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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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8
votes
1answer
346 views

What are the pro and cons of vacuum sealed vs mylar bags for DIY dehydrated foods?

For packaging dehydrated foods for backpacking, the two options that I can think of are mylar bags, and vacuum sealed bags. What are the pros and cons of each method?
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Is using ultralight gear possible without sacrificing safety, comfort, or skills?

I recently came back from a 17-day backcountry hike. At the start of the hike, my backpack was 28 kg. At the end of the hike it was around half of that or a little bit more. I'm fine hiking with 20 ...
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,...
6
votes
3answers
620 views

Can a cooler (warm weather) sleeping bag be used when combined with a warmer (cold weather) under quilt for hammock camping?

My general question is as such: If I use a 30°F (-1°C) under quilt with my hammock, would I be fine using a 50°F (10°C; or higher) sleeping bag as a "top quit" during 30°F (-1°C) winter nights? My ...
5
votes
3answers
450 views

Designing a sustainable and portable high-energy diet

I need some help designing a diet for extended multi-day treks which is sustainable, provides high-energy but still remains somehow portable. For some reason my efforts so far were not very successful....
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I get comfortable sleeping on my side (backpacking)?

I am a side sleeper. I use a v2 Klymite pad but my hip still hurts during the night because there isn't enough vertical room. I'm considering: Sleeping curled up a bit (so the angle from my hip to ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Alternatives for sealing Mylar food packs?

We are making our own dehydrated meals with mylar bags and oxygen absorbers. This is very cost effective, but less so if you need to spend lots of money for one of the specialty tools for sealing ...
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 ...
3
votes
5answers
594 views

How to keep a llama from being eaten by a bear?

I am pretty sure that from a bear's point of view a llama counts as food, but as its not possible to put a llama into a bear can or suspend it from a tree branch, how would I keep it from being eaten ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
316 views

How to teach situational awareness for the outdoors?

By situational awareness I mean (but certainly don't limit it to): Looking behind to familiarize yourself with the return journey Looking ahead to see what the best route will be Knowing the ...
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?
9
votes
3answers
255 views

Quick release knot for attaching kit

I'm currently using a double fisherman's bend to tie my kit together but it's a bit fiddly to take apart. Is there a better knot for the task?
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Quality of duck vs goose down

While searching for a sleeping bag I was told that goose down is clearly superior to duck down in terms of quality. I guess that means e.g. the fill power (measured in cuin). What exactly are the ...
8
votes
2answers
137 views

Where can I recycle or refill small 16 oz propane cannisters?

Is it possible to recycle or refill small (disposable 😉) propane cannisters?
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
15
votes
9answers
7k views

What's the best way to store/carry olive oil for hiking?

Bottles of olive oil often have special caps that help prevent drips/etc. when pouring the oil, but an entire bottle of olive oil is far to heavy to carry for a hike. What's the best method for ...
6
votes
1answer
123 views

Lapland UKK hike in late-May

My dad and I are planning to hike the Lapland UKK from Aittajarvi to Kiilopää in late-May (22-30).We are planning to drive from Helsinki to Saariselkä, about 12 hours drive. Is it possible to drive ...
3
votes
1answer
222 views

Most common infectious diseases acquired in the wilderness?

People traveling in the wilderness can acquire infectious diseases. These can be caused by organisms such bacteria, viruses, protozoans, or fungi. They can be transmitted through drinking contaminated ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

How do you avoid Norovirus on the AT?

Every year on the AT (Appalachian trail) Norovirus sweeps through like wildfire and the problem only increases as trail density increases. What are the best methods for minimizing risk of contracting ...
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 ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Does a pound on your foot equal 5 pounds on your back?

I have heard a number of people say that a pound on your foot equals 5 pounds on your back. Is there any hard evidence to support this claim and how does the terrain affect it?
10
votes
4answers
20k views

What qualifies as a bear bag?

Hi I'm going on my first backpacking trip in April on the Appalachian Trail. I can't seem to find a bear bag. I see bear canisters but they're far too big and bulky and the other bear bags I found are ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Stoveless/fireless hiking food suggestions

In light of the recent forest-fire qualms that have arisen all over the globe (not to imply that any of y'all are irresponsible enough to have the capacity to start any, and hopefully that same would ...
13
votes
2answers
963 views

Is a mountaineering tent necessary for backpacking Iceland?

I need a tent that will work in snow, sand storms, lots of wind, rain and sun(UV). Temperatures I'm expecting are -2C at night to 15C during the day. I will be backpacking, so the tent's weight should ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
453 views

Keeping the Batteries warm [duplicate]

I carry a camera that has detachable batteries. I also carry an extra spare battery for my cellphone and a power bank. Batteries discharge at colder temperatures. How do I keep batteries warm so that ...
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 ...
16
votes
6answers
9k views

Effective way to carry a sleeping mattress with rucksack?

I am going for four day hike in Western Ghats. The terrain is rocky humid and It is one of the eight "hottest hotspots" of biological diversity in the world. I am trying to pack my rucksack as ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

What do you call the bags which help organize items inside a backpack?

I'm a beginner to hiking. Last time, I had trouble easily accessing my stuff. Putting things inside the pack was also taking nearly an hour of my time. The problem is that I have to empty the ...
37
votes
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?
14
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the pros and cons of a digital altimeter over an analog altimeter for backpacking?

Our analog altimeter, which we had had for over 20 years, was stolen this summer. We are now faced with a choice between digital or analog altimeters. What are pros and cons between the two? (e.g., ...
0
votes
0answers
111 views

Sharp knee pain when going up and down stairs/bending my knee after my first backpacking trip [duplicate]

This past weekend, I went on my first backpacking trip. The last 5 miles were all straight down hill which caused a lot of knee pain. Now, three days later, I still have excruciating, stabbing pain ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
263 views

Could spray foam insulation be used effectively as an emergency sleeping bag?

Is it harmful for our health? How thick should the foam be around the body to be okay down to 0degC with warm clothes underneath? Is there enough foam for this in a 500ml can (average man)? Or two? I ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What to look for in an Umbrella for Backpacking?

I recently took a short camping trip with a couple of friends when we encountered some intermittent showers. I foolishly forgot to check the forecast and forgot my waterproof jacket. I was handed an ...
6
votes
1answer
950 views

Backpacking with a dog

Please note, this question covers different material than that in Camping with a dog for the first time. I've often seen ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Protein-intake on extended minimal-weight treks

I enjoy doing quite extended treks in the backcountry that rely on us (mostly 2-4 people) being independent from any kind of civilization for up to two weeks. For me the foremost problem in these ...