Questions tagged [united-states]

Questions specific to the United States

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66
votes
9answers
16k views

Etiquette of playing musical instruments on popular hikes

I enjoy hiking, but I'm not very well-versed with the general expectations other people have about noise, especially serious hikers. I generally do trails that take between 3-6 hours, usually up hills/...
51
votes
12answers
17k views

Is there an organization for adults to learn outdoor skills with their kids?

I had to tie down a tree last night since recent storms broke the guy lines I had placed when I planted it, and I used a tautline knot how-to I found online to tie it, since I was never a Scout. After ...
35
votes
6answers
7k views

What is the responsible way to sell a firearm?

I am moving to a different state soon. In order to make the move easier I have decided to sell some of my firearms. I live in a state that doesn't have universal background checks, unfortunately. ...
26
votes
5answers
34k views

What's the most remote place in the contiguous US?

The United States is a very developed place. Sometimes this can prove to be challenging when trying to find a place to get away from everything, especially east of the Mississippi where I reside. I am ...
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 ...
25
votes
1answer
2k views

Is the Park Service continuing its case to re-rename Yosemite Park's historic landmarks?

I have often checked into the Ahwahnee in Yosemite Valley after emerging, filthy and undernourished, from the backcounty. A hot shower in one of the cottages, an Ahwahnee Burger, a glass (or three) ...
24
votes
12answers
13k views

What kind of mementos, if any, am I allowed to collect from State and National parks in small quantities?

What kind of mementos am I allowed to collect from State and National parks in small quantities, if any? I am especially wondering about: pebbles, shells, sea-urchin-skeletons, sand-dollar-skeletons (...
22
votes
2answers
563 views

When do I need a permit to go into nature?

When on holiday, I want to get as far as possible from civilisation — the furthest I've come is seeing only a single cairn during a full day. In Scandinavia, hiking and camping is permitted unless ...
20
votes
3answers
10k views

When is it OK to hike off trail?

I visited my local forest preserve recently (in a suburb of Chicago, IL) and found new signs every mile or so that read something to the effect of Please stay on the trail so as to preserve the ...
20
votes
2answers
273 views

Cascades mountaineering school

I'm looking for a mountaineering school on Rainier or elsewhere in the Cascades that provides sufficient training to climb Elbrus. Glacier travel, crampon use, crevasse rescue, and self arrest are the ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

What is considered a water source, and why is it recommended to camp so far from them?

I've read one one of the US national forest or wilderness websites that when camping in the wild, one should camp at a certain distance from a water source. Should I understand a water source to mean ...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

How long does it take for trash to become a historical artifact (in the United States)?

How long does it take for trash like beer cans, old mattress springs, or glass bottles to go from trash and need to be packed out to being a historic artifact with archaeological significance?
19
votes
1answer
2k views

What is this blob found at the edge of a puddle on a forest logging road?

Exploring the woods of the Adirondack Mountains, this gelatinous blob was found near the edge of standing water on a logging road. The entire length of this thing is probably just under 10 inches and ...
17
votes
3answers
7k views

Which animals would kill porcupines?

I found the remains a of a porcupine in the woods, with nothing left but quills and hair. As porcupines are pretty well protected by their quills, what types of animals would be capable of killing ...
17
votes
4answers
12k views

What are the consequences of — illegally — using a 446 MHz PMR in the North American wilderness?

I've recently bought a pair of PMR446 walkie-talkies with some 5–10 km range, operating at 446 MHz. We've happily used them in Sareks Nationalpark in Sweden. Now I'm moving to Canada, where this ...
17
votes
4answers
6k views

How can I contact emergency services in the US via the internet?

At this very moment, I'm out in the woods typing away on my laptop. I have an internet connection, and my phone can use that connection to send text messages, but I have no voice phone service. How ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

What alternative topographic maps exist in the USA?

This answer recommends topographic maps as downloadable from the USGS. A comment holds that those are definitely the best thing for the US. An except for the San Joaquin river near Mammoth Lakes ...
16
votes
4answers
6k views

Camping in (US) national forests

Is it legal to camp in unmarked areas in United States national forests? I'm specifically thinking of Utah/Idaho if state makes any difference.
15
votes
4answers
5k views

Why are there separate seasons for archery and firearm hunting for deer?

I was reading up on Pennsylvania's hunting regulations and noticed there are different seasons for the hunting of deer with bow-and-arrow and firearms. Why is this? I can understand hunting seasons ...
15
votes
4answers
5k views

Legality of “semi-permanent” wooden structures in state and national forests in the US

Imagine the following situation: A group of friends found a remote spot in a state or national forest that they really like. They keep returning to the place quite often, lately there are at least ...
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
441 views

Optimal timing/routing for a year visiting US national parks?

There are 59 National parks in the US. Of which 49 are in the Continental US (lower 48). There are 52 weeks in a year. I would like to take a year and spend about a week camping and exploring each ...
14
votes
2answers
147 views

Legal liabilities of non-profit guiding in adventure sports

I am a whitewater kayaker and I often show people down rivers I'm familiar with on their first time down. I take special joy in doing so and consider it community service. The only compensation is ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Hiking popularity in North America vs. Europe

From browsing this site, I have learned that US national parks and wilderness areas have restrictions and that campsites need reservations, sometimes months in advance. I've never seen anything like ...
13
votes
6answers
271 views

Resources for finding public hunting land

Are there any good resources out there for locating publicly available hunting land? UPDATE: I should have stated that I'm looking for land in the US. Also, I'm interested in any public land (...
13
votes
2answers
482 views

Why would archery season be either before or after rifle season?

Are there any reasons, other than tradition, to have archery season either before or after rifle season? I was chatting with a couple of Stack Exchangers when one of them remarked that in ...
13
votes
3answers
7k views

What sleeping bags are needed for a northbound thru-hike of the AT

If you were attempting a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, starting roughly now (being mid to late March) and going northbound, how many sleeping bags and of what types would you need, assuming cost ...
13
votes
1answer
262 views

What are these strange insect nodules on my front porch?

Twice this summer, I've found some little brown domes / nodules attached to the window sills or the porch railing. They seem to be made by some sort of insect and I think when I removed them, there ...
13
votes
0answers
289 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

What are the laws for backcountry (“dispersed”) camping in the US?

I'm planning on taking a trip across the US and was planning on doing as much dispersed camping (a.k.a.backcountry camping) as possible. I wanted to educate myself on where it is legal to go off trail ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Can a van be used for sleeping in National Park campgrounds in the US?

If I have an odyssey van with some minor changes (bed, cabinets, etc.) can I sleep in that in the same way I'd sleep in an RV at National Park Campgrounds (in the USA)? I.e., I know that many say "...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What are these bulges? Are they harming the tree?

My husband's brother came upon this tree while hiking up Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire, USA. This was his first time seeing bulges, for lack of a better word, like these. Knowing that I'm intrigued ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What breed is this very large, black, turtle/tortoise found in the Northeast United States?

My husband found this very large turtle (or tortoise) crossing a road from an industrial park towards a wooded area. It was in June, in Massachusetts, USA, at 8:00 in the evening. He didn't touch it, ...
12
votes
2answers
86 views

Avalanche forecast in North America?

In Switzerland, there is a avalanche forecast twice a day, at least during the winter months. This forecast reports about potential risky part regions, especially avalanche-prone expositions, and ...
12
votes
3answers
418 views

How to get weather information in the backcountry

In many areas of the U.S. it is very difficult to get any weather forecast: Radio broadcasts generally don't have useful weather reports NOAA weather radio is very useful, but large areas are not ...
12
votes
5answers
406 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
228 views

How do I find a less crowded trail in the southeast United States on the 4th of July?

In addition to "longest walk possible" are there any good guidelines for finding trails/areas in the southeast that are typically less crowded on holidays such as the 4th of July? State parks here in ...
12
votes
1answer
799 views

Where do I document first ascents?

I see a lot of people on social media posting their first ascents. These people are usually professional climbers climbing new super hard routes and as a result their first ascents blow up on social ...
12
votes
2answers
584 views

US Military's standards for how long a soldier can go without food?

I've been trying to find the US Military's guidelines or standard for how long a soldier can go without food, for any branch of the military. Is there any such recommendation, as to how long a man ...
12
votes
1answer
351 views

Is dirty birdbath water worse than none at all?

For the last few months, we've experienced long spells of drought and heat in Massachusetts, on the East Coast of the United States. At least thirty birds and three generations of squirrels and ...
12
votes
1answer
635 views

What is this really tall grass-like plant?

Where: North-central Massachusetts When: 8 April 2017 Whenever I'm out and about, I look at wetlands as I go by to see their general state, how much the invasive phragmites is pushing out the native ...
11
votes
3answers
306 views

Is a national forest always a forest?

This question may seem obvious — but is a national forest always a forest? In Norway, statskog — which quite literally means national forest — is a state agency owning forest land, but also vast ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the chances to catch rodent-transmitted illnesses while hiking?

Small warning: This question comes from a germophobe point of view, so please keep this in mind while giving an answer. I love hiking, but I'm worried of what kind of germs (read virus, bacteria and ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What are these round, spiny, puffy, green things from the ocean in Northeast United States?

Last October, we were on a road above a beach in a small town near Bar Harbor, Maine, in the Northeast United States. We looked down and saw two fishermen loading their trucks with piles of something ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What is involved in taking a canoe through a lock on a major US River?

Most of the locks on rivers in the United States are built for commercial traffic. like barges to navigate the river system. I know they exist and I have seen them on television, but that is all I ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

US vs central European bear advice

I was just reading through a couple of posts here on outdoors.SE and saw some advice which was a lot more strict than I am used to. For example, in the country where I hike (central europe, brown ...
11
votes
2answers
742 views

How rare is resistance to poison ivy, and does resistance increase?

How rare is it to be resistant to poison ivy, or become resistant. I ask only because when younger I was very allergic, but now I can pull it out with bare hands or roll around in it without even an ...
11
votes
2answers
163 views

How to get weather forecasts at Yellowstone?

We'll be camping at Yellowstone for a week. What solutions are there to get weather forecasts? I am aware of: NOAA weather radio: would prefer to avoid if there's anything better because it's bulky ...
11
votes
1answer
297 views

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Monument in the United States?

In the United States, we have areas designated as National Parks, and areas designated as National Monuments. What are the fundamental differences between the two?
11
votes
2answers
139 views

Indicators of good Atlantic Ocean surf conditions

When researching surf conditions, what weather cycles indicate good overall conditions for a North American Atlantic Ocean-based break?