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Apr
22
comment What is considered a water source, and why is it recommended to camp so far from them?
@RussellSteen - Good point about attracting wildlife, which implies that you shouldn't cook near a waterhole, either, since the main attractor of wildlife (bears) is cooking food. If you want bears in your camp overnight, be sure to cook your evening meal in camp. ;)
Apr
13
comment Is drinking urine safe?
If you have the gear to make a solar still such as this, you can also set it up in the sun to extract moisture from green vegetation.
Apr
8
comment Practicality of Beards
@MaskedPlant We don't, no. Strictly A/C for cooling the home. I've been in hotels in AZ that had evaporative coolers. They're great when you have that option.
Apr
8
comment Practicality of Beards
@MaskedPlant - Near St. Louis, MO, USA. Yes, it typically gets quite humid - 90%+ for long periods during the summer.
Mar
28
comment Logs & Rocks - Step on or over?
@RussellSteen. Agreed. If it's two feet in diameter, I'm almost certainly going to step on it rather than around. There's just no hard-and-fast rule. But, I think that the danger seems greater than it actually is. My first aid book claims that about 2/3 of snakebites in the US are on the upper body of males that have been drinking. In other words, snakes generally would like to avoid us or not engage us aggressively unless we get stupid and pick them up without first identifying them.
Mar
27
comment Logs & Rocks - Step on or over?
When I do step over a log of any size, I always peer over it first. So, no worries about critters or falling. Anyway, by the time you get there, the snake has heard you coming and left. Does anyone know of an actual case where someone stepped over a log and got bit? I'm sure they happen, but if you "walk heavy" approaching the log, they'll run.
Mar
23
comment Why are there ropes on fingerboards?
Ah, cool. Thanks for the pics, too.
Mar
22
comment What is scientific relation between body weight and backpack weight in mountain climbing?
20%? Yikes! Try 10% or lower. And keeping the distribution always at 40/60 is problematic. You want to vary this up and down while you walk according to what part of your body is tiring.
Mar
21
comment How should we split up a 3 person tent?
Well, that's my idea given the circumstance. My real idea is to pull out my soapbox on ultralighting, and ask why you're carrying a tent. ;)
Mar
20
comment What kinds of things are the “defensive driving” equivalent to handling campfires?
+1 Good answer. I'd also add, keep a container of water right by the fire. If the water is handy, you can put out the fire when it's small. If you have to go get water, that gives the fire time to spread.
Mar
19
comment Covering up ears at higher altitudes
...and they'll shatter when they hit the ground. You won't be able to hear it, of course.
Mar
19
comment Does whiskey help keep you warm in winter?
Yeah, it's overstating it to say it's not psychological - it certainly is partly that.
Mar
18
comment Keeping smoke level in a wigwam low
@RichardAtHome Makes sense. It'll burn hot sooner than the larger stuff.
Mar
12
comment How safe is the bowline knot in different situations?
+1 Interesting!
Mar
10
comment What are the key sites to see on a short trip through Oregon?
Oh, you're going the other way, so, "up to Crescent City." ;)
Mar
10
comment Caveats of dual (propane, liquid) fuel stoves
Plus there's the joy of using something you made yourself.
Mar
10
comment Caveats of dual (propane, liquid) fuel stoves
Have you considered making your own stove? I'm not particularly handy, but I made my own cat stove for <$5. It's lighter than any commercial stove I could afford (about 2.3 ounces) and supremely reliable, since there are no moving parts. It burns alcohol, and fits inside my cookpot. Here's the one I made: royrobinson.homestead.com/Cat_Stove.html. There are fancier ones.
Mar
4
comment Bear spray vs. rifles against polar bears?
Cool, thanks. I've been brainstorming such a thing to use when backpacking, not knowing that someone else already had.
Mar
3
comment When do small waterfalls get significant freezing
While you're out looking for pretty frozen stuff, get out before first light sometime. When it's cold and the air is perfectly still, you might see some frost flowers. One time I saw a large area of maybe 50 or so of them. I've seen some that were as much as 6 inches high or more.
Mar
3
comment Bear spray vs. rifles against polar bears?
Noise flares? Where are they available?