All Questions

106
votes
16answers
46k views

What is the most efficient food to take a for a 12-15 day hiking trip?

Last summer I spent 15 days hiking with my boyfriend, in Sarek National Park, where there are no places to restock with more food. The food issue was a major part of the pre-planning, as weight was ...
97
votes
11answers
37k views

Is it warmer to sleep naked in a sleeping bag?

When camping in cold weather, some people say it is actually warmer to sleep naked than to sleep with clothes on. Is that true, or is it better to leave warm clothes on while in the bag?
96
votes
4answers
12k views

Why would one aim off when navigating with a map and compass?

Sometimes while navigating with map and compass, the advice is to aim off i.e. to aim either to the left or right of the intended destination, as opposed to straight for it. Why and when would one ...
93
votes
14answers
39k views

My car broke down in Siberia. What do I do now?

Some time ago, while driving on a snowy road, someone told me a kind of horror story. It involved a guy who was driving alone with an old car on an overland road in Siberia during winter, so the ...
78
votes
7answers
23k views

Is it actually useful to ration food?

Is it actually useful to ration food? What is the difference between eating a little bit of food at an interval and eating enough to be full at once? I'm getting the same amount of calories/...
74
votes
9answers
28k views

Should I run if I see wild dogs?

Wild dogs appear to be dangerous. Should I be running if I come across one, or should I stand fast and defend myself? They are a social animal, so they will be in a pack almost all the times.
72
votes
22answers
62k views

Where in Europe is wild camping permitted?

Is there any resource (website, book, etc) that lists all European countries, and the state of free camping? Specifically, I want to see in which European countries I'm not fined when I place my tent ...
72
votes
18answers
55k views

Which will keep my food colder longer, draining the melted ice water, or leaving it in the cooler?

Say you have a cooler of frozen food and ice to last for several days or weeks of river-trip / car camping. To keep things as a cold as possible for as long as possible, is it better to leave the cold ...
71
votes
8answers
22k views

What's wrong with swimming out far?

I swim decently - no pro but I can do a couple of km, resting once in awhile. Many times, both in day and night, in the warm, summer, Mediterranean sea, friends have cautioned me to "not swim so far ...
70
votes
12answers
21k views

I've just been bitten by a rattlesnake; how, exactly, do I “keep calm”?

My question is prompted by the answer of @WedaPashi to this question, which is about rattlesnakes, specifically: • Remain calm and first move beyond the snake's striking distance. • Keep calm, ...
69
votes
1answer
2k views

Commuting by canoe

I live at a lake with my company in sight just 2 km (~1.2 miles) away. To get to work I have to cross the city, which is not only expensive in terms of money, it also costs a lot of nerves. That's why ...
68
votes
10answers
14k views

When hiking, why is the right of way given to people going up?

When you're in a path and you encounter another group going the other way, it is said that whoever is going down should stand aside to let those going up pass through. Why?
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/...
63
votes
8answers
23k views

What are good knots to know for camping and backpacking?

I once tied a bear bag with a haphazard bundle of knots, and despite being seemingly impossible to untie, it came loose when lowering the bear bag and nearly smoked my friend standing under it. What ...
62
votes
21answers
22k views

How do you take field notes at below 0 °C, without freezing fingers?

I'm taking inventory on my tree farm. The temperature today is -7 °C with a light breeze. Windchill of -10 °C. I figure that there are lots of people who have this problem. Writing a journal, ...
62
votes
5answers
4k views

What are essential items in an emergency kit?

What are must-have items in an emergency kit for a multi-day hiking trip?
60
votes
15answers
20k views

How can I take keys with me while swimming?

I was recently crossing a lake that is commonly used for swimming and recreation. When I was swimming back to the shore, I was constantly nervous that my bag would be stolen, along with the keys in it....
60
votes
10answers
20k views

How does water depth affect swimming safety? Why do signs, especially in the UK, say “DANGER: deep water”?

In many UK lakes, I see signs prohibiting swimming with the explanation DANGER: Deep water. This link contains an example. I don't understand those signs. Why is a 30 metre deep lake more dangerous ...
60
votes
5answers
27k views

Can I safely eat grass?

A recent comment Cows eat grass, doesn't mean you can! got me thinking. Corn, wheat, rice, etc are all grass that we eat regularly. I am not sure the human race could survive on the planet ...
59
votes
13answers
292k views

How do you determine how long a hike will take?

Is there a general rule of thumb for converting miles to hours when looking at a potential hike? For example, how long does it take an average person walking at an average speed to walk a mile on the ...
58
votes
15answers
13k views

What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying winter camping for the first time?

I would like to try winter camping. What are some common mistakes first-timers make when trying to camp in the cold? I would be camping in temperatures between 0 - 32 Fahrenheit (-17 - 0 degrees ...
58
votes
11answers
6k views

How should I remove a tick?

If I find a tick on myself or a friend, what is the best way of removing it? I've heard some people say that singeing the tick with a match makes the tick detach and fall off. However I've also ...
58
votes
12answers
27k views

Is it warmer to sleep in a car or in a tent?

Is it warmer to sleep in a car or in a tent? Suppose that our old internal-combustion-engine car breaks down in a remote place at -30°C, -40°C, or -50°C, and the engine won't run at all. Suppose we'...
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 ...
58
votes
6answers
11k views

How should I prepare my body for prolonged exposure to heat?

Today I hiked for about 4 hours, and I ended up with sun stroke (terrible headache, trembling etc.). The heat was moderate (about 30°C, 86°F in shade), and the way was half in forest. I had a baseball ...
57
votes
8answers
53k views

Does eating snow help dehydration?

I have heard many people say that eating snow actually can increase dehydration since the energy required for the body to heat up and melt the snow is greater than the benefits received from the ...
55
votes
10answers
12k views

What is the safest way to purify water?

There are a number of ways to purify water, off the top of my head we have filters, iodine, and boiling. Clearly each has some advantage/disadvantage (iodine tastes terrible, boiling takes time). ...
55
votes
11answers
37k views

A list of suitable foods for a long hike

In my opinion, the priorities when selecting trekking food are: maximizing calories per kilogram not easily spoilable, especially in hot weather reasonably priced variety throughout the trip I'm ...
55
votes
7answers
9k views

Is it dangerous to rope together on an ascent of hard packed ice?

This image has recently come under considerable criticism on social media for dangerous mountaineering practices. The location is unknown as the qualified mountain guide observer wanted to maintain ...
55
votes
3answers
182k views

How long does water need to be boiled for to kill all bacteria / viruses?

This has come up a few times in a few other questions, but I've heard varying opinions from different people in a number of answers and comments on here - some saying that just boiling for a moment is ...
54
votes
10answers
17k views

What are the dangers of walking barefoot in towns/cities?

I've walked barefoot practically all summer for every summer I can remember. However now that I'm a teenager my Mum is saying I need to wear shoes because of glass, needles, worms and diseases. I have ...
54
votes
9answers
11k views

Are there any advantages while backpacking to hike during the night and sleep during the day?

This is something I have pondered on multiple occasions, when the light of the full moon and the altitude induced insomnia kept me awake long into the night. I realize that this would be an unusual ...
54
votes
7answers
35k 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, ...
53
votes
7answers
17k views

Does cotton really kill?

For outdoor hiking, backpacking or camping trips, I always hear people saying Cotton Kills. That means don't wear cotton anywhere (underwear, shirts, pants), and no cotton blends. Usually it's given ...
53
votes
5answers
13k views

Is ankle support a myth?

There seems to be an ongoing holy war with "boots people" vs "shoes people". A comment on this question caught my eye: ...Ankle support is a myth for most folks.... Now I've always worn boots and ...
52
votes
8answers
10k views

How can I get a GPS location for this tree on a distant hillside?

I want to hike to the base of this tree (circled in red in the photo). That's a hillside full of full grown trees beneath it, and it looks like over a full tree's height sticking up above the other ...
52
votes
4answers
32k views

Is drinking urine safe?

We've all heard stories about how people saved their lives by drinking their urine. Is drinking urine safe when there are no other water sources available? Can I filter it with a water purifier?
51
votes
12answers
16k 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 ...
51
votes
7answers
14k views

Why is it prohibited to sleep in a tent?

In many European countries like Germany, it's prohibited to sleep in the great outdoors with a tent. While I understand that downright camps are a problem due to littering, fire etc., I don't get why ...
51
votes
1answer
8k views

Why would a seal be flinging an octopus around above the water and then slapping a kayaker with it?

There is a video of a seal sucker punching a kayaker with an octopus, Source I suppose the seal wasn't exactly trying to hit the kayaker, but why would it be flinging the octopus around above the ...
50
votes
6answers
8k views

I never adjust for true north. Is this bad practice?

This question (Calculate true north with a compass and map) got me thinking. I rarely bother adjusting compass bearings for magnetic north. Is this bad? I understand the theory but I just rarely ...
50
votes
7answers
13k views

How to safely rescue someone drowning as an untrained bystander?

Motivated by a comment thread in this question here. As far as I know the consensus basically boils down to: It is very hard rescuing someone who is drowning. It can be very dangerous rescuing a ...
50
votes
12answers
41k 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 ...
50
votes
2answers
133k 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 ...
49
votes
11answers
15k views

How do I make people not be afraid of me and my dogs?

I like to hike, and I have two large dogs (German Shepherd, Presa Canario). After a long hike I look reasonably homeless (long hair, unshaven, muddy). Combined with two large, potentially dangerous ...
49
votes
10answers
17k views

I am lost, I found a trail, which way do I go?

If I am lost in the woods, and I find a trail or a road, how do I decide which way to go? Autumn Veatch was 16 years old in 2015, when her grandparents small plane crashed in the North Cascade ...
48
votes
8answers
10k views

When should I avoid geotagging?

I did not use to think of geotagging photos as a leave-no-trace issue. In fact, one slogan says leave only footprints, take only photos. Yet the Leave No Trace Social Media Guidance states: Tag ...
48
votes
3answers
18k views

Is it possible to rappel with only a rope? (No harness, Prusik cord, or other gear)

There may be an emergency situation where I find myself needing to lower myself but with no or damaged equipment. Assuming I only have a rope, can I lower myself to safe ground?
47
votes
10answers
5k views

How can you navigate without a compass or GPS

What are the ways you can navigate when you don't have a compass or a GPS? For example how can you tell which way is north.
47
votes
5answers
23k views

Can I eat the rabbits my cat catches?

My cat gets a rabbit every other week or so. He usually eats the whole thing himself but I was wondering if I should try and cook it for myself. Is there even enough meat on them to make it worth the ...

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