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18

Should I understand a water source to mean a spring/well, or any place where hikers may collect water (streams, lakes, etc.)? Yes. Any source of water - no matter how large or small - should be avoided when choosing a camp site. 100 meters is just a guideline, 200 meters is better. 200 meters and out of sight is great. The reasons are several-fold: ...


18

TL;DR - First try to identify if the wire is supposed to carry electricity (insulators on posts/wire goes to an electrical box/posted warning signs/ect...). There's really not much you can do to check the wire for current without a device aside from listening to it, touching it (potentially dangerous), or throwing something onto it that might react to a ...


17

The easiest way that I know of requires you to have some kind of rope or long straps and to be near evergreen trees. Depending on the strength of the needles and width of the trees limbs take anywhere from 1 to 4 ends of an evergreen tree limb. Be sure to use green wood so they can bend without breaking. Make each section about three times as long as your ...


17

Short Answer: In the US, laws regulating land use are detailed and varied, even on Public Lands. Check with the local land agency before "roaming." Long Answer: Loosely you can divide open space in the US into two main categories: Private and Public. Private Land: The laws governing private land vary by state. In Texas, for example, a landowner is well ...


16

Hanging things on your pack Hanging things on that little loop at the top of your tent (like a nightlight) We use ours to lift and hang our packs As a simple pulley to change direction of a pull (less abrasive to your rope than a tree)


15

It depends a little bit on where you want to signal emergency. But I think you're talking about remote areas. In these areas, searches are most often made by aircrafts. That's why it is necessary that you're seen from above and from far away. So you have a couple of possibilities dependening on your equipement. There is also an Wikipedia article that ...


15

The options: Smooth oval rocks (from river beds if possible) Snowball Rounded sticks Leaves (as said elsewhere, be careful of which kinds) soft pine cones (relatively rare, but plentiful where they exist!) handful of grass Carry a piece of cloth specifically designed for this purpose and be sure to do two more things: 1 - Don't use the cloth for anything ...


14

I am not a doctor, so I can only repeat what I think I understood from lectures by those that do have medical training. I'm pretty sure I remember Dr Murray Hamlett (I highly recommend attending one of his lectures, if he's still doing them. He is not only a leader and pioneer in cold weather medicine, but also a very good and engaging speaker.) saying to ...


12

Project Remote was started by a scientifically-minded couple to quantitatively determine the most remote locations in each of the 50 states mainly using the distance to the nearest road or town and whether cel phone coverage is available. They've cataloged quite a few states already east of the Mississippi, which you can check out here: Project Remote. The ...


10

Growing up in rural New Zealand, we often encountered electric fences. Some of them were illegally high-powered to deal with big animals. We tested fences either with the back of our hands or with a piece of grass. As specified a few times in this question (thanks @Michael Martinez), using the back of the hand is for safety. An electric shock can cause ...


9

Never allow them to sleep. Even if hypothermia is not that severe. I'm talking from a personal experience where two fellow trekkers died due this. The reason is when you go the sleep, your breathing slows down due to low heart rate. Our body is meant to behave so. This means the blood flow slows down. And with a mild/severe hypothermia, you are in a state ...


9

I understand your question such that you are asking about fences for livestock and alike, not high-security fences. It is your responsibility to check if you could get in danger. If the fence looks like it was made to withstand humans and/or aggressive animals, I suggest not to touch it with anything. Apart from that (I have actually never seen a fence like ...


8

An additional point that hasn't been mentioned, is when you camp next to a creek or stream the water level can quickly change, sometimes by quite a bit. It can be sunny where you are camped but heavy rain miles upstream from you, and the raising water level could wash away half of your camp while you sleep.


7

One method I've found to be particularly reliable is the finger method - hold your arm straight out in front of you, facing towards the setting sun like so: Place your hand so your little finger is level with the horizon, and your fingers are stacked on top of each other. Each finger represents around 15 minutes of sunlight before the sun sets behind the ...


7

If you want to store your hiking poles on the outside of your pack I find a carabiner works quite well as a stirrup for holding the lower parts of the poles. I also put a lot of my loose items on one in the top pouch of my pack including, headlamp, lighter (on a keychain ring), multi-tool, flashlight, keys, etc. Easier to add/remove items than on those ...


7

I have never heard of someone legally setting up a fence with a strong potential good enough to be fatal. That said, it is very much a possibility that the fence might severely injure (or worst case kill) a dog or some small animal (Pets when hiking?). In such a case, one indeed needs to be worried about an electric fence. First things first. If responsible ...


6

a fence for horses or cows, Take a grass straw, wet it a little bit, hold it against the fence, if it ticks in your fingers it means the power is on. i always do that do double check before put my hands on the fence, if im fixing it and say someone else turned it off.


5

I would take two things into consideration, or rather mention two things that are in consideration: Providing a pleasant, agreeable, and accommodating-as-possible response to someone who is suffering. Doing what will provide the best chances of saving a person's life. American culture at least is squeamish about violating principle #1, enough so that ...


5

Yes, Europe has an international accepted definition of Wilderness. These European Wilderness Quality Standards are continuously updated and are available on the Website of the European Wilderness Society (http://wilderness-society.org). During the last years the society identified close to one million hectares in Europe that meet at least the bronze ...


5

Species in the forest will vary by locale. Here in the Pacific Northwest, Thimbleberry aka Salmonberry leaves are thick and soft, so they make a good wiping implement. The subtly-named How to Shit in the Woods is a good primer on this topic. One option described there is to use urine. Basically, you hold back the urine until you're done with the bowel ...


5

In short, leaves. But as per the comment, make sure it's nothing that's going to cause skin irritations! Also worth mentioning along the same lines that when doing your business, be sensitive in where you do it - not near bodies of water people might drink from for instance.


5

Store your sandals or boots on the hip belt of your pack, while walking barefoot. Hook small items to your pants belt rings - while camping or in the city. Hook the nylon pouch, used to collect rubbish, to a tree branch (no one will step in it). Secure your travel mug to the exterior of the backpack for easy access and "mountain guy" look.


5

There are a couple of reasons for this, as I understand it: Your wastes (soap, Giardia in your poop, DEET, ...) will contaminate the water. Lakeshores in high-altitude areas tend to be very delicate. People do a lot of ecological damage by pitching their tents right there. Unlike high-altitude areas in the Alps, the ones in the western US do not have huts, ...


5

Most of the "untouched" places left in North America are that way for a reason, no one wants to touch them. There are loads of barren desserts in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona that people don't bother going to because it's dead, there's nothing there but heat sand and rocks. The easiest way to figure out what parts of the USA are isolated from ...


4

When building a fire in any weather condition you need some kind of starter. If you are expecting to experience wet conditions a great planning step is to store some starter in a waterproof location. If you don't have any household material, then gathering kindling and storing that will work. When backpacking I keep a small water-proof cylinder with a ...


4

In general, anything out of the ordinary can get the attention of a search party or whomever. During the day, a smoky fire is more visible than a bright one. Build the fire, then add wet material to make smoke. Be sure to read the Wikipedia article on distress signals: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distress_signal Before going in to the wilderness, make a ...


4

You have heard both answers because both are right depending on the area and ecosystem. Established trails: If there is an established trail going where you need to go, you should stay on it. Even to the point that in a mucky area stay in the tread, rather than create a new trail beside it which might be dry for a while, but will eventually become a new ...


3

The USGS Fort Collins Science Center published the following map of the conterminous United States in 2005: It has been published as a factsheet with a PDF (that can be zoomed for more detail): Watts, R.D., R.W. Compton, J.H. McCammon, C.L. Rich, and S.M. Wright. 2005. Distance to the nearest road in the conterminous United States: U.S. Geological Survey ...


3

That's actually a very difficult question to answer, since there's a lot of ambiguity about what's a "road," etc. Some geographers in Alaska tried to tackle a similar question here, in an Alaska Dispatch article.


3

Perhaps my favourite wilderness like place, Dartmoor, fits the bill relatively well. It's in the South West of the UK, in Devon. Generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable Well, how far back are you talking? Technically speaking, thousands of years ago Dartmoor ...



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