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37

The only gear you need is a good, comfortable pair of running shoes and any cheap backpack (extra points for Hello Kitty). There is a popular belief, probably based on pop-culture images dating back to the 1960s, that people need big, heavy hiking boots, or that ankle support is necessary if you're going to carry heavy loads or walk on uneven ground. ...


31

For the purposes of defense, the only situation that comes to mind would be hiking through an area known for criminal activity ( think marijuana farm ). And even then, is a small handgun really going to help you ward off criminals with assault rifles ( it would probably just get you killed faster )? If you're thinking of situation involving large predators, ...


21

If you need to ask, the answer is almost certainly never. There are places (Northern Quebec, Labrador, Ontario and Manitoba near Hudson's Bay) where due to polar bear activity you should be accompanied by a guide/guard who will have a serious rifle and dedicate significant time to watching for bears while you do your scientific research or marvel at the ...


19

I had the privilege on introducing the outdoors to quite a few people in my life, lately focusing on my wife and child; and from my experience there are a few simple things that increase the chance they might enjoy it: Keep them comfortable - make sure they have as little physical discomfort as possible as that makes an immediate excuse for not enjoying. ...


18

Some reasons for the long waist straps are: The most backpacks have only one size for everyone, so the backpack must fit a short/ tall/ tiny/ big person. It also depends what your wear for clothes under your rucksack, if you wear it over a single shirt or over a big insulation-jacket. For alpine backpacks or traveling: the waist straps need to fit around ...


17

No, there is nothing on the AT that justifies carrying a firearm. The extra weight and space is much more of a detriment than the extremely unlikely and frankly inconceivable case where a firearm would be a help. Since the AT crosses many jurisdictions, there may also be legal issues that could vary every few miles. The whole concept just doesn't make ...


16

By "black bear", I'll assume you mean Ursus americanus, the North American black bear. These bears are opportunists and aren't looking for a fight. In all the encounters I have had with them in the wild that I know of, they have run away as soon as they noticed me. I probably had many more encounters where the bear noticed me and took off before I noticed ...


15

According to regulations in Tanzania, you can't climb Kilimanjaro without a guide. That means you will 100% be with somebody that understands the nature of acclimatization and has likely been up many many times previously. When you hire a guide, or book a guided trip via a company, they will also take care of permits for you. Most companies automatically ...


14

First of all: Walking a glacier contains some serious risks and roping up is not enough to cover that risks, but also knowledge of crevasse rescue is needed. Therefore I strongly recommend a glacier course where all those things are taught. Now for some basic things to consider when walking a glacier as a roped party: When walking a glacier, one normally ...


13

Who says you can't hike? If you have no medical concerns (ie high blood pressure, blood results showing complications etc) then guidance is to keep doing the sports you enjoy (with some exceptions - generally sports where impact or similar forces could cause injury - bungee jumping, motor racing etc - and those that could cause excess damage to ligaments, ...


13

Two ways to get started on a hike: with either your right foot, or your left foot :P First and foremost you need comfortable footwear. Doesn't matter what it is to get started, I've led people over mountain ranges and all they wore were cross trainers. When you get more serious into it, then you should determine what type of trails you want to hike on and ...


11

Pressing on your knees will relieve some of the stress on your muscles, giving you additional endurance on a climb, but it puts unnatural stress on the joint. Without going too deep into the specifics of the anatomy, you have four muscles in your "quad" that attach to your patella, which is attached to your tibia (shin) via the patellar tendon. It is ...


11

There are differing schools of thought on this: Rolling/folding is a lot easier to manage in my opinion, easier to keep track of all the pieces, and when camping in dirty/snowy/wet environments makes it easier to keep the ground side of the tent together and the clean(ish) parts away from it. Stuffing results in fewer creases in the fabric over extended ...


11

Snow blindness is at best very painful. UV damage to your eyes is not something you want to play around with. If only 40% protection they are are not sunglasses, they are fashion accessories and offer no where near enough to protect your eyes for more than an hour. For $10 you will get glasses that provide 99% protection, why risk it?


10

I wrote up some notes here that me be helpful. Climbing Kilimanjaro is not a big deal. It doesn't require a lot of stamina or strength, because the need for gradual acclimatization severely limits how far you can go every day. It's not legal to climb without a guide, and when you pay for a guide, you're also typically also getting a lot of support, which is ...


10

You've already mentioned the cons. The advantage of a hydration pack that doesn't require sucking on the tube becomes apparent after slogging up a long, hard hill. Your diaphragm is already exhausted and putting all its energy into pumping your lungs. Putting in the extra effort to create the vacuum necessary to suck water out of a straw suddenly becomes ...


10

Often in British countryside you'll find fields with horses in (and cows and much of this is applicable to bovine) where it is unavoidable or rather difficult to go a different way and the are a few things to be aware of. Usually you'll be heading over something similar to this: As public rights of way here allow footpaths through any field, garden, ...


10

This may seem kind of obvious, but I use a scanning technique. I like to look at the next 10-20 feet, look up on all sides, look down, and then look up. It's a lot like driving, scan your mirrors, then your environment, then your dash or whatever you need to, and then repeat. It does take mental purpose, so you will have to train yourself. I like to scan ...


10

Start small and simple. The important thing is to get back into the habit of walking long distances and times again. You probably haven't walked a mile in a while. For starters, walk around your neighborhood. Walk to the store. Walk to the movies. Walk to the bar (and stumble home again). Google maps provides walking times, distance and directions.; ...


9

If you are being attacked by a large predator a "small handgun" will accomplish nothing. If you hit something sensitive you will probably make it angrier - it won't make any difference to you if it dies from it's injuries the day after tomorrow, but at least it had a good final meal. Smith & Wesson used to make a short-barrel .50 revolver aimed at the ...


9

The answer of @BenediktBauer covers pretty much everything you have to know as a beginner on glaciers. What you also have to know is the proper knot (and that was the second part of your question). You can use the figure eight, like is recommended in sport climbing too (so most people will already know this knot). You of course have to watch out, because of ...


9

I don't know how this is in other countries, but here in Austria you usually don't cross a fenced area but rather walk around it. As a horse owner myself I also wouldn't want any stranger wandering in the fields where my horse is. Horses are flight animals and therefore they usually flee from any unknown or suspicious things. But domestic horses could ...


9

You can't really force anybody to like anything. When you try so you will most likely discourage them even more. What you can try to do is convice them to give it a shot (what you did) and prepare the trip so you have a nice time. Would be a big put off if it starts raining and you aren't well equipped. Just to mention some part. There are lots of helpful ...


8

Here are two pretty useful articles on the correct way to use poles: one shortish one and one longer quite comprehensive one. There are several aims in using a pole. Primarily (IMHO) is to reduce strain on the knees/ankles. Additionally they they provide extra stability on rough ground and can make going uphill easier. The disadvantage is they result in ...


8

I don't have personal experience with black bears, but only brownies. If you encounter a bear in 10 meters away from you that means you surprised it or the bear is coming after you. In a night scenario with a whistle and flashlight the surprise cannot be a real life case. That means bear is actually after you and that's very bad. Black bear may want to ...


8

You're going to have to take a chance. The west coast of Scotland (where Skye is) is the wettest part of the UK. If you're up there for 5 days, it might rain everyday regardless of time of year. That said, statistically, the driest time of the year is between March and May. This also has the advantage of being out of midgy season. I don't believe that Skye ...


8

6 of one, half dozen of another. A lot comes down to how easy it is to hike in the ski boots you are using. The problem with hiking is that it only takes a short stretch of unpacked trail to lose any gain in time and you can't take advantage of any brief downhill stretches. Even with skins you can get a bit of glide. On the other hand, if the trail has ...


8

In my experience, most of the trailheads in the Boulder, RMNP area are accessible to little cars almost the whole time they are open. I'm not saying all are, but most. That said, you could easily go three ways with the choice of vehicle: AWD, little clearance -- Something like a Subaru will get you to almost all the trailheads that are open almost all the ...


8

If you are in a place that has streams, placing the beer in the water every time you take a break will cool them. Place in a cold/cool body of water about 30 minutes before drinking will also help. If you don't have a body of water, wrap the individual cans/bottles in a wet towel in the shade, preferable where it is windy. Evaporation will cool the beers. ...


8

There is the same discussion with paragliders getting porose due to packing methods. And there has been a lot of literature to that topic (a paraglider costs 3.000 USD after all), with a simple conclusion: As nhinkle mentioned, the different methods result in different stress to the fabric. Usually your tent will get damaged due to constant stress on the ...



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