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
votes
2answers
950 views

John Muir's Gear List

What gear did John Muir actually take on long trips? I live in California these days, and around here we revere John Muir as a legend of the outdoors. But the legend seems larger than is possible. ...
15
votes
2answers
297 views

How much gear will the AT eat?

We're planning on hiking the AT, and this question prompted me to ask: What gear should we expect to replace, and how often, on the Appalachian Trail? Assume that we know basic gear maintenance and ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

How harmful is the rising/setting sun?

Often, while hiking, my companions and I treat the very early/late sun as being less harmful (as far as skin cancer and UV radiation are concerned). For example, we might not apply sunscreen ...
15
votes
3answers
783 views

What kind of canteen material will have the least effect on the taste of water?

I want to buy a canteen, and I have choice between aluminum, stainless steel, enamel and various kinds of plastic. I had canteens before that made any liquid taste horrible after just few hours. I ...
15
votes
4answers
737 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
211 views

Am I allowed to swim in the Austrian Alps lakes?

The title really says it all, is it legal to swim in the lakes in the Austrian Alps?
15
votes
1answer
347 views

Is backcountry hiking in northwestern Russia safe?

Is it safe to go backcountry hiking in the Tundra's of northwestern Russia, e.g. the Kola peninsula, such as the Khibin mountains? There is some heavy industry around there; can one safely go around, ...
14
votes
20answers
3k views

What is the best mountaineering quote that you have ever read? [closed]

Being a techie, I once came across this hilarious post on StackOVerflow: What is the best comment in the source code you have ever encountered? In the similar bar of questions, which one or many a ...
14
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 ...
14
votes
7answers
500 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

How to get started skiing?

I've never skied before, but I'd like to try it out. What sort of gear should I buy (as opposed to renting) before hand? What would be a good strategy to learn to ski?
14
votes
6answers
24k views

How to humanely kill an injured bird?

Last night I was walking my dog when I came across an injured racing pigeon. I've reported it to the owner who's coming to pick it up today, providing it's survived the night..... I was thinking ...
14
votes
3answers
3k 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?
14
votes
8answers
608 views

What proven alternatives are there to DEET?

DEET is an effective mosquito deterrent, but there are many reasons it cannot be used. Per the CDC, cuts, eczema, and being a kid are all problems if you want to use DEET. What proven alternatives ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

How dangerous is it to climb a via ferrata alone?

What are the risks of climbing a via ferrata alone? Would going through very easy via ferratas still pose high risks? Are well visited and easy climbing via ferratas necessarily a great danger? I ...
14
votes
7answers
416 views

What is the best type of shoe to wear for crossing deep rivers?

I'm heading up for some walking to Scotland soon. I will need to cross multiple rivers. I have no interest in crossing wearing my walking boots as so many people like to do as wet feet are the worst ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

How to tow a canoe with a bicycle?

There are a few pictures on the internet of people towing canoes with bicycles, there are even complete solutions that you can purchase for the task. But what is really involved, what are the ...
14
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?
14
votes
6answers
363 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it safe to be in a vehicle during lightning/thunderstorms?

Recently a friend and I were offroading in the local mountains and while ascending a trail a storm blew in. We were out in the open near the top of the mountain when lightning started. We weren't sure ...
14
votes
4answers
8k views

What's the most remote place in the contiguous US?

The United States is a very developed place. Sometimes this can prove to be challenging when trying to find a place to get away from everything, especially east of the Mississippi where I reside. I am ...
14
votes
5answers
782 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
749 views

Tips for a novice backpacker

I would like to get into backpacking and make 2-3 day backpacking trips in moderate climatic conditions in mountainous terrains (mid-Atlantic U.S. or Central Europe, spring-fall). I am looking for ...
14
votes
5answers
633 views

How to avoid pendulum descent when belaying?

I recently started indoor rock climbing at a local spot. I got to the top and (after appropriate communication) my partner started to belay me down. I instantly starting swinging and spinning pretty ...
14
votes
5answers
570 views

Are headaches a bad sign at altitude?

Last weekend, we had a nice hike up Price Peak in the Sierras. We went from sea level to 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) in about 6 hours. And I had a ROARING headache. I could hear my heart beat in my ...
14
votes
4answers
868 views

How to detect a crevasse on a glacier

When you're walking in a roped party over a glacier, how can the leader detect crevasses? Sometimes it's possible to walk existing tracks, but even then it's possible to have a crevasse fall. What ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

What format should I use to report my location to emergency responders?

Suppose I am out in the wilderness and an emergency arises. I have an accurate fix on my location (from GPS, map and compass, astronomical observation, etc...). I manage to get in touch with ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What to do if a team member falls sick?

Recently I fell ill whilst car camping and it made me consider the situations when not around amenities. In addition to this I recently was part of a four man, one dog team climbing Snowdon and one of ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Is saltwater antiseptic?

On some occasions you don´t have anything to desinfect wounds, for example during a (short) walk along the beach. If you cut yourself or have a an small wound that needs cleaning, would it be wise to ...
14
votes
3answers
371 views

What are the critical dimensions to a safe bear-bag?

Many outdoor areas that have bears have bear bag-lines setup for hikers. In situations where the bear-bag line is not there or it is full, what dimensions should I keep in mind to protect my goodies ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there wild camping rules in Scotland?

I am planning a 7 day trip in Scotland. I am considering some possible cheap options for accommodation, and I have read wild camping is permitted. Are there any rules that need to be respected? Does ...
14
votes
4answers
767 views

How to stow backpack and boots whilst in a hammock?

I'm contemplating using a hammock for my next trip, usually I'd keep my backpack and boots with me inside when I sleep to keep them dry. Is there room in a hammock for a backpack and boots? Or is it ...
14
votes
3answers
856 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

How to choose a fire steel and use it most effectively?

Fire steels, ferrocerium rods -- oversized versions of the "flint" in a lighter or torch starter, are an apparently popular survival/backwoods fire starting method. Why would one want one of these ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the loop on the finger of my winter gloves for?

I have a pair of winter /climbing gloves. Each glove has a small loop on the ring finger, top of the glove. Why? What's it for?
14
votes
4answers
938 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Any reasons not to use 30-year-old ice axe?

I'll be doing a guided tour which includes going up a steep slope on a glacier, therefore I need an ice axe. I could rent one for a couple of bucks from the tour organizers, but I was wondering if ...
14
votes
3answers
196 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
612 views

Stuff or roll a tent for storage?

When packing a tent, is it best to stuff it in its sack or roll/fold it? I always stuff my sleeping bag so I wasn't sure if it was the same for tents.
14
votes
2answers
881 views

Why did my new sleeping bag come with 2 bags - one large and one stuff sack?

I just bought a new sleeping bag online and it came in a large draw cord bag and there was also a small stuff sack in the package. What is the point of the large draw cord bag?
14
votes
4answers
7k views

How to properly lace hiking boots?

When I go on hiking trips, I wear proper boots. However, when I lace them tight, my ankles swell terribly after a few hours and start feeling funny (bending the joint feels like touching a balloon). ...
14
votes
4answers
711 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
220 views

How to use a Munter hitch to belay and rappel?

There seems to be conflicting information on the web about how to use a Munter hitch for belaying and rappelling while rock climbing. The way I learned decades ago is consistent with Nols Wilderness ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the consequences of — illegally — using a 446 MHz PMR in the North American wilderness?

I've recently bought a pair of PMR446 walkie-talkies with some 5–10 km range, operating at 446 MHz. We've happily used them in Sareks Nationalpark in Sweden. Now I'm moving to Canada, where this ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Deer activity in the wet

Over the years, when out walking and on my commute through the countryside I've noticed that, when it's intensely pouring with rain, Roe deer seems to come out of the forests into open fields to eat. ...
14
votes
3answers
1k 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?

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