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Questions tagged [history]

Questions about the history of things in the Outdoors

3
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0answers
185 views

What is this abandoned equipment and shed on skids near Mono Lake CA?

I found this abandoned building with what looked like some sort of radio gear while hiking near Mono Lake California. The shed on skids Close up of inside Does anyone know what this was originally ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

RIMO III (elevation: 7,233 m, coordinates, 35°22′31″N 77°21′42″E): first ascent date?

RIMO III is one the 6 peaks of the Rimo mountain massif, situated in Indian Kashmir. First ascent: 1985, by an Indian/ British expedition led by Harish Kapadia. Can't find the exact date of this ...
9
votes
1answer
162 views

What is a glass artificial horizon?

On Amundsen's polar expedition they had, Of instruments and apparatus for the sledge journeys we carried two sextants, three artificial horizons, of which two were glass horizons with dark glasses, ...
58
votes
3answers
12k views

How do you know you have reached North or South Pole without GPS?

Having read about the recent foot traverse of Antarctica by Colin O'Brady I was wondering which means the polar explorers of former, pre-GPS times used to determine that they had reached the North or ...
4
votes
2answers
195 views

What are the differences between a lighthouse and a light station in terms of the specific purpose?

One summer evening we drove to Race Point, the farthest tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA. We were told there was a lighthouse at that spot, and wanted to see the light shine through the darkness, ...
9
votes
5answers
424 views

When did wearing a helmet become the norm for climbing?

This is going out primarily to those who have been climbing for 20yrs + Back in the day, helmet use was optional and not particularly popular. These days, things seemed to have taken a dramatic change....
4
votes
2answers
141 views

Are there US Forest Service maps of historical logging?

Some forests in the Western United States will have been logged at different times and by different methods i.e. clearcut vs selective logging. As time goes by, the trees will grow back but this ...
7
votes
4answers
470 views

When did indoor climbing gyms start to become popular?

I am trying to learn some history about rock climbing. I know initially rock climbing was purely an outdoor activity, and according to this article in the 1990s indoor climbing gyms started to spring ...
4
votes
1answer
129 views

When and why were House Sparrows originally brought to the United States?

The common House Sparrow, Passer domesticus, is one of the few birds not protected under federal law in North America, because it's considered a non-native species. However, it currently lives in ...
6
votes
1answer
470 views

Were elk solely plains animals before the Europeans came?

Someone was telling me that elk were solely plains animals before they were driven to the Rocky Mountains. They mentioned the account of Lewis and Clark and that they said there were no elk in the ...
4
votes
1answer
146 views

When did semiautomatic hunting rifles become commonly used in the United States?

My understanding (possibly wrong) is that the use of semiautomatic hunting rifles is fairly recent. I recently encountered someone online who claimed that in the United States even in the 1970s it ...
12
votes
1answer
831 views

How did Viking era hikers carry their gear and provisions?

I'm interested in how Viking era1) hikers carried their gear and provisions while out and about on foot. My focus here would be longer walks in civilian life, e.g. to get from farm A to farm B. I.e. ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did wetting down canvas sails increase the speed of a sailing ship?

In some of the Horatio Hornblower novels, when they want to get the last bit of speed out of a sailing ship, the crew will wet the sails down in order to go faster. For a real example consider, ...
5
votes
1answer
153 views

Climbing before 1950: photography book/database

I am looking for a book or digital database of rock climbing pictures from before 1950. I tried to search online, but, except for a few pictures, I didn't have much luck. Also, the name of the ...
3
votes
2answers
191 views

Can a rope&bucket used to gather water from a well be kept outside, tied to this well, or does it have to be kept inside?

Is it feasible to tie the rope and bucket to the well and therefore keep it outside or do the rope and bucket have to be kept inside to protect them from harmful weather? Or does the well, bucket and ...
-3
votes
1answer
402 views

What accounts for the predominance of Kendall Mint Cake over York Peppermint Pattie in mountaineering expeditions?

I have eagerly consumed many accounts of early mountaineering expeditions in which the mountaineers always eagerly consumed Kendal Mint Cake (KMC). I got the impression that they would have found it ...
5
votes
1answer
238 views

Why are large/pear shaped locking carabiners called HMS carabiners?

Carabiners like this one, Image Source are called HMS carabiners. Why are they called that and what does HMS stand for?
11
votes
2answers
374 views

Is this rock I found on the Toiyabe Crest Trail an arrowhead?

I found this arrowhead-shaped rock on the Toiyabe Crest trail in Nevada, USA. I'm wondering if it actually is an arrowhead. It's about 1.5 inches long. The reasons that I think it could be is that it'...
3
votes
1answer
262 views

Why did they try so hard to bring the turkey to Europe?

According to Wikipedia (German Wikipedia - Truthuhn), there were several attempts to domicile turkeys in Europe since 1732. All of them were not successful at all. Still they kept on trying until 1993!...
9
votes
2answers
258 views

When, how and by whom was sport climbing invented?

A comment: One little thing that I understand differently: Sport climbing did not evolve from trad climbing (at least not in the modern sense), but more of artificial climbing. Using gear for ...
3
votes
1answer
241 views

Sailing from the Wash, UK to France during World War II.

Would it have been possible to sail a small boat from The Wash, Norfolk, UK to Dunkirk in WWII? Could it be done in one go? If not, where would you stop en route?
1
vote
0answers
90 views

What were the original trail signs on the Toiyabe Crest Trail?

This summer I did the Toiyabe Crest Trail and noticed that there are three different kinds of trail signs: Cheap plastic triangular ones that say Toiyabe Crest National Recreation Trail Square posts ...
7
votes
1answer
589 views

What is the history of the Duckbill rock formation in Oregon?

During an internet search for fun places to go in the Western United States, I came across a number of articles about an unusual rock formation in Oregon called Duckbill. It was called iconic, ...
9
votes
2answers
268 views

What footwear did mountaineers wear in the 19th century?

I'm particularly curious about their footwear.
13
votes
0answers
278 views

Tahoma Creek suspension bridge history

One of my more memorable hiking experiences came on the Wonderland Trail in the summer of 1994. The trail is about 93 miles (150 kilometers) long. It's in the Mount Rainier State Park which is located ...
9
votes
1answer
388 views

What climbs at Tahquitz were the original definitions of YDS class 5 grades?

From what I understand of the history, Yosemite Decimal System (YDS) grades came about when class 5 in the preexisting system was subdivided into 5.0 through 5.9. This was done by Chuck Wilts, Royal ...
12
votes
2answers
239 views

How did cartographers map out shores before modern times?

I was down at high rock lake N.C. and I was making a little map of the shore lines in my kayak, or at least going to. I ran into a problem, I could not judge the distance from the last mark I made to ...
9
votes
1answer
179 views

First ascents by Edward Whymper

Edward Whymper is most known for his sweeping ascent of the Matterhorn 150 years ago. You can read about the competition with J.A. Carrel and the struggle to find a path to the top in the famous book ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

John Muir's Gear List

What gear did John Muir actually take on long trips? I live in California these days, and around here we revere John Muir as a legend of the outdoors. But the legend seems larger than is possible. ...