, BLM lands, campgrounds on national lands, etc... What areas are still open?
8
votes
1answer
117 views

How do female-urination-devices perform on long backpacking trips?

How do female-urination-devices like the Shewee and the GOGIRL perform on backpacking trips that are at least a week? Do they start smelling? Do they attract bears?
8
votes
3answers
327 views

How should I remove a leech?

Once a leech is attached, what is the proper way to remove it? (I'm assuming that the method would generic for all leeches, but if there are special kinds, please note that).

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