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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.).

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2
votes
3answers
201 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 ...
13
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3answers
4k views

Solo-backpacking in mountain lion country

I've read that to take precautions in mountain lion country, people should hike and camp in groups. Does that mean solo-backpacking is not advisable in mountain lion country (Rocky Mountains in my ...
37
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10answers
175k views

How much should your backpack weigh?

For a multi-day backpacking trip, what is the ideal weight of a backpack? And what is that max weight that no sane human should go over?
6
votes
4answers
294 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 (...
16
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3answers
5k views

Is drinking water containing dirt harmful?

I noticed that if I collect water from a stream dense of small debris/thin mud, if I keep the water bottle close to the surface, while it takes a longer time to fill the bottle, the water is cleaner ...
4
votes
2answers
648 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
80 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
505 views

On average, how often do people thru hiking the Pacific Crest Trail resupply?

I have been wondering how often the thru-hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail resupply. I would assume that it depends on the part of the trail and the hiker, but is there an average distance or length ...
5
votes
1answer
284 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
992 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

Where can I find an online elevation profile of the Cohos trail?

Where can I find an elevation profile of the Cohos trail?
7
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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
votes
2answers
231 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 ...
9
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2answers
2k views

How do I reseal a tent bottom with many pinprick holes

Our tent pan has a LOT of very tiny holes in it. We've never had to use a footprint, and our tent has always kept water out, but that is no longer the case. I don't want to carry a footprint due to ...
17
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9answers
11k views

How can you make a MSR WhisperLite stove simmer?

MSR WhisperLite backpacking stoves are ubiquitous, but they lack a key function: the ability to simmer easily. How can you set a WhisperLite to simmer without having to constantly watch the stove and ...
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 ...
14
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3answers
991 views

How are backcountry campground reservations enforced?

It seems that in the backcountry of Canadian parks, one may only camp on campgrounds, and reservations are required. For example, in Jasper National Park, one must camp on campgrounds to be reserved ...
4
votes
2answers
555 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
201 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 ...
11
votes
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
votes
1answer
224 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

How should I pack for a week of backpacking in the rain?

So, next week I will be leaving on a hiking trip, which was supposed to be in the middle of summer whilst it's at its hottest, but instead it will be raining all week. Luckily there are public use '...
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, ...
26
votes
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 ...
8
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
222 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
392 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
161 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
14k views

Should I be worried about bears when sleeping in a hammock?

I'm going on a multi day backpacking trip and I am planning on taking only a backpacking hammock instead of a tent. When I mentioned this to a friend of mine he jokingly referred to me as a bear taco....
21
votes
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 ...
19
votes
6answers
862 views

What are some proven methods of training for week long backpacking trips at high altitude?

I'm going to Colorado to visit a friend and we will be going on a week long trek across a couple of 14'ners. I'm looking for some ways to help prepare my body for trip.
7
votes
1answer
200 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
731 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
199 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
568 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Dog Breeds for Backpacking and Trail Running

Which dog breeds are best for backpacking? I know malamutes do well in the cold and on mountains, but what if I'm backpacking in the summer? Which dog breeds are good for daily trail runs? I would ...
8
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

Train yourself to need less water

I'm interested in doing multi-day hikes (i.e. backpacking) in the desert where water sources are not readily available, thus requiring one to carry in enough water for the duration of the trip. On ...
27
votes
9answers
11k views

What is the best way to cross streams while backpacking?

I'm curious of a good technique to cross a stream while backpacking that's above the boot's waterproof line but no higher than the knees. I typically face upstream and use my hiking poles for ...
13
votes
8answers
7k views

Is a smartphone or dedicated gps receiver better for navigation in the desert?

For most backcountry navigation I use a topo map and compass when necessary. Generally I'm following known trails and combined with some basic awareness of cardinal direction and land features I don't ...
9
votes
1answer
163 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
3answers
2k views

Strengthening exercises for a backpacking trip?

I just finished a 22.4 mile hiking trip, which was spread of two days and it's the furthest I've ever hiked. When I finished my body was killing me, apparently taking long day hikes is not a ...
10
votes
1answer
784 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
380 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

What's a good, lightweight solution for portable cookware?

If I'm going on a four-day hike, I don't want to lug around a 15-lb cast iron dutch oven. I've thought of graniteware, but the handle on a saucepan is a bit bulky and makes packing it awkward. What ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Protecting Food Supplies from wild animals While Backpacking

A group of 4 plan on hiking across Michigan's UP's Ottawa National Forest. We are finishing up our plans and have one last issue with food that we aren't sure how to handle. We know you are supposed ...
6
votes
2answers
472 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. (...
11
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...