82
votes
15answers
16k 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 ...
77
votes
11answers
28k 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?
65
votes
16answers
25k views

Which will keep my food colder longer, draining the melted ice water, or leaving it in the cooler?

Say you have a cooler of frozen food and ice to last for several days or weeks of river-trip / car camping. To keep things as a cold as possible for as long as possible, is it better to leave the cold ...
63
votes
9answers
12k views

Should I run if I see wild dogs?

Wild dogs appear to be dangerous. Should I be running if I come across one, or should I stand fast and defend myself? They are a social animal, so they will be in a pack almost all the times.
54
votes
8answers
17k 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 ...
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?
49
votes
16answers
31k 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 ...
48
votes
10answers
3k 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 ...
47
votes
1answer
842 views

Commuting by canoe

I live at a lake with my company in sight just 2 km (~1.2 miles) away. To get to work I have to cross the city, which is not only expensive in terms of money, it also costs a lot of nerves. That's why ...
46
votes
9answers
7k 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). ...
46
votes
3answers
103k 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 ...
44
votes
4answers
24k 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?
44
votes
12answers
23k views

How to deal with condensation in a tent?

I often camp in rainy or very humid weather, and I often have condensation forming inside my tent. What can I do to minimize this? My tent has vents, but I’m not sure how to make the best use of ...
43
votes
7answers
11k views

Why is it prohibited to sleep in a tent?

In many European countries like Germany, it's prohibited to sleep in the great outdoors with a tent. While I understand that downright camps are a problem due to littering, fire etc., I don't get why ...
42
votes
9answers
33k 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 ...
42
votes
11answers
22k 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 ...
41
votes
14answers
15k 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 ...
41
votes
7answers
19k views

Should you pop a blister?

When I'm home running or on a day hike, I prefer to pierce the skin as soon as a blister forms and drain all fluid from a blister to reduce the pain and further irritation/inflammation. In this case, ...
41
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 ...
40
votes
6answers
18k views

Is it better to wear one pair or two pairs of socks while hiking?

From personal experience I tend to wear two pairs of socks, normally some running socks and then my hiking socks on top of that. It helps me avoid blisters. Quite a few of my friends thinks this is ...
40
votes
4answers
9k views

Is it possible to rappel with only a rope? (No harness, Prusik cord, or other gear)

There may be an emergency situation where I find myself needing to lower myself but with no or damaged equipment. Assuming I only have a rope, can I lower myself to safe ground?
39
votes
10answers
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.
37
votes
14answers
11k views

Why do so many people hike with such light footwear?

More and more, I see people hiking with very light-weight shoes. To me, they look like regular sport shoes and they look to be lacking thick soles, waterproofness, or ankle support. I thought this ...
37
votes
9answers
133k views

How do you determine how long a hike will take?

Is there a general rule of thumb for converting miles to hours when looking at a potential hike? For example, how long does it take an average person walking at an average speed to walk a mile on the ...
36
votes
7answers
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?
36
votes
11answers
8k views

How to carry water in freezing temperatures?

When backpacking in freezing weather, water in a canteen often turns to ice. I am looking for a canteen that Will not burst when the volume of water increases due to freezing Will make it possible, ...
36
votes
5answers
6k views

Will drinking lots of water in the day(s) prior to a long trek mean I will need less water on the trek?

I am not sure if 'pre-hydrating' is a valid term to use for this, please correct me if you know the term. While walking down a tiring route, I was so tired and low on water. All I could think of was, ...
36
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
36
votes
3answers
16k views

Can I eat rotten meat and carcass providing enough cooking?

I've met often with the concept, that rotten meat and carcass is inedible because of bacteria and toxins. The most harmful of it the botulinum toxin. However, in the question Can any waterborne ...
35
votes
8answers
6k views

What are the downsides to sleeping in a hammock on a multi-day hike?

I've read that hammocks are a very light way to travel through the wilderness. You just need the hammock, a cover, and a light sleeping bag, but there must be disadvantages compared to taking a tent ...
35
votes
2answers
51k 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 ...
35
votes
6answers
1k views

Backpacking or hiking in areas open to hunting

A lot of areas that are good for hiking or backpacking are also popular hunting grounds. I am an avid backpacker and hiker, but I do not know much about hunting. How do I find out what is the ...
33
votes
8answers
7k views

How to react to cattle charging towards you?

Cattle may get aggressive when threatened, or they might just imitate to be aggressive. I have seen cattle charging towards a person when irritated. How should one react if a cow or bull comes ...
33
votes
5answers
8k views

Can I use a bicycle helmet as a climbing helmet?

I have a bicycle helmet that fits well. Can it be used effectively as a rock climbing helmet? Most climbing helmets have a hard shell that the bicycle helmet does not. However, one of the more ...
33
votes
11answers
34k 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 ...
33
votes
3answers
2k views

How to treat a severe allergic reaction while hiking?

Suppose you are out hiking, many hours from the trail head and someone has a severe allergic reaction (ie, anaphylactic shock or Anaphylaxis). In this case, what is the best course of treatment to ...
32
votes
9answers
1k views

The outdoors, solitude and dealing with loneliness

I have been out camping a few times, once with a group, the other times with my girlfriend. Although I enjoyed those times very much, I often wondered what would it feel like to enjoy the complete ...
32
votes
10answers
15k views

FiveFingers or hiking boots?

I have been wearing Vibram FiveFingers exclusively for three years now. I day hike in them, I exercise in them, I go to to work with them, I hit the beach and swim in them. I have tried wearing ...
32
votes
4answers
2k views

Practicality of Beards

I have several friends with full beards. After talking at length with one, he started to convince me the protection it offers might be worth it. So, I thought I would come and ask. What are the Pros ...
32
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?
31
votes
6answers
6k views

I never adjust for true north. Is this bad practice?

This question (Calculate true north with a compass and map) got me thinking. I rarely bother adjusting compass bearings for magnetic north. Is this bad? I understand the theory but I just rarely ...
31
votes
9answers
16k 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?
31
votes
6answers
8k views

How can I identify edible berries/fruit from poisonous?

How can I identify edible berries/fruit in the wide and avoid the poisonous varieties? Is there a general guideline that can be followed or is each plant specific?
31
votes
6answers
3k views

If I'm caught in lightning above tree-line, what should I do?

We all know the general lightning guidelines, but what if I am above tree-line and caught in a freak lightning storm. Is it better to: Run like mad to toward the trees Lie flat, and find religion ...
30
votes
12answers
18k views

What is the point of hiking boots, versus any comfortable walking shoes?

I've always used any old shoes for hiking. Are there any real benefits to using specially made boots?
30
votes
5answers
9k views

Why aren't there any electric stoves that can be used for cooking where you can't build a fire?

There are quite a few countries where you aren't allowed to make open fires in the great outdoors (I'm sure for at least Austria and Germany). I wondered why nobody has yet thought about electric ...
29
votes
9answers
4k views

Backpacking Through Rain

My friends and I are setting off on a hike this Friday through Michigan's UP. I've been watching the forecast which, to be fair, is never accurate in Michigan. Nonetheless, it shows a good amount of ...
29
votes
7answers
8k views

Driving tent pegs into rocky ground

Sometimes you can't help but set up camp in an area where the soil is very rocky / stony or firm, especially when wild camping. This can make it incredibly difficult to drive the tent pegs into the ...
29
votes
5answers
11k views

Does hiking with a dog in bear country increase or decrease your risk of a bear encounter?

I've heard various rumors that dogs might help keep bears away, or might be a bear attractant. Is there anything more concrete than anecdotal evidence to go on? From the companionship end, they are a ...
29
votes
4answers
2k views

If I have to cross an icy, flowing river, what are some ways I can cross safely?

If I'm alone in a survival situation and I have to cross a very cold river that's still flowing, how should I accomplish this safely?

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