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15

It is safer to be inside the vehicle than out. The NOAA National Weather Service's lightning safety page recommends vehicles as a safe location during a thunderstorm: You are not safe anywhere outside. Run to a safe building or vehicle when you first hear thunder, see lightning or observe dark threatening clouds developing overhead. Stay inside until 30 ...


13

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 ...


12

Bear canisters should not be suspended. Doing so would make it possible for a bear to steal the canister and take it away. The shape of the canisters make it very challenging for a bear to hold or carry, and normally they will eventually give up and ditch the canister somewhere still close enough that you could find and retrieve it. If you have it hung, and ...


12

The first question you need to ask yourself is, do I absolutely need to move this patient. If somebody is too injured to walk out themselves, you want to avoid moving them without proper equipment if at all possible. If there's any chance of a properly equipped rescue team arriving in the same amount of time (or even more time than) it would take you to get ...


11

A Sheet Bend is designed for joining two lines of different size. If you need additional security use the Double Sheet Bend http://www.animatedknots.com/sheetbend/


11

The effects of drinking distilled, deminieralized, deionized, and many other forms of water purification have been thoroughly studied and despite the research, the jury is still out on the subject, with regards to temporary usage. As far as adventuring goes, it appears it does not matter, as long as the water you are drinking is microbiologically and ...


10

That depends entirely on weather conditions and the paths you plan to take. If you stay on cleared roads, your Icetrekkers should be sufficient (and may not even be necessary). The main problem will be snow, not ice. Hiking paths will generally not be cleared of snow, so you'd need snowshoes or touring skis. Additionally, if there is (or has been) heavy ...


10

This is sadly a very persistent myth that has been around rock climbing for far too long. Black Diamond says that as long as the gate action is fine and there is no major structural damage, the gear is fine. As a side note, the fact that this group decided their gear was unfit to climb on, yet felt okay selling it to someone else who would climb on it, ...


9

You can take it back to REI or to another gear store that deals with climbing gear. Make sure they know the rope is indeed being used for climbing. They should be able to cut it and prepare the cut ends so there isn't any fraying/unraveling, etc.


9

It is safe to cut (while you are not using it). You can cut it yourself. I would use something sharp so that you get a clean cut. Healing (using a flame to melt) the cut ends and wrapping them in tape (like they come from the manufacture) will be needed. Before you do that though, you might want to consider not cutting it at all. While a 70 meter rope is ...


9

American black bears They are somewhat common in some wilderness areas of California, mostly in the mountains. In their natural state, black bears are thinly populated on the landscape because it takes a large area to support one, and they are also shy of humans. Black bears are not very large; females can be the size of a large dog. There are certain ...


8

As for the reason why it is risky: You cannot know if the guy you want to help has any disease that can be transferred via blood contact, such as HIV or Hepatitis. Already small wounds in your own skin –you might not recognize it as a wound at all– might be enough to transfer the disease, therefore it would be quite risky to just stick your hand into any ...


8

I would say there is no point in walking briskly. With a heavy backpack, it's a no-no for me. I have observed and have struggled with the same problem when I started off towards some serious trekking with genuinely elevated/steep climbs with a heavy haversack on my back. The sack that I usually carry weighs about 18 kg. People who are advising you to walk ...


8

With due respect to Ben Crowell, who is I believe a far more experienced outdoorsman than I am, I beg to differ with his answer. (Edit: prior to revision that is.) Having worked at a very small climbing wall I have seen tough ropes completely worn out by top-rope climbing alone, therefore at least in the extreme "Ropes don't become weak from top-roping or ...


7

There's not yet a good answer that asks for the reason the fingers, toes (and nose and ears) are cold, so let me add a few points: (I'm assuming around 0°C according to the question - of course, -40 °C is different). Here are a couple of reasons why your fingers and toes get cold in the first place: Of course, you may not yet be used to the cold ...


7

I consider a couple of factors when it comes to dropped gear: Some equipment is pretty easy to inspect. A carabiner has one moving part (the gate, possibly a second, if it's a locker). Nuts and hexes have no moving parts.Cams on the other hand are not easily examined. Equipment like non-locking carabiners, nuts, hexes, cams are often redundant. If the ...


7

I don't think the question is really answerable more precisely than you already have, because there are so many variables: the original stretchiness of the rope you happen to have - every rope has a different force/elongation curve the age of the rope - ropes get less stretchy as they age the relative weight of you and your belayer the amount of slip the ...


7

Distilled / deionized (as for lab purposes) water tastes stale. So do reverse-osmosis drinking water, and cooked water: this is attributed mainly to the lack of CO2 / HCO3⁻ compared to fresh ground / tap drinking water. Yes, you can encounter distilled water in outdoor situations. In winter it lies around on the ground as white powder... Lots of people ...


7

There's a discussion of this in Freedom of the Hills. The question refers to snow, but usually this is done on ice (or very hard snow). One reason would be if not everybody in the group has crampons. For example, mountain guides in East Africa usually can't afford crampons. Historically, the technique was developed before crampons were invented. Even if ...


7

Climbing Self Rescue: Improvising Solutions for Serious Situations This book presents self-rescue techniques in the first section. The latter half contains several dozen "what would you do" scenarios, allowing you to test what you've learned. It gives one or more solutions to each scenario, as well as highlighting things to watch out for. Most ...


7

Suppose I get to the top of a sport route ... and I want to ... end up with a top-rope setup. "Top-rope setup" implies that someone else is going to climb the same route after you get down, right? Can anyone lay out all the typical steps...? Hang a locking karabiner (or a pair of non-locking quickdraws) on the anchor Clip your rope into it ...


7

Welcome to outdoors.SE! Older buildings often contain asbestos in solid form, and it may be sealed up (under floorboards, in tape around heating ducts, etc.). As long as it's not ground up into dust, the hazard is minimal. For example, construction workers knocking down a building or remodeling it can get exposed to asbestos dust if they don't realize that ...


7

This is a perfectly legitimate thing to do. It's not uncommon for climbers to take a 60 or 70 meter rope and cut a few meters off the ends (since the ends of a rope take a lot of abuse). You can either take it to REI, as you suggested, and tell them you are cutting it for climbing or check out this how-to on Climbing.com. A few things you need to consider ...


7

Ice screws have a tendency for pressure melting if constantly loaded over some time. Therefore if you build your fixed point belay system and and keep it under more or less constant load while belaying your partner, the screw might start to migrate as the ice below it melts slowly and refreezes above the screw. By this, a screw that was close to bomb-proof ...


7

Being young, athletic, fit and having great conditions won't help you if you are missing experience in techniques/tactics required when going over glaciers. Kilimanjaro is a high altitude mountain, but it is technically easy. You don't have to touch a glacier there so it's not really a good reference. Therefore I would highly suggest to hire a guide at ...


6

Freedom of the Hills has a chapter on rappelling that includes a detailed discussion of this topic. Tie it "uphill" from the belay device or "downhill"? Downhill. If the Prusik is downhill from the ATC, then the Prusik only ever has to supply enough force to brake you on the brake strand. This is much, much less than your body weight, which is what ...


6

The Khibin mountains and the neighboring area are very popular places to visit in Russia, especially for hiking. There is one relatively big town there - Kirovsk, and you can start your trip from there. It has some industry, but I haven't heard of it having any bad influence on the ecology. I have drunk water from Umbozero lake and Umba river and I'm still ...


6

I will not recommend crossing if the bridge is only composed of frozen snow because snow does not support a lot of weight. You should check the following: The ice should be at least 15 cm thick (be careful to differentiate the frozen snow from the clear ice, the 15 cm applies only to clear ice) The bridge should not contain any water on it (sign of melting ...


6

If the bear already has your food, I would give up. I've been in this situation once when hiking with my father. My father went up to the bear and yelled. The bear reared up and roared, my father ran like hell, and the bear went back to eating our box of crackers. This seems to match up with what I've heard, which is that once the bear has your food, the ...


6

Personally I do not know of any deterministic way judging acclimatization. Right now, the actions to be taken are more "Reactive". i.e, in case one feels the symptoms of AMS, then one can take a call of going down or camping at the current altitude to get acclimatized. As a thumb rule, if you climb higher, and sleep lower, your body should get adjusted to ...



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