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26

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, ...


16

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 ...


15

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 ...


14

If you run out half-way, perhaps you should bring twice as much? That being said... One option for day hikes is to hydrate well before hitting the trail. Also, have readily available water for your return. e.g. leave a water bottle in your car. An other option is refilling from natural water sources during the trip would allow you to consume an adequate ...


14

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 ...


13

There is hardly anything very effective first aid as such, considering the fact that you are 5 hrs walk from any medical facility. I guess I can assume that you will be roaming in rain forests of Agumbe or anywhere in Southern Western Ghats since you referred to King Cobras. If in India, you would definitely like to take a look at The Big Four. ...


12

National parks tend to be absolutely open to anyone, their goal being to allow public enjoyment without compromising the area for future generations. From the park's own website: A permit is not required for front-country camping, hiking, moorage, etc. in most parks. Campsite reservations are accepted at many front-country parks. To be absolutely ...


11

Safety is fine, so long as you are prepared and can read a map adequately. The UK has something called the "Countryside code". This is not a legal requirement but a blueprint about how to behave in the wild in the UK. Full information is available from the ramblers association. Some of the more important points here: Respect the needs of local people ...


10

I think there are several factors to consider when traveling alone. Pros You can set your own pace. For me this is one of the main reasons to hike alone. When with other people they often want to go faster than you and you end up breaking yourself trying to keep up or are slower/less confidant and you have to slow down/not do those 'interesting' scrambles ...


9

Blisters are caused by friction. Your skin is not very slippery. Applying moleskin and duct-tape over a "hot-spot" adds a protective layer between your skin and shoe. Thus as your shoe slides, it rubs against the tape or mole-skin instead of your skin. Pointers: Use enough tape/mole-skin to cover an area larger than the hot-spot. If the hotspot is on the ...


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 ...


9

My experience of mountain huts huts is mainly from UK and Europe. Standards in other parts of the world may vary. Mountain huts come in a wide range of different varieties. At the basic end you have unmanned huts or bothies. These can range from very basic with just a roof and wooden bunks to put your sleeping kit on to reasonably nice with beds, stove, ...


8

I've been to Mongolia many years ago (2001), so I'm not sure that my answer can help you much. I was there for almost two month, did some treks without a guide and also horse-riding and motor-cycles journey with a local guide. Mongolia is a huge country, mostly a high plateau with moderate hills/mountains. When I was there and I guess that it didn't changed ...


8

Maybe not a real way to get water inside your body, but what helps with me is chew on chewing gum. It distracts from the feeling I'm thirsty or drinking too much water without really needing it. Also chewing gum is very light to take with you. Of course the gum is not a substitute for water which is needed anyway.


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

This answer address efficiency i.e. to climb quickly, without getting too tired. It is something in between an answer and a comment. One advantage of walking consistently is thermal balance. That's how some old people in my area hike for several hours in the snow, wearing only shoes and short pants. And by thermal balance I mean avoiding the vicious cycle ...


8

It is very safe to walk alone in England. The standard walks will have lots of others walking along them. Wild camping is frowned upon in many places. Procedures: leaving gates as you find them. Carrying your rubbish to a dustbin. Look in the right direction when crossing a road. On roads, walk facing the traffic. In the countryside you should say "Hello" ...


8

Consider whether you really need to have dry shoes before going thru all the trouble. In the winter, wet footwear can be a serious problem. However, when it's warm out there is really no danger from wet shoes. The only issue may be that you simply don't like the feel of it. In situations where its warm enough and there is no real danger from wet shoes, ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


7

As already said in WedaPashi's answer, the question in my personal experience is not so much about fast and slow. It is mainly about finding your own rhythm and walking speed that you can then sustain for long times. Whenever I go too fast, I come to a state where I have to take a rest, after some minutes I feel like "Oh, I'm fine again", start to walk ...


7

Sounds like a myth to me. The only thing that could possibly come into play is the pressure inside your head. But in order to hold the pressure inside your head constant, you would have to plug your ears with something air-tight, not open your mouth, et cetera. I can’t see how a beanie hat or something like that could prevent the outside and inside pressures ...


7

To be honest, the most important thing a Rescue Team needs to have is plenty of manpower (and womanpower!) with training and experience (speaking as a member of a UK Cave Rescue Team).


7

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 ...


6

In my experience, you need to calibrate each guidebook or website to your own experience. As a case study, I can speak from experience with two guidebooks describing hikes and treks in the same region: På Fjälltur: Abisko Kebnekaise, describes lots of trails in the area around Nikkaluokta and Abisko. They grade trails at a scale of 1–10. I've found ...


6

Haba Xueshan (Haba Snow Mountain 哈巴雪山) is a commonly summited peak here in Yunnan, China, at the eastern extent of the Himalaya. It's not as high altitude ("only" 5396 m) but it has high prominence (1794 m), and is situated picturesquely above Tiger Leaping Gorge. I understand that people summit without a lot of expertise, but it requires overnighting and a ...


6

Other tidbits I've heard from local** guides: Wearing red increases your risk of being struck by lightning Burning egg shells will anger forest spirits and cause nightmares and illness The quickest way to heal a compound fracture is to wrap it with raw chicken Sticking tobacco in your socks will ward off leeches (this may have some validity). That's half ...


6

Great answer from QuentinUK. I would add that you should be aware that although you do have access rights on footpaths, many of them go through private land. Some land owners maintain routes and signs better than others, but if they have made the effort follow the path as best you can. Sometimes these routes are for getting you across safely (especially ...


6

To get the hygiene part out of the way, everybody needs to bring or have access to good (alcohol based) hand sanitizer at all times. For deciding on the size of cooking groups: how large is your cooking pot? At scouting we either set up a base camp where we'll cook for the entire group (25 persons) or when hiking we use smaller gear and would split up in ...



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