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May
27
awarded  Nice Answer
Jan
6
awarded  Commentator
Jan
6
comment Why are backpack waist straps so long?
Also, you need considerably longer ends for handling when wearing gloves or even mittens.
Jul
11
awarded  Yearling
May
19
answered What is the point of hiking boots, versus any comfortable walking shoes?
Feb
19
answered Do mountains really make their own weather, and if so why?
Feb
12
comment Vibram FiveFingers, useful, gimic?
I've been wondering as well. Personally, I have decided that instead of taking the time to adapt to "barefoot" shoes, I take the time to adapt to barefoot without shoes. (Though there are some rocks looking through the soil around here and some parts of the meadows have thistles, there's enough more suitable terrain around for getting used to that)
Jan
9
comment Practical uses for urine
... regularly with urine (horse, human, dunghill in the yard, ...). You can then exchange the Ca²⁺ against K⁺ (KNO3 is less hygroscopic than NaNO3) by potash. Used to be a big business (kings proclaimed nitrate regalia = defined all nitrate to be theirs). End of the business were the huge guano exports from Chile in the 19th century and then the invention of the Haber-Bosch-process which allowed to produce NH3 from N2 in the air and thus to use the Ostwald process to industrially produce nitrate (fertilizer + ammunition) at the beginning of the 20th century.
Jan
9
comment Practical uses for urine
For the gunpowder use: that would take some time... say, 2 years or so... From the late middle ages till basically 19th century this was done in Europe in "salpeter pits" and "salpeter gardens" (not sure about the correct - translated literally from German). If you can read German, here's a paper: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ciuz.19950290103/abstract. Basically you need nitrifying bacteria to convert the ammonia (from hydrolysis if urea) into nitrate. With lime, Ca(NO3)2 is formed (Mauersalpeter), which you can also find "naturally" on cellar walls if the ground was soaked ...
Dec
26
awarded  Custodian
Dec
26
reviewed Approve How safe is drinking distilled water?
Dec
22
answered Why do people who backpack sleep in tents instead of tarps?
Dec
22
awarded  Necromancer
Dec
15
answered How to warm up your cold toes and fingers?
Dec
15
awarded  Critic
Dec
15
revised How safe is drinking distilled water?
added 2887 characters in body
Dec
15
answered How safe is drinking distilled water?
Dec
15
comment How safe is drinking distilled water?
Water in general is a rather aggressive solvent from a chemical point of view. It's just that life on earth uses this corrosive behaviour. Nevertheless, if we're talking about being corrosive e.g. for various types of (stainless) steel, salt water is still much more corrosive. Pure (distilled/deionized are "technical approximations" to pure) water is not caustic, its pH is 7.
Oct
22
answered Does packing boots with newspaper make them dry faster?
Oct
9
answered What backpacking water purification techniques can be substituted safely during a city's boil order?