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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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7
votes
3answers
3k views

Should food be in a bear bag/canister even when I'm hiking?

I've read that in the western US, backpackers need bear canisters or bear bags, for bears or for other animals. For example, a post comparing different methods is here. I must admit I'm a bit ...
7
votes
5answers
925 views

Backpacking propane canister too tall and unstable

My propane/butane/isobutane canister with stove top attached is about 6" tall. When I put a cookware filled with liquid on top of it, the center of gravity seems very high and the whole system seems ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How are backpacking conditions at Yosemite in April?

Looking at the webcam, it looks like things are still pretty wintery in that area. Being Michiganders, some snow is not going to deter us (we love winter camping), but we at least want to be prepared ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How would I identify between MSR Wisperlite and Wisperlite International stoves?

About three years ago, I picked up a used "MSR Wisperlite" for a great price. At the time, I was not aware of the difference between the classic and the International versions of the stove. Since ...
16
votes
1answer
971 views

How to deal with unethical campers?

Earlier last month I witnessed someone fell a tree in the Eagles Nest Wilderness while I was on a backpack trip. Its quite obvious that you're not supposed to cut down trees in a national forest, in ...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

Remaining impacts from the very low snow pack of 2014-2015 in the Western Sierra and extra precautions we should take to minimize our impact

The snow pack of 2014 - 2015 in the Sierra was an unprecedented low of 5% of normal. Thankfully, the snow pack of 2015-2016 was close to normal. We will be in the western Sierra in two weeks, and I ...
26
votes
7answers
3k views

How safe is it for women to hike alone?

Should a woman legitimately fear to be assaulted or raped on popular backpacking trails in the US when hiking by herself? How common are attacks of that nature? How does it compare to residential ...
4
votes
2answers
360 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. ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

When considering GPS battery life where are the best options?

I believe the 3 main options for portable GPS currently are: Dedicated GPS unit Smart Phone GPS Watch They all have somethings in common, and each have other considerations also. For this question,...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

What do you do if the fire does get “out of control”?

Let's say you are camping with a large group, and someone starts a camp fire. You're away for a bit and come back to find everyone panicking and the fire to be much larger than actually planned (ie, ...
9
votes
1answer
127 views

Effective technique for crossing high and dense mountain pine

Is there any special effective technique (parkour or something similar) for crossing very high and dense mountain pine? Those ones can be really dense, and sometimes the only possibility to cross them ...
6
votes
1answer
493 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
282 views

How do I choose the right tent?

I am looking for a good 1 person tent, and like some of these. I need a tent that will keep out the rain if needed, but also be open so I can see the sky at night on clear nights. I want enough room ...
10
votes
3answers
911 views

What should I look for in hiking binoculars

I'd like a pair of binoculars for hiking. I don't have a specific use other than for looking off of overlooks, at animals, etc. What are the important things to look for in a good set of binoculars? ...
10
votes
5answers
292 views

How do you create a sense of community on a backpacking trip?

Having a sense of community on a backpacking trip can mean the difference between enjoyment and misery. It can also be the difference between backpacking as a team instead of as random group of people....
10
votes
3answers
333 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
221 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

How to treat shin splints while backpacking

It's been a couple of years since I last had bad shin splits but I can still recall how painful they can be. I was able to heal them before mostly with a couple weeks rest. If the pain came back ...
8
votes
6answers
393 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
1answer
5k views

What kind of Tyvek is suitable for footprint material

When buying Tyvek online, there appear to be a myriad of options and numbers. Which numbers are suitable for making a tent footprint? Known numbers: 1443R, 1622E, 10G, 10GX, 1460, RV, 14M... (may ...
11
votes
3answers
400 views

How would one assess the safety of a wooden bridge?

While backpacking in the Wind River Range in Wyoming, I had to cross this bridge. The piece of paper on the left support said, Due to recent high water events, this bridge may be damaged. Assess ...
14
votes
3answers
634 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
10k views

What are some good gluten-free foods for backpacking?

I have quite unfortunately found out several months ago that I'm gluten sensitive. Nearly all my meals I've planned and eaten on the trail have included wheat, and thus gluten, in some fashion. I'm ...
23
votes
4answers
1k views

What foods should I avoid when backpacking?

Are there any foods that should be off-limits when backpacking because they have a negative impact on performance or well-being? I am thinking that candy-bars and very greasy foods might be candidates?...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

When making camp in the mountains, which direction should I face my tent?

Sometimes I hear that, when making camp in the mountains, a tent should be pitched so the door is facing a certain direction, usually downhill. I've repeatedly asked why I should do this, and the ...
26
votes
12answers
9k views

Toothpaste in the back-country and the principle of leave no trace

I am a staunch proponent of leave no trace. I don't carry dish detergent (sand and small rocks work much better on stainless steel anyways,) and I don't use soap or shampoo, not even of the ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

What size dry bag is best for keeping and washing clothes?

I want to buy a drybag for washing clothes while backpacking (travelling, not hiking) and also keeping dirty/wet clothes until it is time to wash them. I have available near me 5L, 10L and 20L dry ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the best way to manage Scottish midges?

I have seen some posts that mention midges and midge spray. I am wild camping in Scotland in August. Should I be worried about them? Is there anything else a part from midge spray I can use to keep ...
6
votes
3answers
193 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
786 views

What permits and reservations do I need for the Adirondacks?

I'm considering to go on a multi-day backpacking hiking trip in the Adirondack Mountains, New York, USA, soon. In Canada one must often purchase a permit and reservations, and one can only camp on ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I backpack further without resupplying?

There are a couple of long hikes that I am thinking of doing, both are 70 to 80 miles (110 to 130 km) long one way. I would like to do a yo-yo (140 to 160 miles, 230 to 260 km) without a resupply. I ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I test out my equipment before a backpacking trip?

I'm in the slow process of acquiring all of the gear I think I will need to do a week-long backpacking trip somewhere in the Midwest. Many of the more experienced backpackers I've spoken with or read ...
15
votes
1answer
633 views

How does the Esbit stove perform in cold & wind?

I was on a group trip this weekend where a fellow hiker brought an Esbit stove which uses hexamine fuel tabs. The temperature was not what I would consider extreme. Temperatures in the high 30s to ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Minimum equipment recommendations for hammock camping

I'm looking to try out some hammock camping on our next trip to the wilderness, but I don't have any of the gear yet. I could buy it all, but as it's a trial run it might not make sense to pour a ton ...
17
votes
4answers
823 views

How do you lower a backpack over a cliff without damaging it?

I was backpacking in Coyote Gulch, Utah this past week and ran into an issue with my 70 liter backpack. The entrance to the gulch through "Crack in the Wall" was a narrow "slot" entry, so the ...
5
votes
2answers
335 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
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
245 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
755 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: ...
17
votes
5answers
15k views

Are there any low sodium freeze dried meals?

For health reasons, I usually try to keep my sodium intake fairly low. However, most freeze dried dinners offered in camping stores contain an more sodium than I'm looking for. I consider 800mg a ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Are 35mm film canisters safe for holding spices?

Some of you may remember 35mm film** and the black cases it came in. I have a few lying around, and have seen people use them as backpacking salt and pepper shakers. I have also heard that's a good ...
8
votes
2answers
475 views

Recipe for backcountry ice cream?

In honor of National Ice Cream Month, does anyone have a good back-country ice cream recipe they could share? Bonus points for ones that don't require ice (ice field, glacier, etc.)
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I protect my book(s) while backpacking?

I recently started backpacking in the Olympic Mountains. While camping, I usually bring along a trade paperback for light reading before bed or during a lunch break on a day-long hike. Up until now, ...
27
votes
14answers
8k views

Are there any situations while backpacking that would require a watch?

One of my favorite things about backpacking is the absence of time constraints, you eat when hungry, sleep when tired and sort of track how much time is left until dark. Would there be any situations ...
8
votes
2answers
844 views

What should go in the hiking/backpacking plan that you leave with someone else? [duplicate]

It is good practice on a hiking or backpacking trip to leave a written plan behind with someone. Then if you fail to return by your estimated date Search and Rescue will have an idea of where to look ...
8
votes
1answer
209 views

Hiking map for Hokkaido and/or other resources

I plan to go hiking in Hokkaido next spring. I'd like to hike two weeks and to keep away from the cities during this time. I'd like to visit Daisetsuzan Park and Shiretoko Park. I've read about ...
21
votes
8answers
3k views

How should I plan a backpacking trip with people who have never backpacked before?

I want to go backpacking with a couple friends, but I'm the only one of us with any experience, and I mostly day hike. I've only done a couple of backpacking trips. They've never backpacked, and only ...
14
votes
6answers
8k views

What are the pros and cons of air pads vs foam pads for backpacking?

Backpacking sleeping pads come in two basic types, foam and air, with some of the air pads being self-inflating. What are the pros and cons of each and how would one decide which type to get?
3
votes
1answer
301 views

What should go in an inflatable sleeping pad repair kit?

While backpacking with an inflatable or self-inflating sleeping pad one runs the risk of getting holes in it. This does happen fairly frequently, and while they do make kits, I would like to know ...