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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12
votes
5answers
422 views

Where can we go backpacking out West under 8,500 feet that has much of the feel of much higher altitudes

My husband I have been backpacking in the Sierra and Rockies since 1972. We are bare granite freaks, and have always gone high. Alas, time is catching up with us (we are over 70), and we are now ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
656 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
3answers
317 views

ultralight backpacking in snow and preparing for wet gear

So I was backpacking up in Sequoia national park this past weekend and there is still a lot of snow. I following some ultralight gear lists, which were good, but I ran into problems with gear getting ...
6
votes
2answers
392 views

Questions about specifics of black bear encounter with mother and yearling cub

I hope the bear experts on the site can shed light on several aspects of a black bear encounter my husband and I had some years ago in the Sierra. It was mid-May, about 9500 feet, well above timber ...
11
votes
3answers
730 views

Proper food storage against black bears on a LONG (e.g., 14 days) trip, partly in black bear country? (enough bear canisters not practical)

This question is prompted by the replies to Questions about specifics of black bear encounter with mother and yearling cub. That question was about an encounter over 30 years ago, before the era of ...
9
votes
2answers
476 views

What to do when a black bear got a hold of an open bear can?

When an adult black bear without cubs in sight got a hold of an open bear-can, is it advisable to try to scare him/her away (with noise, or by approaching him/her as a group?) I am asking both for ...
14
votes
4answers
742 views

What are the key factors when choosing a sleeping bag for backpacking?

I'm preparing to go on my first ever backpacking trip and do not have a suitable sleeping bag. What are the factors I should consider when choosing one? Personally I'm looking for the best value I ...
25
votes
2answers
1k views

What to look for in a durable, 3-season sleeping bag?

I'm looking to purchase a camping sleeping bag. I'd like one that's high-quality, durable, and suitable for weekend hiking/camping trips during spring, summer, and fall in New England. (Most of my ...
7
votes
1answer
645 views

Trekking Har ki doon (India): Permits and Guides

We are going to Sankri-Har-ki-doon trek. So, from various sources in internet we found a that a forest permit is necessary for the trek. From where should we obtain this ? And is it mandatory to hire ...
21
votes
5answers
5k views

How can I tell which way is “down wind”

I'll be backpacking in areas where a bear canister is required by regulation. All of the tip's I've read say to store it XYZ number of feet "downwind from your camp", presumably so the scent of the ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Storing food in the desert

I'll be doing some backpacking in sections of desert in Eastern Washington, U.S. and I was wondering if anybody has tips on food storage while hiking? There will be no trees to hang the food in. I'm ...
10
votes
4answers
758 views

Backpacking in the Winter (Michigan)

Winter is quickly approaching, and my friends and I (relatively inexperienced backpackers - only been on 2 trips of 9 days each) were wondering how much experience is necessary to safely backpacking ...
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
906 views

What are the differences between high-end sleeping pads and cut to fit foam mats?

I'm pretty tall and I find that to purchase a brand-name sleeping pad means shelling out serious $$$. To solve this I have always just purchased a roll of foam padding that I could cut to make sure it ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Washing dishes with seawater or freshwater?

When backpacking in a coastal region, you sometimes have access to both fresh water (e.g. a stream) and salt water (sea, bay, etc.). If you do not treat the water used for washing dishes, what are ...
16
votes
7answers
1k views

Splitting up weight hiking as a couple/mixed gender group

Assuming equivalent fitness, what is a fair way to split up weight when hiking as a couple/in mixed gender groups? Should the weight be proportional to the individuals weight? Are there other ...
23
votes
10answers
1k views

How can I boost morale on long backpacking trips?

Not just children can be whiny on long backpacking trips. I am interested in learning how to boost morale with both, adult groups, or when hiking with children.
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Group Trips: 1 Large cook group or smaller cook groups of 3 or 4?

On trips I lead, we always split up into smaller cook groups, yet I did have one occasion a long time ago where we cooked as one large cook group. Long enough that I don't remember if it worked well ...
9
votes
2answers
201 views

Minimizing impact of small groups on wilderness areas

I have been given conflicting information for how to minimize the impact of traveling in small groups in wilderness areas. For groups traveling off-trail in areas where it is appropriate I have heard ...
23
votes
5answers
8k views

Why don't we apply the principles of layering when it comes to pants?

Whenever I see clothing articles geared toward hiking and backpacking that discuss layering (base layer for wicking, mid layer for insulation, etc.), they always seem to discuss these things in terms ...
16
votes
2answers
18k views

What makes nylon an effective material for hiking pants?

I often see 100% nylon pants a lot in stores. What properties does it have that make it effective when hiking? Is it effective in all seasons or just under certain conditions?
5
votes
3answers
304 views

Winter backpacking pants

I find that little attention is paid to lower body backpacking clothing. What type of pants would be a appropriate for a multi day excursion with 6'' to 1' (15 to 30 cm) of snowfall and 10 to 32 °F (-...
20
votes
6answers
5k views

Repair broken plastic buckle in the middle of hiking or alternative way to fix it

A month ago while hiking my 60 liter bag packs main Shoulder strap got broken at the very first hour of 4 day high altitude trek in a dense forest. I have tied a knot in that area and because of that ...
26
votes
5answers
11k views

What is the difference between external and internal-frame packs?

I am starting backpacking and there are both internal and external-frame packs. What is the difference, and is one recommended over the other?
15
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I keep my backpack safe?

I went on a hike with my wife the other day in Norcal. This place had a creek that led into a cave that you can swim in. We both left our backpacks at the cave entrance and then swam through it to the ...
10
votes
1answer
751 views

Which size back pack if between sizes

I am looking to get a new Day/Weekend Pack. I have been looking at few in the 32-35L range but I a noticed that at least with Osprey packs I am right in between their S/M and their M/L. I have a 19in ...
30
votes
5answers
27k views

Tent and sleeping bag: pack inside or strap outside a backpack?

When I bought my pack, we were told to always pack the tent and sleeping bag in the pack. Since then I have seen a lot of articles and hikers doing the outside. What are the benefits on packing the ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Stuff or roll a tent for storage?

When packing a tent, is it best to stuff it in its sack or roll/fold it? I always stuff my sleeping bag so I wasn't sure if it was the same for tents.
21
votes
3answers
2k views

The best solution for carrying a D-SLR when hiking

I am planning a multi-day hike in the Drakensberg area of South Africa. This is a beautiful landscape with interesting flora and fauna. Consequently I want to have my Digital SLR close to hand. I don'...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

Could you use Silnet to seal a drinking water bladder?

I'm considering a MYOG gravity filter project but I'm not sure where to find out if Sil Net™ can hold up under long term submersion and won't leak toxins into the water. Is it safe? Do you have a ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I test my water filter?

How can you verify that a water filter still works? I've had one for several years and I suspect it may not be working. Is there a way to test and make sure that it still filters to the factory ...
7
votes
2answers
783 views

Best method of carrying fruits over a period of 3 days while on a trek

While trekking, I prefer having fruits in the real form, not dried ones and no pulp or juices. When carried without being squished fruits like apple, litchi and strawberries don't rot in a couple of ...
3
votes
2answers
543 views

What style of camelback hydrating systems exist out there?

For an incoming trip, I am considering buying a camelback hydration system. There are two options available at my local preferred dealer, and I would like some advice on which one to choose. The main ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

Carry a larger water bottle or a smaller water bottle for backpacking?

I'm debating between carrying a larger water bottle and a smaller one. A larger one means I'll have to stop less to filter water, but it means I'll be carrying more, at least for a period of time. ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Will Iodine Tablets Ruin My CamelBak?

In the past, I have gone backpacking with some fairly expensive, heavy water purification tools. But the more I read about water safety in California's Sierras (here and here), the less I think these ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

How to determine the needed volume size when purchasing a backpack?

In addition to sizes for different sizes of people, backpacks also have a volume size, usually given in liters or cubic inches, as a measure of how much stuff the backpack can hold. How can I ...
14
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a good material to patch holes in backpack?

I have a backpack with rip-stop material that is quite beaten up from scrambling over granite boulders. What are some good materials for patching the holes, what kind of thread should I use, and how ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What can be safely trimmed on a backpack

When trimming weight there are a lot of options. Lighter gear, less gear, etc. One of those options is to take an existing pack and trim off "unnecessary" extras. For instance, I have (no kidding) ...
5
votes
1answer
721 views

How to improvise heavy rain protection for a backpack?

Heavy rain can soak all of your gear. There are some things that you don't ever want to get wet, like your camera. I've learned to protect those things with string bags, which are light and I always ...
20
votes
6answers
8k views

How to store a backpack while sleeping?

During a recent backpacking trip, we hung the bear bag and got ready to set in for the night and I realized I wasn't sure what I should do with my backpack. Technically the backpack was carrying the ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Bare Essentials for 2-3 day Hike

My story I like to hike and pack light. Lately I have been experimenting with various setups for making a 2-3 day trek along the Appalachian Trail. I have tried a few different methods of carrying ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How to clean the ceramic filter of a water pump?

We used a Katadyn Vario filter during our last hike in Scotland. It uses a ceramic filter when used in LONGER LIFE modus. The waters in Scotland however have a tendency to be brown (due to the peat ...
15
votes
3answers
7k views

Where can I find an iodine crystal water purification product?

For years I used a product called Polar Pure for water purification when weekend backpacking. It was an iodine based solution, so not great for a thru-hike, but fine for a week or less. Specifically, ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Do kevlar sacks work against bears?

We ran into a hiker on the AT last year using a kevlar back to keep out bears and rodents. He said the product was an Ursack and seemed very happy with it. However he'd never had a bear try to get ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it possible to use a flint and steel with wet tinder?

We carry a flint and steel instead of lighters to light our camp stoves when backpacking because the flint and steel always works and weighs very little. One of our routine camp activities is to try ...
16
votes
4answers
7k views

Tips and tricks for backpacking with a guitar

There are numerous compact and travel guitars that exist, some of which are designed specifically for outdoor pursuits like backpacking. This is one I've been considering. Being a musician, music is ...
17
votes
3answers
526 views

Where is the optimal place to do dishes in the backcountry?

I just came back from a backpacking trip in an alpine area. I was cleaning some kitchen items (pot, spork, pan, etc) with some remnant food particles that were coming off. I use a very small amount of ...
4
votes
1answer
392 views

What are the pros and cons of custom-made hiking boots?

I've had limited success finding hiking boots that really fit me. Therefore, I'm thinking about custom-made ones. But, I'm not sure how to think through this decision. What are the advantages and ...
23
votes
14answers
9k views

Am I packing too much for a 2-3 day hike in the forests?

I have decided that I would like to hike. I have read a bit on hiking, and bought some gear and a backpack to get started. I want to start with backpacking through mostly flat forests, and later ...