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21

The short answer is "bear spray"; a firearm is really not the most effective option. That said... I will assume you are looking for grizzly protection, since you didn't specify the bear and black bears are relatively shy. Again, using spray is a far more effective way of improving your odds; a review of its use in Alaska found a 98% success rate, with no ...


14

If you think about it, lighting a kerosene lamp with a flint and steel is essentially the same as lighting a Zippo Lighter. The classic of classic lighters has a flammable-fluid soaked wick that is ignited by a small flint and steel. The only significant difference is that Kerosene has a slightly higher flashpoint than Lighter Fluid (Naphtha). Lighter ...


12

Project Remote was started by a scientifically-minded couple to quantitatively determine the most remote locations in each of the 50 states mainly using the distance to the nearest road or town and whether cel phone coverage is available. They've cataloged quite a few states already east of the Mississippi, which you can check out here: Project Remote. The ...


9

A magnifying glass will not light it, and I don't think a flint and steel will directly - you need a flame rather than a spark - but that is easily solved through using a piece of newspaper with kindling, or taper. Just use your magnifying glass or flint to light the paper, then use that to light the lamp. Slightly messy, and you need to be careful where ...


9

Cooking as a large group is bad for a variety of reasons: More work to coordinate roles, responsibilities. Limited cooking resources (stoves, pots, etc.) means waiting, frustration, idleness, or carrying more than one of everything. More likely to waste fuel. Waste of energy/misuse of downtime e.g. Instead of cooking every 3rd day/meal you're cooking every ...


8

The optimal skin track angle is a subject of much debate in the backcountry skiing world. There are generally two schools of thought on skin tracks. The steeper the better Slow and steady wins the race Since you used "effective" rather than possible, my 2 cents would be that you should set the steepest skin track that allows you to climb at a ...


8

The army solution is to have two pairs of boots so that one pair dries while the other is worn (yes, even in the field). Another solution is to use goretex socks so that it doesn't matter what state you boots are in. I find wool socks keep warmth even when wet, and don't chafe or cause blisters the way cotton socks can when wet. You can air dry goretex ...


7

I too recommend newspaper however you can also give the following a try: Buy a pack of disposable diapers and empty the sodium polyacrylate into a sock or any fine mesh cloth/bag. Carry it in your pack for any absorption emergency. You should make sure to pack it in a sealed waterproof bag until you need it. Otherwise it will suck the humidity from its ...


6

You could use a towel or (if you can spare the weight) some old news papers. Me and my friends dry everything except for the tents by fire. Just set a line about 3-4 meters away from the fire so it will only catch some of the heat (30-50 degrees Celsius is fine for anything). I know this really doesn't give you an alternative and I'm interested to see what ...


5

Most of the "untouched" places left in North America are that way for a reason, no one wants to touch them. There are loads of barren desserts in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona that people don't bother going to because it's dead, there's nothing there but heat sand and rocks. The easiest way to figure out what parts of the USA are isolated from ...


5

I wasn't able to light an Aladdin kerosene lamp with the sparks of a zippo. (Kerosene needs much more energy to ignite than lighter fluid) As an ironic side question - do you really need a lamp when there is enough sunlight to ignite it with a magnifying glass? ;-)


5

A quick search yielded this video, which seems straightforward enough. I have never seen anyone use charcloth like in the video, but it seems to work nicely. To summarize the video: Place the charcloth on top of the flintstone with your fingers. Strike the flint until the charcloth is lit. Put the glowing charcloth into a tinder bundle (old rope that has ...


5

Yes, and yes. According to people I've talked to who work at the Grand Canyon, visitors from the western United States (especially the rural parts of the Mountain West) find the canyon more impressive than those from the east (especially the urban east). The prevailing theory is that they've learned to see long distances.


4

The difference between someone who knows the elevation of a peak and someone who doesn't is a map. Always bring a map with you, learn to read it well, and keep it dry. You'll live longer.


4

fire steel can be used but you would be wise to find a tinder i.e. birch bark, Vaseline soaked cotton in a pill bottle.. I would not recommend a kerosine lamp where a candle in a safe enclosure would work just as nice. also practice a bit before your trip as it does take some skill.


4

It's a good idea to carry along some snacks, Fritos, potato chips, doritoes. You can light these with a magnifying glass, if the sun is out. I've had to resort to this to get the wood stove lit when my lighter was out of fluid while snowed in. There is a high fat/grease content in those snacks. They burn like a candle. Try it!


4

Walk the line on a humid very cold still morning. If the hot spring is of any significance -- e.g. enough surface to get in, and enough flow to be hot, -- you should get a plume of steam rising off the water. This will likely require an air water temperature differential of at least 40 degrees F to be visible. I have seen 'steam' (fog) tendrils off of ...


3

It helps to know what is going on underground when looking for geological patters. Hot springs are of course geothermally heated by pockets of magma in the crust that are relatively close to the surface. Understanding the underlaying strata and ground water patters are essential to accurately predicting where hydraulic phenomena will appear. At the very ...


3

There are several aspects to take under consideration: Group holes are not a good practice because your deposits can't be buried too deep. The soil needs enough organic material to eliminate your deposits. But, if the upper layers of the soil are big enough, you could make your hole bigger (so making it appropriate for larger groups). The type of group who ...


3

I think I've gone straight up 30° on good snow, maybe steeper for short bits. This would be on old Diamir bindings and fairly stiff alpine boots. As Dakatine mentioned, not all snow is equal, powder tends to let the tails drop even further than the actual slope. So loose snow, presence of hard ice are a problem, and of course you'll also want full length ...


3

Simple demonstration https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVpGFAJmG3g. The trick is to pull the Flint-stick towards you while keeping the scraper stationary. Make sure you are using something dry, tiny, or chard cloth, or fine steel wool works well. I've never had a problem with mine, but I still like to rough it a little more and use the Bow and Drill method.


2

Without having to carry any extra items and thus extra weight, this is what you can do to dry your boots, Gore-tex or otherwise, in the field, in above-freezing temperatures: Prevention: Make every effort to keep your feet dry in the first place. Sometimes it's just inevitable though. Absorb excess water: After removing your insoles, use a highly ...


2

The great thing about finding bones outside is that for the most part, they're already clean! I'm from a small hunting town, going out for hikes to look for bones and sheds is a popular thing to do in the spring. I found bear skull on a game trail once, you don't need to do much more than collect them in a garbage bag or a cardboard box, old bones aren't ...


2

This is a broad question, so here's a broad answer: The coastal ranges north of SF are heavily forested and have narrow steep valleys.... and hillbillies and marijuana farms. Although as you go inland there is more grass and some of the valleys are very nice when the grass is green and flowers come out. North & east of the Sacramento Valley you have a ...


2

The answer to your question is: the middle of the Selway-Bitteroot/River-of-No-Return Wildnerness in Idaho. These are actually two wilderness areas joined together (separated by a single dirt road) which together form the largest roadless area and the largest wildnerness in the Continental US. The Selway Bitterroot is where the author of "A River Runs ...


2

If you are desperate, a flint and steel or other sparker can be used to light a kerosene lamp but, and it is a pretty big but, you must first warm the wick (and the kerosene in it) to body temp or slightly above. Holding it in your hands and blowing on it will get you close, but it is almost always easier to ignite some kindling and use that to light your ...


1

I have found that digging a deep group latrine works far better when taking youth and other folks who are hesitant about the whole "pooping in the woods" idea. I make it one of the task as we set up camp, one group cooks, one group sets up tents, one group get water then digs the latrine. I oversee that the hole is deep enough to accommodate the group for ...


1

Cigarette lighters are very cheap and very small. Leave the magnifying glass with grandma, leave the flint with wilma, take some spare lighters, its the 21st Century after all.


1

I think it's good to have first a normal wax as base on you skis and on top of that you can add the sticky wax. So you don't ruin your skis. But it's also good to remove the sticky wax if not needed and have faster skis. And this don't work well if you have climbing skins :)


1

Unless you're talking way above treeline, you can get some idea by what the vegetation looks like at the top or how far the peak seems to be above the treeline. This works reasonably well in the White Mountains of NH where treeline is about 5000 feet and the tallest mountains a bit over 6000 feet. Below 4000 feet, this method isn't much good because you ...



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