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22

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, ...


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. Considering the region where you refer, There are two types of venomous snakes ...


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 ...


12

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 ...


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

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 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

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 ...


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

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 ...


7

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 ...


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

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 ...


6

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 ...


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

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

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 ...


6

There isn't a problem carrying fuel for camping stoves (assuming in "sensible" quanities) in the UK. HOWEVER, when wild camping (i.e camping off of organised camp sites) in the UK, the ethos is to leave no trace afterwards. So setting camp fires is a no-no. And on many organised camp sites, open fires are forbidden (although some do allow small fires and ...


6

My personal opinion is you may be being a little bit optimistic on your speed. I would probably aim for 20-30km per day (~15 miles) if you have not done such a long trip before and are reasonably fit. Although there are several factors to consider: Hiking with a 40lb pack is significantly different and more tiring than hiking with just a day pack, ...


6

Firstly if you are on your own a four man tent is probably excessive. People buy small two man/trekking tents so that it is easy to carry them and one doesn't have this sort of problem. If you are in a larger group then it is not necessary for one person to carry the entire tent. You can break it up into at least poles, fly and inner. Different people can ...


5

The quick answer to a question of credible sources for solo trekking trails is, "NO", there are no sources which can be completely relied on for this kind of information (at least for the western ghats part). The following set of attributes might help you in deciding upon heading out solo in the western ghats: Safety: The western ghats are safe for ...


5

So, like I said, I'm not a great expert on using duct tape and moleskin. I'm writing an answer because someone specifically asked. :) My experiences: First off - applying duct tape or moleskin to your feet is a skill you develop through trial and error. Make sure that you learn to do it BEFORE going on a major expedition. Whenever I have a big hiking ...


5

This is actually very simple. You use them as both a cushioning material and a way to prevent your shoe rubbing on your skin. If you have a problem area, products such as Compeed cushions, mole skin etc work really well, but in an emergency duct tape should work just fine. Just stick them over the area, making sure the edges don't catch on anything in ...


5

A hat. Or a cap with a sun shield. It covers the back part of your neck and ears from harmful sun rays. Also, make sure that the cap is UV protective. A simple hat might not do the trick of blocking out the UV (It might protect you from direct sun though). One disadvantage of a hat is that it blocks your peripheral view (i.e if the hat droops on the ...


5

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 ...


5

Depends on what you are going for. If you are heading this up, expect it to be a full-time endeavor for at least a year, and then part time for the lifetime of the hut. Like Nivag said, there are lots of different types of huts, so you have to decide on what you want before anything else. This will depend a lot on how much work you want to put into it, the ...



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