41
votes
9answers
6k views

What is the safest way to purify water?

There are a number of ways to purify water, off the top of my head we have filters, iodine, and boiling. Clearly each has some advantage/disadvantage (iodine tastes terrible, boiling takes time). ...
26
votes
6answers
2k views

What precautions should I take to protect myself and my camp from bears?

Most of my prior hiking experience has been in areas that are not home to bears, so what precautions should I take to protect my camp (and myself as I am hiking) from bears. I am aware of a couple of ...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

Are trekking poles proven to be helpful?

I covered quite a lot of ground, but approaching 36 my knees are starting to give me troubles. Should I expect trekking poles to restore my previous stamina and walking durability? Or are they just ...
35
votes
2answers
44k views

How to avoid exploding rocks

It seems that every tutorial I read and show I watch shows people using rocks for everything from a cooking surface to boiling water. However, I have had rocks crack in half on me, and I've always ...
10
votes
1answer
182 views

What are the principles of Leave no Trace?

What are the fundamental principles of leaving no trace in the backcountry?
13
votes
2answers
475 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 ...
53
votes
5answers
2k views

What are essential items in an emergency kit?

What are must-have items in an emergency kit for a multi-day hiking trip?
47
votes
16answers
28k views

Where in Europe is wild camping permitted?

Is there any resource (website, book, etc) that lists all European countries, and the state of free camping? Specifically, I want to see in which European countries I'm not fined when I place my tent ...
31
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I wash Gore-Tex clothing?

I have a bunch of dirty hard-shell pants and jackets. Are these safe to put in the washer and dryer? If not, how should I clean them?
39
votes
9answers
31k views

Does eating snow help dehydration?

I have heard many people say that eating snow actually can increase dehydration since the energy required for the body to heat up and melt the snow is greater than the benefits received from the ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

How do you compare between different rock climbing grades?

Different countries and rock climbing disiplines have different grading systems, for example the the British trad grade system (e.g. grade HVS 5(a)) and the US point grading system (e.g. 5.9) If I ...
41
votes
11answers
20k views

A list of suitable foods for a long hike

In my opinion, the priorities when selecting trekking food are: many calories per kilogram not easily spoilable, especially in hot weather not very very expensive diverse. Diverse. That is why I ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Ideal and Minimal Rope Diameter for Lead Climbing

I'm thinking of a single rope that it's safe to take long lead falls, but also light to carry around. I weight 75 kgs and I might climb with heavier partners (80-90 Kgs)
22
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I treat hot spots and blisters when I have no moleskin?

A few times I've been out walking or backpacking and have no moleskin with me. Sure enough, my boots start giving me blisters. How can I prevent or treat hotspots and blisters without using ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Do you need to purify all mountain water sources

I was just reading this question What is the safest way to purify water? Now I walk a lot in Snowdonia in North Wales and on occasion I drink from mountain streams. I've even camped next to mountain ...
24
votes
2answers
10k views

What does it mean to cross load a carabiner?

What does it mean to cross load a carabiner? I know it's bad, and not to do it, but I don't really know what exactly it is.
15
votes
3answers
327 views

What are some proven methods of training for week long backpacking trips in high altitude?

I'm going to Colorado to visit a friend and we will be going on a week long trek across a couple of 14'ners. I'm looking for some ways to help prepare my body for trip.
75
votes
15answers
14k views

What is the most efficient food to take a for a 12-15 day hiking trip?

Last summer I spent 15 days hiking with my boyfriend, in Sarek National Park, where there are no places to restock with more food. The food issue was a major part of the pre-planning, as weight was ...
52
votes
8answers
16k views

What are good knots to know for camping and backpacking?

I once tied a bear bag with a haphazard bundle of knots, and despite being seemingly impossible to untie, it came loose when lowering the bear bag and nearly smoked my friend standing under it. What ...
75
votes
11answers
26k views

Is it warmer to sleep naked in a sleeping bag?

When camping in cold weather, some people say it is actually warmer to sleep naked than to sleep with clothes on. Is that true, or is it better to leave warm clothes on while in the bag?
37
votes
11answers
3k views

How can you navigate without a compass or GPS

What are the ways you can navigate when you don't have a compass or a GPS? For example how can you tell which way is north.
38
votes
7answers
10k views

Does cotton really kill?

For outdoor hiking, backpacking or camping trips, I always hear people saying Cotton Kills. That means don't wear cotton anywhere (underwear, shirts, pants), and no cotton blends. Usually it's given ...
23
votes
3answers
22k views

What are the different methods to purify water?

What methods can I use to purify water? And what's the difference between those several methods (safety, duration needed, ...)?
20
votes
5answers
985 views

Keeping warm in an emergency

When roaming the outdoors, it might happen that one finds oneself in a situation that is much, much colder than one planned for. What can one do in such an emergency, especially when it's so cold ...
44
votes
4answers
23k views

Is drinking urine safe?

We've all heard stories about how people saved their lives by drinking their urine. Is drinking urine safe when there are no other water sources available? Can I filter it with a water purifier?
25
votes
2answers
882 views

If I cross paths with a bear, what should I do?

If I'm out hiking, and I come around a corner and stumble upon a bear, what's the best course of action to take to minimize the chance the bear will act aggressively? Do different types of bear ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Hiking boots vs trail shoes

I have two sets of shoes that I wear while hiking. My favorite by far are my light weight trail running shoes. I have worn them on 9 mile hikes without any break-in, and went blister free. From a ...
16
votes
5answers
8k views

Can any waterborne pathogens survive boiling?

I know that boiling does little to break down chemical contaminants or heavy metals. But I'm unsure if it kills all microbial life. Are there any waterborne illness-causing ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

In a survival situation what all I can use from a green coconut?

Why is a coconut tree so valuable for a person in survival situation?
9
votes
1answer
467 views

Slings for anchoring and lanyard in rock climbing

Probably common question, but: What slings do you use to build anchors for belaying the 2nd in rock climbing? Dyneema or nylon? I had discussed this problem with my friend and he said that Dyneema is ...
21
votes
4answers
9k views

Are mittens warmer than gloves?

Given a mitten and a glove made of the same materials, thickness, etc, is the mitten warmer than the glove? It seems to me that having all four fingers in one area (vs separate fingers for gloves) ...
11
votes
1answer
376 views

Adjusting the Torso setting for the backpack

I have been using backpacks which did not have setting for Torso adjustment. This time around I have bought myself a backpack with such adjustment. Product Link: Quechua backpack Product I think I ...
9
votes
2answers
601 views

Breaking a fresh green coconut

Okay, continuing the coconut series, How can I break a fresh green coconut without wasting much of it, without using a knife?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the first aid precautions to be taken in case of a snake bite?

I'll be trekking through a dense monsoon forest which has a sizable population of king cobras and vipers. I'll be at least 5 hours away by walk to the nearest human settlement and another 1-2 hours by ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Hiking popularity in North America vs. Europe

From browsing this site, I have learned that US national parks and wilderness areas have restrictions and that campsites need reservations, sometimes months in advance. I've never seen anything like ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Is my tent pole a lightning rod?

I have used the Mega Mid tent almost exclusively for hundreds of nights out over the last many years. It's versatile, well ventilated, light... but has this pole sticking straight up the middle. Is ...
8
votes
1answer
233 views

Rating unorthodox climbs

This question is sprouted from Brick Wall Rating I occasionally climb in places where it seems unorthodox, such as a brick wall. I've found that even with the plethora of hand holds that buildings ...
46
votes
3answers
94k views

How long does water need to be boiled for to kill all bacteria / viruses?

This has come up a few times in a few other questions, but I've heard varying opinions from different people in a number of answers and comments on here - some saying that just boiling for a moment is ...
25
votes
11answers
56k views

What is this knee pain when going downhill?

I can hike uphill practically all day. However as very soon after I start a descent, pain builds on the outside of my knee. What is causing this and can I do anything to prevent/mitigate it (other ...
41
votes
14answers
13k views

How can I tell if I am dehydrated or have low electrolytes (need salt, etc.)?

How can detect, in the outdoors with minimal equipment, if I am dehydrated or need electrolytes? Update Some background: I get overheated very easily, possibly because I don't sweat as much as most ...
34
votes
6answers
4k views

What are some good tips and techniques for packing a backpack?

How do I pack a backpack to prevent injury to my back and keep it comfortable while hiking?
47
votes
9answers
2k views

How should I remove a tick?

If I find a tick on myself or a friend, what is the best way of removing it? I've heard some people say that singeing the tick with a match makes the tick detach and fall off. However I've also ...
36
votes
5answers
10k views

What is the best way to store my sleeping bag for long periods of time?

I've heard that storing a sleeping bag in its stuff sack for long periods of time will cause it to lose loft, and won't provide as much comfort or warmth when used again. If so, how should I store my ...
31
votes
9answers
15k views

What hand and finger exercises help with climbing?

It's been a while since I went rock climbing but I'd like to get back into it. What are some hand exercises that will help with climbing?
10
votes
4answers
407 views

Cooking over a fire

Is there a way to make a wood fire that is good for cooking? Why is it better than others? Assume little to no wind. Would it make a difference if I cooking hot dogs on a stick or a steak?
20
votes
4answers
1k views

What are some ways/devices that I can use to charge my batteries in the wilderness?

When backpacking, I might carry a MagLite flashlight or something similar that requires two AA batteries. I tend to favor rechargeable batteries for a variety of reasons. How can I recharge my ...
33
votes
11answers
30k views

How to harden feet to avoid blisters on long hikes

I've enjoyed hiking my entire life but I have one huge problem. The skin on my feet is extremely soft and sensitive. I wear good wool socks with properly fitting boots and change socks during long ...
25
votes
2answers
13k views

Climbing rope is rated to X UIAA falls. What is a UIAA fall?

When looking at buying climbing ropes, they are rated to a number of "UIAA falls". What does that mean?
18
votes
3answers
472 views

As an experienced backpacker in the Eastern US, what should I know before hiking in the Western US?

I have done a good deal of hiking and backpacking in the Eastern US (mostly in New England), but I recently moved to California. What are the major differences in terms of preparation or equipment ...
14
votes
7answers
7k views

What can I do about those obnoxious biting flies?

In addition to Mosquitos, many of us northwoods campers have been made victim to the vast swarms of biting flies. Despite slathering myself with DEET, they don't seem deterred, and they especially ...

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