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Sep
23
comment Soft or hard drinking bottle?
Unclear whether you are talking hard lexan bottles (like the blue nalgene type) vs soft but semi-rigid (like the white opaque Nalgene type) or squashable bike types or foldable platypus types, or disposable Evian water types... lots of water bottles out there...
Sep
23
comment Soft or hard drinking bottle?
I've played basketball with hard Nalgene bottles, and driven over one with a car. No breakage.
Sep
23
comment How to set up a tent in deep snow
I disagree with your insulation comment. I would highly recommend double-insulation. A closed-cell foam pad under an inflatable therma-rest type is essential to keeping warm in snow.
Sep
23
comment How to properly lace hiking boots?
I'm not convinced this is a lacing problem - but maybe a shoe-fit, or general circulation / ankle strength problem. Also, there is some debate as to whether massive ankle support is all that beneficial. I've seen lots of very experienced hikers in sneakers or Chaco type sandals. (Just be aware of where your feet are - and learn your limits)
Sep
23
comment Which wood sources produce toxic smoke?
This is going to be highly region specific... There are some tropical tree species that can be fatal (or at least really really nasty) if you inhale the smoke.
Sep
23
comment How much waterproofing spray to apply to my softshell jacket
I would follow the directions printed on the bottle (which will usually say "don't saturate" or "thoroughly saturate and let dry" depending on the product.)
Sep
23
comment Surviving a forest fire by starting another fire
@dudeofea I can't speak for the truth of the particular instance you cite, but back-burning is very common practice for wildland fire-fighting, and a well-known technique for creating safety zones in areas where none exist naturally. It's use in emergency situations was revolutionary in Mann Gulch (so unfamiliar that some firefighters lost their lives because they did not understand what Dodge was doing), but since that incident, every fire-fighter knows this emergency technique, and many carry flares in their packs just for this purpose.
Sep
23
comment When do I need a permit to go into nature?
@gerrit It's not necessarily that they are "so popular" but often an attempt to keep good opportunities for solitude. I've been in vast tracts of Wilderness that are limited to ~10 people per day -- so you run a very good chance of not seeing another soul on your trip. That's good management.
Sep
21
comment Can I replace Dish soap?
Even biodegradable soaps should never be used directly in a water source. They need the enzymes in the soil to properly break down.
Aug
2
comment When do I need a permit to go into nature?
Most permit systems exist to limit usage, not to track you. Search and Rescue should never be expected - regardless of whether you have a permit or not.
Jul
20
comment How do I prevent rocks or sand from getting in my boots?
Try these: rei.com/product/778003/… used for years - not too hot. But make sure they crank down low to the heel if you are using them with tennis shoes.
Jun
19
comment How much garlic in the mountain kitchen?
As much as possible. (from a culinary standpoint...)
Jun
11
comment An alternative to geocaching, but with classic maps instead of GPS?
+1 All a gps is, is a map that tells you where you are - taking 1/2 the fun (and all the skill) out of navigation.
Jun
8
comment Practicality of Beards
@mr-wizard - The other day I let an Indonesian barber shave my neck with a straight razor - because he doesn't see a lot of whiskers and begged me to let him try...
Jun
8
comment Practicality of Beards
@RussellSteen Were you traumatized by a beard once?
Jun
8
comment Surviving a forest fire by starting another fire
+1 for Mann Gulch reference. However, note there was some controversy about whether the fire he set is what caught up to those trying to make it to the ridge... or whether it mattered.
Jun
8
comment Does eating snow help dehydration?
True - was just hoping for more "hard science" but I agree. I'll give it to you since this answer is the only one that provides hard, not anecdotal, evidence. Mind if I edit it a touch to crystallize the point?
Jun
8
comment Mountaineering / glacial traverse: rope-up or go it alone?
Never argue with the guy in the climbing helmet. Doing some more searching, it seems conventional wisdom confirms roping together - with that caveat that on steeper / icy conditions where self-arrest would be difficult, you should work off anchors. (nols.edu/publications/mtneeringbook/ropesystems.shtml#glacier among others.)
Jun
8
comment Does eating snow help dehydration?
Ok... so it takes ~66 calories to warm up the water... But does that expenditure of calories have anything to do with hastening the body's use of water? The answer is almost there - but just needs to close the loop re: @xpda 's comment.
Jun
8
comment Practicality of Beards
Despite some possible pros and cons - not sure this has a definitive answer...