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13
votes
2answers
8k views

Will bug repellent repel deer?

I was wondering whether the deer would be able to smell bug repellent if you are wearing some while out hunting. Is there a specific type of bug repellent that can be used that is less likely to make ...
17
votes
5answers
14k 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 ...
19
votes
8answers
1k views

What proven alternatives are there to DEET?

DEET is an effective mosquito deterrent, but there are many reasons it cannot be used. Per the CDC, cuts, eczema, and being a kid are all problems if you want to use DEET. What proven alternatives ...
50
votes
12answers
42k views

How to deal with condensation in a tent?

I often camp in rainy or very humid weather, and I often have condensation forming inside my tent. What can I do to minimize this? My tent has vents, but I’m not sure how to make the best use of ...
9
votes
3answers
210 views

How to find objective reviews of outdoors gear? [closed]

It is often difficult to know what to look for when shopping for outdoors gear. Is there some magazine, website, or other resource that does Consumer Reports style objective evaluation of outdoors ...
11
votes
1answer
425 views

For a DIY wood burning stove, is there a significant advantage of the double wall “bushbuddy” style?

I made myself a simple wood burning stove from a small tomato can, and I am pretty happy with it, but now I am wondering if I would get significantly increased performance by making a more complicated ...
9
votes
1answer
305 views

What levels of 'waterproofness' and 'breathability' should I be looking for in a ski jacket?

When looking at items like jackets and ski trousers and other clothing, I see stats on the garments similar to the following: Waterproofness - 10000mm Breathability - 15000g/m Lining - 100% Polyester ...
10
votes
2answers
906 views

What are the differences between high-end sleeping pads and cut to fit foam mats?

I'm pretty tall and I find that to purchase a brand-name sleeping pad means shelling out serious $$$. To solve this I have always just purchased a roll of foam padding that I could cut to make sure it ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

How should I patch holes in a waterproof/breathable jacket?

I have a waterproof/breathable rain jacket which has a few holes in it (caused by a minor bicycle crash, in case that information is relevant). They are not too big, about 5mm across. How can I patch ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the proper tension for a tent line

When setting up a tent and staking it out, what is the proper tension for the lines? I generally just make them arbitrarily tight, but have no idea how that would perform in high wind or other ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the advantages / disadvantages of a rock climbing hat made from hard plastic to one made out of carbon fiber?

What are the advantages / disadvantages of a rock climbing hat made from hard plastic to one made out of carbon fibre? I have done a Google search already, but wanted some pointers with people who ...
13
votes
3answers
467 views

Should I always take a hard hat if I go scrambling?

Should I always take a hard hat if I go scrambling? Scrambling (also known as alpine scrambling) is a method of ascending rocky faces and ridges Quite often when I'm out on ridges in the UK, I ...
10
votes
2answers
482 views

Is there a functional safety difference in types of helmets

From a pure safety standpoint is there a functional difference between a climbing helmet, cycling helmet, etc? Is a cycling helmet actually the safest solution for a cyclist, or would the greater ...
10
votes
2answers
118 views

How to store fuel tablets for travel

I'm looking into using some fuel tablets for cooking with a stove like this esbit as a backup/emergency stove when rafting. However I have heard that the fuel can easily foul food, clothing, etc. ...
11
votes
2answers
256 views

Search and rescue costs in Iceland?

I'm about to take part in a Ski Tour across Iceland in a few weeks time, I've just noticed by travel insurance doesn't include Search & Rescue costs, here in the UK mountain search and rescue is ...
24
votes
7answers
5k views

Are Ice grips worth buying?

The cold weather has finally hit the UK and once again I am tempted to buy something like Yaktrax Pro Ice Grips. For those of you not in the UK we get some snow each year (enough to make everything ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How is ATA measured on a compound bow?

I know that ATA is axle to axle, but is that when the bow is drawn and the limbs are flexed or when the limbs are relaxed and the compound bow is undrawn?
23
votes
5answers
21k views

What is a buff?

What is a "buff", how is it used, and why should I have one? I've seen them advocated in numerous places, but I'm not sure why a tube of cloth is better around my neck than a scarf, etc.
7
votes
4answers
8k views

Do reusable “hand coolers” exist?

I often carry around a couple of reusable hand warmers when hiking or just around the outdoors when it's cold. They don't take up much space, they're easy to reuse (just boil) and they provide a fair ...
7
votes
1answer
316 views

Are there performance differences between lead and lead-free ammunition?

According to this article (full disclosure: I wrote it) lead-based ammunition is a well-known threat to Condors and other scavengers, and may have negative effects on humans who unknowingly ingest ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How do you punch out toes in ski-touring boots?

I've got a pair of custom moulded Scarpa Spirit 4 touring boots where the big toes are bit too tight (I've lost the nails after a day or two of touring more than once). What is the proper technique ...
16
votes
7answers
5k views

How to get started skiing?

I've never skied before, but I'd like to try it out. What sort of gear should I buy (as opposed to renting) before hand? What would be a good strategy to learn to ski?
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Does Fjällräven produce serious outdoors gear, or is it just trendy? [closed]

I noticed that there is a lot of (quite expensive) Fjällräven outdoors gear for sale here in Germany and am curious whether this is a brand worth looking into, or whether their products are more ...
27
votes
7answers
2k views

What clothing would be appropriate for hiking in -18°C with up to 30 km/hr wind?

I recently moved to Germany and am planning to do a hike in the Harz mountains. The weather is expected to be around -18°C. Most of the trail will be sheltered by forest, but the mountaintop is ...
6
votes
1answer
15k views

What does IBO on a bow mean and how is it calculated?

When I look at bow manufacturers' websites, I see bows are rated with an IBO for their arrows speed. I was wondering what IBO stands for and how it is calculated.
14
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the vitamin considerations for extended backpacking

For short hikes you can generally ignore nutritional concerns, because you don't generally become malnourished in two days. However, for a long trip like the Appalachian Trail or other long hikes (at ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Are there any reliable and/or easy to use “rule of thumb” guides for windchill calculations?

Weather forecasters often give two tempertures, the actual air temperature and a 'feel like' temperture that takes into account wind speed. Is there a rule of thumb for calcualting the 'feels like ...
26
votes
5answers
2k views

What are some ways/devices that I can use to charge my batteries in the wilderness?

When backpacking, I might carry a MagLite flashlight or something similar that requires two AA batteries. I tend to favor rechargeable batteries for a variety of reasons. How can I recharge my ...
19
votes
3answers
5k views

Should a hiker be concerned about wolves in the back-country?

In this question, it was asked whether bear-spray was effective against other animals, such as wolves. I know the old adage that "there has never been record of a healthy wolf attacking an adult" is ...
32
votes
4answers
3k views

Handling feminine hygiene on multiple-month treks?

How can I handle multiple months of menstrual cycles on a long trek like the Appalachian Trail? I am asking about how to handle the mess. Here are my personal considerations: Using hormonal birth ...
29
votes
4answers
2k views

First time camping, need advice

Me and my wife have never done camping before and always wanted to do it. This time we are planning to go for a small camping trip but have no idea how to prepare for it. We like to hike and are ...
7
votes
3answers
335 views

Are Personal Flotation Devices a good idea when rafting?

Are Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs/life vests/life jackets) good for rafting? It may seem like a silly question, but I have heard several times now that they increase your danger due to the risk of ...
22
votes
5answers
38k views

Can you eat pine needles in an emergency?

If you are in a survival situation in the woods and really hungry, and you are unsure about which plants are edible, can you eat pine needles?
26
votes
6answers
1k views

How to cheaply introduce someone to backpacking

I meet a fair number people who would like to try backpacking. Unfortunately the initial cost seems to be pretty high. Even an overnight requires a lot of big ticket gear (tent, sleeping bag, etc). ...
22
votes
5answers
875 views

Is there a protective substance, like an epoxy, I can use on my feet so I can backpack barefoot?

Is there something that works like epoxy or natural tar that I can apply to the most delicate impact points of my feet (balls and heel) that will form a very durable bond, and let me backpack (i.e. ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

How much fuel to carry for melting snow?

I'm using a multi fuel stove (MSR Dragonfly) for a 10 day ski tour, how much fuel should I allow to provide sufficient water for cooking and drinking. Meals will be mostly dehydrated just-add-water ...
29
votes
4answers
19k views

Do iodine water treatment tablets have negative effects?

I've heard that iodine water treatment tablets can have negative side effects. Is this true? If so, what are some healthier alternatives?
6
votes
2answers
78 views

Sky map for tropics

I like to use rotational sky maps to use in the field, but I have this only for latitude 50°N. I'd like to have a similar sky map for tropics: 10°N. Do you know where I can order one?
21
votes
2answers
10k views

Raw meat on hikes

When backpacking we often carry raw beef which we have salted and frozen, usually cut into strips that can be easily cooked through. I'm confident that this is good for 24 hours, and I know that meat ...
14
votes
2answers
550 views

How can I make/improvise a rope on a trip?

If I'm out in the wilderness and find myself in need of a rope I don't have with me (forgotten, not enough, another snapped), how can I make one? Are there any natural ropes I could use with minimal ...
53
votes
2answers
141k views

How to avoid exploding rocks

It seems that every tutorial I read and show I watch shows people using rocks for everything from a cooking surface to boiling water. However, I have had rocks crack in half on me, and I've always ...
13
votes
2answers
184 views

Is there a tool that can calculate the time of sunrise?

From time to time I enjoy taking hikes in the mountains to see a beautiful sunrise and sunset. When doing this, I always guess when the sun will rise that day and then I plan my tour accordingly. But ...
20
votes
2answers
10k views

What are some natural glues found in North American nature?

I'm curious how one could get/make some glue when in the wilderness. How did the Native Americans do it?
39
votes
6answers
3k views

Backpacking or hiking in areas open to hunting

A lot of areas that are good for hiking or backpacking are also popular hunting grounds. I am an avid backpacker and hiker, but I do not know much about hunting. How do I find out what is the ...
26
votes
8answers
29k views

How to keep water cold in hot weather?

When doing outdoor sports like hiking or biking I'll always take a lot of cold water with me. I love to drink cold water and I feel more refreshed compared to drinking warm or not-so-cold water. But ...
40
votes
13answers
75k views

How to harden feet to avoid blisters on long hikes

I've enjoyed hiking my entire life but I have one huge problem. The skin on my feet is extremely soft and sensitive. I wear good wool socks with properly fitting boots and change socks during long ...
42
votes
13answers
19k views

How to carry water in freezing temperatures?

When backpacking in freezing weather, water in a canteen often turns to ice. I am looking for a canteen that Will not burst when the volume of water increases due to freezing Will make it possible, ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

What kind of canteen material will have the least effect on the taste of water?

I want to buy a canteen, and I have choice between aluminum, stainless steel, enamel and various kinds of plastic. I had canteens before that made any liquid taste horrible after just few hours. I ...
54
votes
7answers
36k views

Should you pop a blister?

When I'm home running or on a day hike, I prefer to pierce the skin as soon as a blister forms and drain all fluid from a blister to reduce the pain and further irritation/inflammation. In this case, ...
32
votes
6answers
7k views

How bad do circumstances need to be before activating a PLB?

Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) can be carried during outdoor activities to use in case of an emergency. But are there any guidelines on what exactly constitutes an "emergency"? For example, what ...

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