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.).

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1
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1answer
44 views

Daily distance estimation AT Maryland

My Daughter and I are considering hiking through Maryland on the AT in early October. Most of the trail I have done up to this point was in New England a Pennsylvania. Trail guides are indicating ...
6
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2answers
89 views

Is the Battery Life of the Garmin InReach Mini enough for a 2 week trip?

I am going hiking for 2-3 weeks with no possibility of charging the battery again. Assuming I only turn the InReach on only once a day to send a "I'm ok"-message and then turn it off again, would the ...
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3answers
183 views

How much time/distance on average does it take take to break in hiking boots?

If you are buying new hiking boots before a trip there is a break in period before the boots get comfortable and you don't want to go on a long backpacking trip with brand new boots. Time will depend ...
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0answers
49 views

Need Help Identifying a Birdcall (Sierra Nevadas)

I went on a weeklong backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevadas and in the third or fourth night while we were camping next to the Kern River we heard this odd noise. At around 5-10 PM we would here an ...
4
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0answers
44 views

Dog-friendly backpacking trails in Northern California and Southern Oregon

Once a year I go on a backpacking trip with a friend of mine who lives near Sacramento, California. He likes to bring his dog. The trip lengths typically range from 2-5 days (including car travel), ...
3
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1answer
120 views

Ultra-light camping setup for solo-backping in the Uintas

I am considering a solo three-day trip in the Uinta Mountains in Utah in August. I have lots of experience backpacking but I've never soloed before and so am thinking of ways to shed some weight. My ...
3
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2answers
218 views

How can I prepare physically for a long distance thru-hike such as the Pacific Crest Trail?

I'm planning on hiking the PCT next summer (April 2020-August 2020). I have nearly eleven months to prepare, physically and mentally, and nearly eleven months to read up on the PCT. I have a lot of ...
2
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0answers
98 views

What is an efficent and effective way to find a reputable private guide for a backpacking trip?

My first question on TGO was about low altitude trips that have the feel of much higher elevations. I asked that question because of the declining physical capacity of my husband. I received ...
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0answers
83 views

Looking for information about the large circles free of snow that form in the spring around the trunks of large trees?

We have often used the large snow free circles that form in the spring around the trunks of large trees as camping spots. Even in an area blanketed with deep snow, there will be such bare, dry ground ...
6
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1answer
147 views

What overnight backpacking trails are clear of deep snow now (or likely to be in the next two weeks) in northwest Washington?

I am looking for an overnight backpacking trip to do in the next few weeks somewhere in western Washington. But I am worried about deep snow remaining on the trails. Based on last winter's snowpack, ...
5
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1answer
170 views

How much margin due to charging inefficiency should I add when calculating the size of batteries needed for a trip?

In order to charge my electrical equipment while backpacking (GPS, camera for timelapses, phone, etc) I bring along a large battery. To calculate the size of the battery you can figure out how many ...
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0answers
82 views

Pulling vs. Carrying [duplicate]

I've done a lot of backpacking in my home state of Colorado. My pack and its contents is pretty light but not "ultralight", maybe 20 pounds including food. I'm considering something like these for ...
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5answers
2k views

Yosemite Fire Rings - What to Expect?

I'm planning a Yosemite trip for this summer. In reading up on the rules on fire restrictions, I saw this: When and where fire restrictions are not in effect, wood fires are allowed in existing ...
5
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3answers
235 views

Planning where to stop and camp in advance

I'm planning what will realistically be my first backpacking trip. It'll be in Yosemite this summer. I've already been going through checklists of things we need, the trails we'll take, what we'll ...
2
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3answers
190 views

What type of pants would be durable and suitable for outdoors in all kind of climates?

I am about to start a long backpacking trip through South America, and I would like to take as little weight as possible. I have the rest of my stuff more or less sorted out, but I am a bit at a loss ...
6
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4answers
275 views

What is an efficient and effective way to test an emergency day-hike kit?

Questions like these two have made me wonder about my own answer in the first linked question. I have to admit, I haven't 'tested' the kits I put together. I have some wilderness survival training (...
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3answers
600 views

Does “Pay attention to the ounces, and the pounds take care of themselves” make sense when planning backpacking gear?

The classic advice given to backpackers trying to limit the weight they have to carry is “Pay attention to the ounces, and the pounds take care of themselves.” Brooks Landon M.A. Ph.D.. Building ...
5
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1answer
268 views

What is an alternative sleep system if I don't want to use a down mummy bag for winter camping?

I would like to winter camp in a 4-season tent but am interested in alternatives to mummy sleeping bags. I want to avoid that shape. What alternative sleep systems do people use that are appropriate ...
15
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1answer
3k 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 ...
4
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2answers
527 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 ...
6
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1answer
980 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 ...
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4answers
2k 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
228 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 ...
14
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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 ...
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3answers
3k 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
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1answer
215 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
185 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 ...
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0answers
77 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 ...
30
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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, ...
7
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1answer
535 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
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2answers
288 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 ...
14
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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
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1answer
316 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
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2answers
155 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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9answers
7k 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
6k 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
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1answer
198 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
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1answer
175 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
584 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
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1answer
130 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 ...
9
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1answer
156 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
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1answer
217 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
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1answer
645 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
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3answers
365 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
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2answers
435 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. (...
7
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1answer
7k 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
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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 ...
49
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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
598 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 ...