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25
votes
2answers
3k views

How to carry a bicycle in a canoe?

I am contemplating a river journey from Pittsburgh to the Gulf of Mexico. 981 miles on the Ohio river and 2340 miles on the Mississippi River. The current plan calls for completing the journey in 1 ...
58
votes
10answers
13k 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). ...
31
votes
6answers
4k views

What precautions should I take to protect myself and my camp from bears?

Most of my prior hiking experience has been in areas that are not home to bears, so what precautions should I take to protect my camp (and myself as I am hiking) from bears. I am aware of a couple of ...
28
votes
6answers
4k views

Are trekking poles proven to be helpful?

I covered quite a lot of ground, but approaching 36 my knees are starting to give me troubles. Should I expect trekking poles to restore my previous stamina and walking durability? Or are they just ...
15
votes
1answer
580 views

What are the principles of Leave no Trace?

What are the fundamental principles of leaving no trace in the backcountry?
29
votes
6answers
13k views

Do you need to purify all mountain water sources

I was just reading this question What is the safest way to purify water? Now I walk a lot in Snowdonia in North Wales and on occasion I drink from mountain streams. I've even camped next to mountain ...
74
votes
22answers
63k 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 ...
54
votes
7answers
18k 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 ...
29
votes
5answers
15k views

How to tow a canoe with a bicycle?

There are a few pictures on the internet of people towing canoes with bicycles, there are even complete solutions that you can purchase for the task. But what is really involved, what are the ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

How do you decide on a climbing grade?

Rock climbing and bouldering tours are classified e.g. Sierra from 5.2 to 5.15c or Fontainbleau 2 to 8c+. As you advance in your climbing experience you achieve higher grades and learn new movements,...
53
votes
2answers
142k 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
8k views

Ideal and Minimal Rope Diameter for Lead Climbing

I'm thinking of a single rope that it's safe to take long lead falls, but also light to carry around. I weight 75 kg and I might climb with heavier partners (80-90 kg)
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the navigation considerations on the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Rivers between Ohiopyle State Park (PA) and Pittsburgh PA?

I want to travel by canoe from Ohiopyle State Park to Pittsburgh Pa on the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Rivers What are the navigation considerations? Also I will have a bike and trailer for the ...
56
votes
11answers
38k 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 ...
65
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?
35
votes
3answers
3k views

“Official” providers of topographic maps per country

If I want to go to some contry, with no specific region in mind yet, I often have trouble to get good topographical information for hiking beforehand. I usually find it rather difficult to discover ...
35
votes
1answer
38k views

How much sea water can I safely drink?

Anyone who has played in the ocean knows getting a little sea water in your mouth and swallowing it will not kill you. Seawater contains salt. When humans drink seawater, their cells are thus ...
14
votes
1answer
5k views

How do you compare between different rock climbing grades?

Different countries and rock climbing disiplines have different grading systems, for example the the British trad grade system (e.g. grade HVS 5(a)) and the US point grading system (e.g. 5.9) If I ...
27
votes
5answers
21k views

Are mittens warmer than gloves?

Given a mitten and a glove (made of the same materials, thickness, etc), is the mitten warmer than the glove? It seems to me that having all four fingers together in one area (vs separate fingers for ...
109
votes
17answers
50k 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 ...
31
votes
4answers
40k views

What are the different methods to purify water?

What methods can I use to purify water? And what's the difference between those several methods (safety, duration needed, ...)?
30
votes
2answers
3k views

If I cross paths with a bear, what should I do?

If I'm out hiking, and I come around a corner and stumble upon a bear, what's the best course of action to take to minimize the chance the bear will act aggressively? Do different types of bear (...
36
votes
4answers
7k views

How do I wash Gore-Tex clothing?

I have a bunch of dirty hard-shell pants and jackets. Are these safe to put in the washer and dryer? If not, how should I clean them?
37
votes
4answers
4k views

If I have to cross an icy, flowing river, what are some ways I can cross safely?

If I'm alone in a survival situation and I have to cross a very cold river that's still flowing, how should I accomplish this safely?
33
votes
7answers
39k views

How to light a fire with wet firewood?

There is a wide variety of pre-cut firewood available when camping. In my experience, even wood that's been kept covered is often very wet and can be difficult to light. What are some techniques for ...
33
votes
2answers
23k views

What does it mean to cross load a carabiner?

What does it mean to cross load a carabiner? I know it's bad, and not to do it, but I don't really know what exactly it is.
19
votes
6answers
863 views

What are some proven methods of training for week long backpacking trips at high altitude?

I'm going to Colorado to visit a friend and we will be going on a week long trek across a couple of 14'ners. I'm looking for some ways to help prepare my body for trip.
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Backup prusik for Abseiling: Where does it go?

When abseiling from an anchor during rock climbing, I like to use a backup prusik as a potential lifesaver in case I screw up. However, I have heard different advice on where to put it, both for ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the first aid precautions to be taken in case of a snake bite?

I'll be trekking through a dense monsoon forest which has a sizable population of king cobras and vipers. I'll be at least 5 hours away by walk to the nearest human settlement and another 1-2 hours by ...
13
votes
3answers
641 views

Navigational gear worldwide

Is there any difference in navigational equipment between the northern and southern hemisphere? We live in the northern hemisphere but will be emigrating to the southern in the next few weeks. We'll ...
56
votes
4answers
186k 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 ...
98
votes
12answers
39k 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?
47
votes
11answers
67k views

How to clean rock-climbing shoes?

I have never found a good answer to this one: How do you clean rock-climbing shoes, without ruining them? Let me be more specific. I have a pair of modern leather-and-fancy-rubber climbing shoes ...
21
votes
5answers
68k views

What do I do if a black bear is right outside my tent?

Even if I was to follow the advice of letting bears know I am in the area, keeping my cooking and anything that smells at least 100m from my camp & downwind, etc, suppose a bear finds my tent and ...
29
votes
5answers
2k views

Keeping warm in an emergency

When roaming the outdoors, it might happen that one finds oneself in a situation that is much, much colder than one planned for. What can one do in such an emergency, especially when it's so cold ...
26
votes
3answers
1k views

What do I need to look for in good, quality hiking boots?

My wife and I are going to buy some hiking boots as we've been using regular tennis shoes anytime we go on a hike. What are the things I need to keep in mind when looking for a good set of quality ...
22
votes
8answers
2k views

What do I do if I lose my belay plate?

The scenario My climbing partner and I are at the top of a pitch and we drop a belay plate to the ground. There is no safe descent, we were planning on rappelling down off safe anchors. What do we ...
38
votes
4answers
10k views

Things to keep away from climbing ropes

There are some no brainers like don't throw your climbing rope next to car batteries in the back of your car. The effect of bug sprays containing Deet seem to be controversial. I have also heard 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 ...
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 ...
26
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are people so worried about Giardia?

Everyone I have ever been camping with seems to have an unwritten rule never to drink from streams no matter how clear they might seem, for fear of Giardia. I have also heard people telling about ...
37
votes
12answers
38k views

What is the point of hiking boots, versus any comfortable walking shoes?

I've always used any old shoes for hiking. Are there any real benefits to using specially made boots?
25
votes
9answers
54k views

How To Quickly Warm A Tent

Some background links to Aravona's question here. Basically I am her other half and over the course of the night the tent was opened many times. As people will know opening a tent in the wee hours of ...
31
votes
4answers
7k views

How do I treat hot spots and blisters when I have no moleskin?

A few times I've been out walking or backpacking and have no moleskin with me. Sure enough, my boots start giving me blisters. How can I prevent or treat hotspots and blisters without using moleskin?...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

How do you boil water without a proper container?

Suppose you don't have a pot or any other fire proof container to boil water in, but you need to boil it for safe drinking water. How else can you boil the water?
14
votes
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
47k views

Which wildlife is it legal to hunt in the UK?

Does someone have a list or a link of exactly which UK wildlife it is legal to hunt & safe (& tasty) to eat? For example, are rabbits safe to eat, or is myxomatosis still a problem? ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How many tea light candles are needed to equal the heat output of a person?

A recent answer said: In an emergency a tea light candle carefully set on/in a disposable pie tin can heat a 4 season tent enough to aid the drying process - just be sure to isolate, ventalate, and ...
36
votes
12answers
145k views

What is this knee pain when going downhill?

I can hike uphill practically all day. However as very soon after I start a descent, pain builds on the outside of my knee. What is causing this and can I do anything to prevent/mitigate it (other ...
44
votes
7answers
7k views

What are some good tips and techniques for packing a backpack?

How do I pack a backpack to prevent injury to my back and keep it comfortable while hiking?

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