Hot answers tagged

55

Dehydrated food is key. Water weighs a LOT. Breakfast -- Any variation on oatmeal. You can make your own or buy prepackaged meals. Lunch -- Peanut butter on hard tack. (did i mention water?) Dinner -- Any dehydrated meal will do. I've used both Mountain House and Backpackers pantry. Snacks -- I prefer Clif bars and Justin Nut Butter for a good weight/...


54

Tying knots is actually a bit of an art. Depending on what you need it for, there are knots that slide, create loops, tighten under load, and do tons of other things. Here are some backcountry essentials: Bowline Knot: Use this when you need a knot that absolutely, positively will not slip (unless loaded wrong). When I was in camp, we'd use these when ...


38

The key to keeping your back happy is to drive as much pack weight to your hips as possible. A side note on weight is that the lighter your pack overall, the happier your back. A lot of the packing order depends on your particular pack, but in general, the bottom of a pack is below your hips. Therefore, it is best to put something big and light in the ...


32

Lots of people have posted answers saying what they like to eat. However, the OP asked a very specific question, which was: "What is the most efficient food to take a for a 12-15 day hiking trip? [...] Assume I have no taste at all and don't care about eating the same tasteless thing every day if necessary." She specifically stated that her only criterion ...


29

Outside more room left inside for other stuff. More likely to rip a hole in your gear when you toss your pack down. More options for weight placement (which can lead to off-blanced pack.) More likely to fall off. Inside Better protection from the elements, rocks, branches. Weight is closer to your center of gravity (and usually better balanced). ...


27

The most important knots you'll ever need to know are the taut-line hitch and the bowline. For instance, on your bear bag, you would tie a bowline through a handle or other loop the bag, and then the taut-line on the other side. The best thing about a bowline is that no matter how much force you've put on it, you can crack it easily to take it apart.


27

Sadly, in North America, there is no rating beyond what each manufacturer decides for itself. I suspect that in the US especially, some thought goes into liability (i.e. if someone freezes to death in a bag that's rated to 0F and it's 20F out, they could be in trouble). Certain manufacturers gain a reputation for conservative ratings, others for optimistic ...


27

You're bringing all the right things... (the only thing I would question is why a flashlight as well as a headlamp? - though if it's just a small flashlight, no big deal- I sometimes bring a spare headlamp). 20kg's is 44 pounds and 30-40lbs is about right for a 3 day trip alone. The only way to get the weight down is by bringing lighter (i.e. more expensive)...


26

Your legs aren't as sensitive to temperture extremes. Right now it's winter here and I'm walking around outside with a regular shirt, a wool sweater, and a wind breaker on my torso. Inside I take off the windbreaker an sweater. However, inside or outside, I'm wearing the same single-layer pants and it's not a problem. My legs don't feel hot inside or ...


26

I think you pretty much covered it. Advantages of a tent: Keeps more rain/snow out (particularly if you have little skill in tent/tarp setup) Keeps out insects. For me, this is the big one - in spring time when the mosquitoes are fierce, being confined to your sleeping bag with a net over your face is not nearly as pleasant as lounging in your enclosed ...


26

Don't get wet! No I'm not being facetious, I hike through the rain forests of BC all the time, I've spent days in a row in solid rain while backpacking and setting up camp. Getting wet up here can mean death overnight even in the middle of summer, doesn't matter how hot it gets during the day, temperatures can drop to near zero overnight, if you're wet when ...


25

Rice. If you have fresh (or purified) water, an amazingly small amount of rice would suffice for 14 days. I've trekked the Cordillera Real for 12 days, and rice was the only reasonable option in terms of weight. A small set of spices - especially salt and pepper - dramatically improves its taste. If you don't want to eat the same food for 14 days, take ...


24

First of all, DO NOT bring anything smelly into your tent. This includes food, tooth paste, deodorant, or anything else that has a smell. Also, keep fires away from the tent. I recommend setting up a bear triangle campground. Cook your food in one corner, close to that corner–maybe 50 feet away–set up a latrine area. About 200 feet or more away from both, ...


24

I know you said in your question that you don't want to bring a whole roll, but I've found that Duct Tape can be easily collapsable if you use a knife and cut out the cardboard inside of the roll. After that, take a strip of Duct Tape, fold it on itself and stick it to half of the inside roll. Flatten the roll and you have a rectangle of usefulness. (o) ...


23

Cheese: Long time. Especially hard cheeses. You can just cut any mold off the edge that might creep up. Cheeses sealed in cheese wax (gouda) are a good bet. I've had extra-sharp cheddar un-refrigerated in the AZ desert for 8+ days, in the rocky mountains for 15+ days with no issues (aside from sweat.) Blocks last longer than a pile of shredded cheese. Be ...


23

Trying to cut pack weight is all about leaving "extra" things out and then replacing needed things with light versions. Some things that jump out at me as "extra": Tent for 2 people If there is only one of you, why do you need a 2 person tent. For only 2 or 3 days, I would go with a tarp which will be lighter 2 pairs of underwear and socks A ...


22

Here is an article from Scoutin magazine Knots and Boy Scouts go together like campfires and cobbler. Here’s how to tie three of the knots required to reach First Class, plus four more that can be very useful. Knots. It all begins with rope — different sizes, lengths, widths, and strengths, depending on its use. Ropes used for climbing can bear more ...


22

The absolute best is going to be titanium, but it also happens to be the most expensive. I'm not sure where you heard that it shatters in the cold, but being a space age metal I would think it can handle cold earth temperatures just fine. If you can't shell out the cash for titanium it's more or less a toss up between aluminum and stainless steel. ...


22

Roland Muser wrote a book, Long-Distance Hiking: Lessons from the Appalachian Trail, based on surveys of 136 long-distance hikers, each of whom spent 3-6 months on the trail. Some relevant quotes (p. 133): Two or three hikers had run-ins with local inhabitants, and some reported uncomfortable hitch-hiking incidents. More seriously, two hikers were ...


22

Hooray! Welcome to the wonderful world of backpacking! This post is LONG, so I've made a summary list to get you started, and what follows below is a probably way too comprehensive explanation of the items. Sorry for the tl;dr! Summary: Backpack (with detachable day pack or separate, if needed) Tent (or hammock, bivy, etc.) Stakes and guylines Tarp/tent ...


22

Avoid Putting cheese in plastic bags. Ever. Mold guaranteed. The cheese should receive enough air and shouldn't get wet. Cutting a big piece into smaller pieces (for easier service, you know). First, you break the wax or vacuum bag, second, now you have much more surface and much more to cut if mold happens. Best practices If you can, prefer cheese ...


22

It is fairly common to store duct tape just below the handle of your trekking poles. This is my preferred way as it is always accessible. Some people prefer to wrap it around Nalgene bottles. An alternative you could also buy it in small square pieces instead of the typical roll. I usually place about 10 layers around each poles. I would not bring three ...


22

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). It's naturally occurring, and to get a level of toxicity to animals you would need to get to 450mg per liter. Unless you're operating a mine or using literally tons of the stuff, it's quite safe and you'll never get near that. From a 2008 USGS study: Chronic toxicity was observed at concentrations that ranged from 450 ...


22

The ideal weight is zero. The less weight you carry the more you will enjoy your outing. That being said, one should try to minimize their weight within reason. There exist different schools (Ultralight, super-ultralight, etc.) on what one should carry and how much it should weight. REI suggest the following categories: minimalist - Under 12 pounds ...


21

Sound like a human, so TALK Wear a bright orange vest, and other bright (not white) clothing Try not to hike deer routes in the peak times (6am to 9am and 6pm to 9pm) Similar to the one above, stay on trail. Generally large game are the seasons of highest concern (deer mostly) Your local DNR (Department of Natural Resources) website (example) will have the ...


21

It depends on how many crossings. If very few, I do them barefoot and change. If there are a lot of crossings in a short distance I have shoes that I just wear for the entire hike. I'll cover both. General Rules Don't use rocks if you can avoid it. Stand on the bottom of the river. Just don't try rock hopping - you're asking for serious injury. (...


21

Being in a hammock shouldn't change anything. A tent is not any safer, and may be more dangerous, since you don't have visibility of the area around you. Buy or borrow a copy of Trail Life, there's a good discussion of the issues with using a tent. A tarp is my preference over a hammock or a tent, because they make for a dryer and more comfortable night's ...


20

Well, this can somewhat depend on the type of backpack you have and the length of the trip you're planning to take (so how much you will be carrying), but there are a few general principles that apply to almost all situations: From the bottom up: The sleeping bag. Most backpacks have a larger, seperately-zipped area at the bottom that is the most ...


20

Someone who has overweight isn't normally able to carry more, so weight isn't as important. The height would be more adequate... Muscle strength isn't much important when you go on long hikes... Strength doesn't translate directly to endurance, often it's the opposite - people with smaller muscles are more endure and are actually able to carry more on ...


20

The general rule of thumb is to carry no more than a third of your body weight. That should be your max, so the answer is to carry less than that. Make your bag as light as you can. Aside from that it largely depends on your level of strength and fitness, and what you feel comfortable carrying. I tend to carry a heavier bag than most people I hike with, but ...



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