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Questions tagged [backpacking]

Questions related to backpacking equipment, routes, safety concerns, or issues related to traveling on foot while carrying all of one's equipment (such as accessibility of certain regions to foot travelers, weather affecting backpackers, etc.).

6
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1answer
1k views

What are some good foods for recovering from calorie debt?

Calorie debt is when you are using more calories than you are eating and making up the difference from stored reserves of body fat. Sometimes people will do this to save on the amount of weight ...
2
votes
2answers
186 views

What is a reasonable budget to solo-hike the Continental Divide Trail?

I am considering a thru-hike next summer of the Continental Divide Trail. What is a reasonable budget for covering the time from starting to finishing the hike? This question has an answer for the ...
4
votes
1answer
398 views

What is the most methodical way to try to get yourself unlost? (Assume below timberline in a temperate climate)

My question is prompted by the answer of @Aaron to this question; his answer referenced Geraldine's Largay's death on the Appalachian Trail. Ms. Largay was hiking alone on the AT in Maine. She got ...
6
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4answers
1k views

What are some challenges to starting a small business that runs backpacking trips?

I have more than a decade of experience in outdoor recreation, environmental education, and backpacking. I am now thinking about starting a small business offering backpacking guide service to people ...
5
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2answers
213 views

What is a good way to clean the inside of a water bottle straw while on a multi-day backpacking trip?

When coming back from a day of hiking and eating I often notice that the top of the straw of my water bottle is dirty on the inside. I've come across quite a few options to clean the inside of the ...
13
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3answers
3k views

Is there a difference between a hiking trail and a backpacking trail, including if it's the same piece of land?

I saw an article about the Long Trail, a 272-mile trail through the Green Mountain range in Vermont, USA. It's famous for being the oldest hiking trail in the United States, having been built between ...
11
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3answers
2k views

How to prevent sleeping bag from expanding in its bag

I have bought a down sleeping bag that comes with two bags: one for storage and one for packing. The packing bag is not as small as it could potentially be, and it is shaped like waterproof bags, ...
3
votes
1answer
194 views

Are there any credible estimates of how much of the US National Park System does not have cell phone reception? If so, what do they conclude?

We have found that almost any place that is interesting to hike, and especially backpack, does not have cell phone reception, or at best lousy cell phone reception. To which I say hallelujah! I do ...
5
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3answers
146 views

Is there a backpacker's guide to edible plants that is very light?

Several decades ago, we were three days from the trailhead with no food. Let's not get into why that happened, please. It is too embarrassing. We had to slog through snow for two days, but on the ...
1
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0answers
62 views

How are backpacking quotas per trailhead in US national parks determined?

Trailheads at some national parks like Yosemite or some wilderness areas will have quotas, with a certain number of permits per trailhead available per day. Usually the permits are split between ...
29
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5answers
7k views

What to do if you are above timberline and your descent is cut off by a large forest fire?

The situation: you are backpacking and are above timberline. Streams are ubiquitous, you are well equipped so exposure is not a problem, the entire party is uninjured and healthy. But a large, ...
4
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0answers
47 views

What are the pros and cons of cotton vs mesh filters for making cold brew coffee in a Nalgene water bottle?

From my research so far into making cold brew coffee in a Nalgene while backpacking, I have found there to be two types of filters, cotton ones called "coffee socks" and mesh ones that screw onto the ...
4
votes
2answers
173 views

How is the maximum legal altitude for campfires determined?

In most national parks in the United States, campfires are prohibited above certain elevations (9,600 ft for Yosemite,10,000 ft for Ansel Adams with exceptions). This is a good thing because after a ...
26
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12answers
9k views

Reusing disposable water bottles vs. buying dedicated bottles

Can anyone share any experience re-using ordinary PETE disposable water bottles until failure, as a lightweight and low-cost alternative to dedicated water bottles/bladders? How long did they last ...
13
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3answers
2k views

Using a thermometer for hypothermia diagnosis in backcountry?

Has anyone had good experience using an ordinary drugstore oral thermometer in the backcountry in winter weather, and getting trustworthy readings? I made the experiment (on a night that was around ...
7
votes
1answer
221 views

Why do almost all backpacking packs have top compartment (“brain compartment”) zippers facing backwards?

According to this answer to "what gear should go in the brain (top most compartment)", the brain compartment usually ends up becoming the knick-knack / catch-all pocket, for small items items that ...
5
votes
2answers
119 views

Would it make sense to backpack with an 8 lb tent at Philmont Scout Ranch?

I am going to Philmont Scout Ranch in the Rocky Mountains in New Mexico, USA, this August. I am planning on using the Eureka Timberline 4 tent, which weighs about 8 pounds. I am doing a 7 day trek and ...
22
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7answers
6k views

Under what conditions does heating a tent artificially make objective sense?

My question is motivated by the earlier question How To Quickly Warm A Tent, which generated a lot of interest, and one of the best comments ever on TGO: All I could think about after reading your ...
21
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5answers
5k views

How many days does it take to reach hiking X miles per day?

On a thru-hike or section hike, people frequently hike 15-30 miles per day. New hikers are typically encouraged to start at around 8 miles per day, though, and work their way up, to give their bodies ...
7
votes
1answer
188 views

Are there any biodegrable freeze dried packages?

More and more I see discarded freeze dried packages abandoned in the woods. The ones I have seen are made out of plastic and are foil lined and so don't decompose the way that oatmeal packets would ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

Camelbak safe to use after cleaning for the first time in 4 years?

I'm going on a 2-day backpacking trip. I have a CamelBak that I haven't used in 4 years. I saw zero mold in it, it smelled fine. I flushed it a few times, including the lines and mouthpiece, with near ...
7
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5answers
305 views

How to permanently label Nalgene bottles?

It's pretty common to use 1 oz Nalgene bottles to hold the spices in a spice kit for backpacking as they are waterproof and the right size. Image Source The problem comes when trying to label the ...
8
votes
1answer
118 views

Can a backpacker's solar water heater produce warm water when the ambient temperature is in the 20s (F)?

We have long carried a backpacker's solar water heater on our trips. The bliss of warm -- nearly hot -- water in quantity for washing one's filthy self is worth the small extra weight -- especially ...
10
votes
1answer
130 views

Higher weight carrying using forehead?

I don't know how to actually put a title to this one here. But, the question is, Why do those high altitude porters haul heavy stuff (pretty heavy) on their back and with support by means of a strap ...
10
votes
1answer
175 views

Finnish maps: bogs easy vs hard to traverse

Bogs on my Lemmenjoki and Hammastunturi map are marked as either easy or hard to traverse. What conditions should I expect from both terrain types in summer (mid August)? Does easy mean one can walk ...
9
votes
1answer
404 views

Tips for using a “wag bag” to pack out human waste

I've been an avid lover of the outdoors for all of my life, camping in quite varied terrain, but so far in all these locations I've been able to use the usual LNT cat-hole methods to take care of ...
8
votes
3answers
315 views

How can I prepare my body for a relatively hard hike?

I'm from Munich, Germany. There is a German highest mountain Zugspitze (2.962m) close to the city (2 hours with a train), and I want to climb it in spring. Base camp is 700m high. There are a couple ...
6
votes
2answers
317 views

What ever happened to the proposals for no-rescue zones for backpackers?

Decades ago, there was a proposal that there should be no-rescue zones for backpackers, in which backpackers would be entirely on their own, and rescue by government agencies would not be permitted. (...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Frequency of crime/assault on the Appalachian Trail

I don't think of myself as being a paranoid individual, but I am cautious about people I meet when hiking. For example, if I am eating lunch at a site less than a mile from an infrequently used trail ...
40
votes
11answers
12k views

Is it poor etiquette to ask fellow backpackers where they have been/where they are going?

I got a comment here that said, Please omit the "Where have you been?" part of your social interaction. That is going to set me more on edge, not put me at ease. It sounds "stalker-ish", which is ...
48
votes
11answers
15k views

How do I make people not be afraid of me and my dogs?

I like to hike, and I have two large dogs (German Shepherd, Presa Canario). After a long hike I look reasonably homeless (long hair, unshaven, muddy). Combined with two large, potentially dangerous ...
10
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3answers
450 views

What can I feed my dogs on a week-long hike?

I am planning to hike for a week with two dogs. Each dog eats 4 cups of kibble a day, that's about 14 liters of kibble per week. The issue is the volume not the weight. What can I feed them so that I ...
9
votes
2answers
301 views

Combining a Frontpack with a Backpack while hiking

There is a current trend to carry babies in a pack on your front (Wikipedia does not show it but Google images has lots of hits 'front baby carrier') If you are hiking with a backpack, is including a ...
8
votes
6answers
640 views

Carrying a bridge camera while hiking with a backpack

I'm looking for recommendations on how I can carry my Canon bridge camera while hiking, so that it doesn't get in the way too much but is easy to get to when I want to take a photo (typically of an ...
6
votes
4answers
679 views

Sports tape to prevent blisters while backpacking?

My doctor just used sports tape on me for a hip injury. I had never used sports tape before and realized that it might work well for blister prevention on my feet while backpacking. It seems very ...
4
votes
2answers
228 views

Camping on top of a mountain

I have experience in backpacking but have no climbing experience. I am trying to learn how to camp on top of mountains after class 2 or 3 climbing. My motive is to take sunrise and sunset photos. ...
7
votes
1answer
291 views

What's a good overnight hiking loop in New England, within a 3 hour range of Boston?

We're looking for an overnight loop near the Boston area. I've checked out the Pemi Loop Hike in New Hampshire, but it's strenuous and we think it might be a little too much for the more novice ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What is a good R value for a four-season sleeping pad?

I've been a Boy Scout for seven years now, and as I'm moving from high school to college I'd like to get into solo backpacking. I live in the lower peninsula of the state of Michigan. I don't foresee ...
2
votes
3answers
188 views

Can I avoid dew by sleeping at higher elevations?

On backpacking trips, I would like to avoid dew because it means either waiting till the sun has come up and dried my stuff off or packing wet things and drying them later. My experience is that dew ...
7
votes
6answers
365 views

Tips for avoiding losing things when backpacking?

It can be a real pain to lose or forget something when backpacking, especially if you have to backtrack miles to retrieve it. Are there any tips to avoid this?
11
votes
2answers
898 views

How is a backpack supposed to fit on the shoulder?

I'm sorry if this question has been asked before or if it's a very vague question, but I'm just in the process of buying a new backpack for myself and I'm confused about how it's supposed to fit on ...
10
votes
3answers
313 views

How are the routes of hiking trails determined?

While hiking and backpacking, I often ponder how the trail came to be located where it is. Some trails, especially longer ones, seem like they could take several different routes to get to their ...
6
votes
3answers
182 views

How to minimize impact on terrain at camp?

I recently went backpacking above treeline in Colorado. It was in a National Wilderness and there were no designated camping areas. Finding a flat enough spot for 3 tents proved to be difficult at ...
6
votes
2answers
159 views

What are the nighttime temperatures in Baxter State Park in June?

I'll be hiking through Baxter State Park, in Maine, in June. I am traveling as light as possible as I will be crossing multiple ridges. I have a 30F sleeping bag and a 0F bag. The 30F bag is much ...
12
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5answers
3k views

What are the risks of stream crossing with bare feet?

Sometimes while backpacking you have to cross streams, and from a weight point of view, it would be nicer to just cross in your bare feet, instead of bringing an extra pair of shoes along. These ...
3
votes
1answer
210 views

How rapidly (or slowly) is work progressing on “consumer” exoskeletons for baby boomers to extend their hiking and backpacking years?

Several years ago, the Washington Post had an article titled This remarkable new exoskeleton slips on like a boot and makes your walking more efficient. Engineers at Carnegie Mellon University ...
13
votes
3answers
501 views

Should one store a tent loose for prolonged periods between uses to maximize its lifetime?

Explanation of why my question is not a duplicate of What is the best way to store my tent?. I am specifically asking about an aspect not addressed in the earlier question or any of its answers: ...
15
votes
3answers
499 views

If I have extra space in a backpack, am I better packing it short and fat or tall and thin?

Basically, I have one large backpack and if I end up going for a much shorter trip, say for 3 days instead of 2+ weeks, I am going to end up with empty space in the backpack. From a stability and ...
10
votes
1answer
375 views

Unofficial camping in Kettle Moraine State Forest

I'm going to be hiking the ice age trail in the Northern unit, between shelter 1 and 2. Do you think I would be fine to just pull off the trail and find a good spot to pitch a tent in an unofficial ...
54
votes
9answers
11k views

Are there any advantages while backpacking to hike during the night and sleep during the day?

This is something I have pondered on multiple occasions, when the light of the full moon and the altitude induced insomnia kept me awake long into the night. I realize that this would be an unusual ...