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Questions tagged [gear]

Whenever applicable use a more specific tag like backpack, shoes, stoves, tents, ... Only questions that do not fit into such a tag and are related to any physical equipment for engaging in those activities discussed in The Great Outdoors should use the gear tag.

14
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6answers
3k views

What characteristics should I look for in a good torch/flashlight?

I'm looking to buy a flashlight/torch (or build my own even if that works out cheaper), and am looking to take the following into consideration: Good battery life (LEDs would probably suit best in ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Slings for anchoring and lanyard in rock climbing

Probably common question, but: What slings do you use to build anchors for belaying the 2nd in rock climbing? Dyneema or nylon? I had discussed this problem with my friend and he said that Dyneema is ...
18
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I attach a hammock to trees?

On my next vacation, I will be camping in a tent on a designated campsite. I saw somebody use a hammock for lounging during the day last time, so quickly got a cheap hammock from eBay, with a "let's ...
30
votes
1answer
1k views

How are sleeping bag temperature ratings determined?

One things that has always troubled me when buying a sleeping bag is the temperature rating. When looking at a bag that claims to be a +15°F bag (for example) how do I know that it is really good ...
16
votes
1answer
562 views

How well does solar recharging work when strapped to the backpack?

This answer recommends solar cells to recharge batteries. However, this likely works best during a layover day. I usually don't have those. For a nice-to-have situation, how well does it work to ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Stove/fuel setup for harsh conditions

We already have topics on fuels here and here which give quite an overview. Also REI gives some info how to choose your stove and fuel properly. Still I would like to know what are the best options ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How can rope/cordage be packed to minimize tangles?

I generally pack my cordage in little bundles like Unfortunately for any significant length (100' for instance) it just turns into a wadded mess when I try and use it. How can I pack this stuff ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Advantages of wool/felt jackets

I consider buying a jacket made from wool. The fabric is some kind of felt. I hade one when I was younger, but since these jackets are really expensive I would like to know how they perform compared ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

What are the advantages of different locks for collapsible trekking poles?

I've generally seen two kinds of locks for adjustable trekking poles. Twist lock and clamp lock (Clamp lock is also called "lever lock" and "quick lock"). What are the comparative advantages and ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I get cam slings replaced?

I bought my first set of cams and I've been curious about what happens when the slings start to wear out. Are they user-replaceable? The ones I purchased seem to be very un-user-replaceable: How do I ...
17
votes
6answers
8k views

What is the proper way to tarp tent to avoid condensation?

I tried pitching a tarp instead of a tent this weekend. In worked well, kept off the rain etc, except for the condensation. It was far worse than any condensation I've ever had in a tent. We had ...
21
votes
2answers
16k views

How much does a full/empty jetboil canister weigh?

I have a bunch of partially-full Jetboil canisters from various trips, and I'm trying to figure out approximately how much fuel is left in each of them. How much does a full canister weigh (fuel + ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Starting cross-country skiing off trails

I've done a bit of cross-country skiing on trails at local mountains, but I'm more interested in getting off the trails and out into the woods. The terrain around here is pretty steep in general with ...
25
votes
7answers
3k views

What equipment do I need as a beginner outdoor rock climber?

What are the bare essentials that I need in terms of equipment when it comes to rock climbing? I've done indoor rock climbing but always rented my equipment from the rock-climbing gym. (For the ...
24
votes
3answers
818 views

How should I check climbing equipment to tell whether it is still safe to use?

I have, unfortunately, not had the opportunity to go climbing (and thus use my climbing equipment) for a couple years. I know that such equipment, especially the rope and webbing, can degrade over ...
18
votes
1answer
407 views

What do I need to be aware of if I'm considering purchasing a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)?

Obviously, I can't just buy it, push the button and expect a helicopter to show up. Are there monthly or registration fees? Do I need to get a permit or register with someone? How does it all work? ...
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 '...
23
votes
9answers
5k views

What are creative uses for retired carabiners?

I seem to have accumulated a good number of carabiners that, while probably still safe, I won't climb on anymore. They might be worn, of questionable origin, or just plain made obsolete by an upgrade. ...
17
votes
1answer
466 views

Can you use a rope that has been in storage for a few years?

A guy I'm talking to about buying some rock climbing gear is getting rid of his stuff cause he hasn't used it in five to eight years. He said it wasn't used a lot, maybe 5 to 6 times, and he said no ...
13
votes
4answers
646 views

Do emergency space blankets actually work?

Inspired by a space blanket being included in emergency winter kits, I wonder if there's any rigorous study about whether these things actually work and in what ways to best use them. In my own ...
11
votes
1answer
10k views

Is Permethrin safe for cats after it dries?

I'm concerned about ticks and want to treat some of my outdoor gear with Permethrin, a spray-on very persistent treatment against ticks and mosquitoes, to reduce the chances that I'll bring home ticks ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Do “R” values add proportionally?

For winter camping it is recommended to use a sleeping pad with an R value greater than 5. Can you alternatively use two closed cell 2.5R pads one on top of each other? If using an inflatable pad ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

What can I do with a retired rope and harness?

I've recently retired a rope (dynamic) and a harness. They're both in very good shape, but just over 8 years old. Common sense dictates I throw them away, but I wonder if there are other uses I can ...
15
votes
3answers
374 views

How to select a good GPS receiver?

What should one look for in the specifications to determine whether a handheld purpose-built GPS receiver provides good navigational consistency under reasonably normal, low-speed conditions? Highly ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What wetsuit thickness is recommended in which temperatures for diving?

I'm soon to embark on a chilly scuba dive around 5-7C at 18m, of which we'll be wearing 7mm semi-drys with shorties. The next thickest I think is actually a drysuit for really cold waters, but not ...
14
votes
7answers
5k views

Is a type of walking trailer a good alternative to a heavy backpack in off-road conditions?

Heavy backpacks can spoil the pleasures of being in the outdoors. There are two ways to resolve this: Carry less Find an alternative to the backpack While the first option is usually the best one, ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Why might one need a 2000 lumen headlamp?

I was just looking at a product my friend was bragging about, a headlamp with 2000 lumen intensity. When and why would I be needing such a powerful headlamp? I usually trek in jungles and forests and ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Do folding cross country skis exist?

Do folding (or telescoping) cross-country skis exist and if so are they useable? Update: Or are there small cross-country skis that are short enough for easy transport, yet still capable of providing ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

How should I choose between setting up a Cordelette or an Equalette climbing anchor?

I was going through anchoring techniques and I came across this well-received question: Anchor without cordelette? How should one decide when to go for a Cordelette or an Equalette?
11
votes
3answers
676 views

How do hikers cross fast-flowing rivers without wading staffs?

Outdoor instructions in Lapland often recommend to always use a wading staff for river crossings, and not a trekking pole. Ever since I purchased my Folding Wading Staff in a Swedish outdoor store, I ...
10
votes
1answer
337 views

How to get started with packrafts?

I love hiking and I'm starting to love longer cycling trips too. I've done combined cycling/hiking trips (cycling to the trailhead of a hike). Last summer I met someone who carried an inflatable raft ...
10
votes
1answer
9k views

What is the best way to re-waterproof a nylon tarp?

I have a ProForce All Weather Shelter, which is listed as being "210T rip-stop nylon". On a recent outing, we had four hours of rain overnight and it leaked on me the entire time. Upon closer ...
8
votes
1answer
187 views

Differences for bivi packs

I would like to do a winter bivouac but have no gear for it yet. Especially the choice of a bivi pack is really tough for me because I'd prefer to be able to use it also in summer as a rescue item and ...
8
votes
1answer
613 views

I have a compass but no watch, how can I tell when it will get dark?

I was reading all of the answers to Are there any situations while backpacking that would require a watch? and surprised at the number of answers that said you need a watch so you would know how long ...
4
votes
0answers
397 views

How to abseil without a descender device? [duplicate]

Lets assume I am abseiling multiple pitches with some tuber device and at some point at a belay I dropped the device. How do I improvise something that does the braking while descending? I still have ...
4
votes
2answers
99 views

How and when to sharpen ice screws?

Ice screws need to be sharp to be placed into the ice, and just like anything with an edge they will get dull over time. How would one know when to sharpen an ice screw, and once they do need to be ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

What features should I look for in a packraft?

Reading through are other packrafting questions it looks like it would be a neat activity, especially since there are quite a few beautiful alpine lakes that would be neat to float across and they ...
44
votes
18answers
15k views

Why do I always wake up freezing?

I like to go camping in the forest, mostly in summer, sometimes also when temperatures drop to about 0°C/32°F during the night. I have a three-season sleeping bag (T-comf: -2°C, T-lim: -8°C, ...
29
votes
15answers
6k views

Hiking: How to start?

I would like to get into hiking, and would like some ideas on gear.training to start. I have always enjoyed nature walks and even did some hiking when I was a kid in boy scouts, but that was years ago ...
23
votes
6answers
26k views

How do I know what size ice axe I should get?

I'm going to start mountaineering. Is there a recommended size per height/weight for ice axes for general mountaineering?
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Difference when using twin or half ropes

There are three types of ropes according to the UIAA/EN norm for climbing ropes: Single, half and twin. While the distinction between single ropes and the other two is rather obvious (one strand ...
14
votes
3answers
728 views

How can I prevent plantar fasciitis?

Every year or so I'll end up with plantar fasciitis after periods of time where I've walked a lot. In general my walking shoes are fine and have arch support but occasionally I'll need to use sturdier ...
23
votes
14answers
8k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
757 views

Things to consider when buying sunglasses

I am going to buy sunglasses. Here is how and where I am going to use them: mountain trekking - with altitude mostly below 2000, however I will use them in the following months on higher mountains (...
19
votes
2answers
750 views

Micro-Fractures in Climbing Equipments

I have always been very careful while handling climbing gear. Last year while returning from an expedition, I met a group that was returning from a tough-looking climb. They were selling off a few of ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

What should you do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake?

You should obviously avoid rattlesnakes if at all possible. But if you do get bitten by one, what should you do? What supplies can be brought ahead of time to allow for the best treatment, and what ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

Safe way to mark a carabiner gate?

At the crag this weekend I noticed that my climbing partner's carabiner had a great feature: a red line painted such that you know the carabiner isn't locked until the red is hidden. I love this ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Thinking about a road trip out West

My wife and I are thinking of taking a road trip from northwest Ohio to "out west" - Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, etc. I've never been farther west than Indiana, so it's a whole new ...
13
votes
5answers
13k views

How can I tell if Chinese rock climbing gear is reliable?

Most (if not all) the big rock climbing brands do manufacture their gear in China - carabiners, cams, slings, whatever. Now, I stumbled on this: http://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/Climbings/...
13
votes
2answers
882 views

Why are carabiners so much weaker if the gate is open?

Carabiners like this, are marked with the force rating. The one in this picture is rated, 20kn the long way 8kn the short way 5kn with the gate open Why are carabiners so much weaker when the gate ...