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49
votes
4answers
24k 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 ...
48
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.
48
votes
11answers
74k 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 ...
48
votes
3answers
21k 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
11answers
11k views

What are the downsides to sleeping in a hammock on a multi-day hike?

I've read that hammocks are a very light way to travel through the wilderness. You just need the hammock, a cover, and a light sleeping bag, but there must be disadvantages compared to taking a tent ...
47
votes
7answers
39k views

Is it better to wear one pair or two pairs of socks while hiking?

From personal experience I tend to wear two pairs of socks, normally some running socks and then my hiking socks on top of that. It helps me avoid blisters. Quite a few of my friends thinks this is ...
47
votes
5answers
21k views

Can I use a bicycle helmet as a climbing helmet?

I have a bicycle helmet that fits well. Can it be used effectively as a rock climbing helmet? Most climbing helmets have a hard shell that the bicycle helmet does not. However, one of the more ...
46
votes
16answers
31k views

How can I tell if I am dehydrated or have low electrolytes (need salt, etc.)?

How can detect, in the outdoors with minimal equipment, if I am dehydrated or need electrolytes? Update Some background: I get overheated very easily, possibly because I don't sweat as much as most ...
46
votes
5answers
8k views

Will drinking lots of water in the day(s) prior to a long trek mean I will need less water on the trek?

I am not sure if 'pre-hydrating' is a valid term to use for this, please correct me if you know the term. While walking down a tiring route, I was so tired and low on water. All I could think of was, ...
45
votes
12answers
11k views

Given limited space and weight what should I carry to get a fire going with damp wood?

Assuming firewood can be found, but it's likely to be damp, how can I best be prepared for getting a fire going? This is for a light hiking situation, so I'm not going to carry a sack full of kindling,...
45
votes
14answers
82k 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 ...
44
votes
12answers
39k views

Should overweight people ever climb?

I used to be a regular climber, and unfortunately I have put on some serious weight over the last 4 years, and I have not been able to climb as much as would have loved to. While, I am still working ...
44
votes
18answers
16k views

Why do I always wake up freezing?

I like to go camping in the forest, mostly in summer, sometimes also when temperatures drop to about 0°C/32°F during the night. I have a three-season sleeping bag (T-comf: -2°C, T-lim: -8°C, ...
44
votes
6answers
15k views

Is it warmer to sleep with an empty bladder?

One of the recommendations for sleeping warm is to empty your bladder before bed, When your bladder is full, your body is expending energy keeping that liquid warm. If you empty it out, your body ...
44
votes
8answers
43k views

How to react to cattle charging towards you?

Cattle may get aggressive when threatened, or they might just imitate to be aggressive. I have seen cattle charging towards a person when irritated. How should one react if a cow or bull comes ...
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?
44
votes
6answers
15k views

How do I evade or pacify a bee?

I've been feeding the local birds at the exact same spot at the local park for quite some time now. Unfortunately for me, today as I was minding my business as usual, a bee decided to sting me. It ...
44
votes
8answers
13k views

As a tall female should I be looking at male or female backpacks?

When buying stuff I have never cared whether a specific thing is a female or a male model. All I care about is the fit. Since I am tall, a lot of female oriented equipment, e.g. skis, wouldn't even ...
44
votes
10answers
13k views

Can removing dead wood harm the ecosystem?

My inlaws have about 40 wooded acres in the Mid Atlantic region. They are nice woods but the amount of dead wood on the ground is astounding. For the most part it makes walking through similar to a ...
44
votes
6answers
57k views

Why go without socks with climbing shoes?

I've been going climbing (indoor bouldering) for about six months, using shoes I rented at the gym, and wearing socks (and everything was fine). I've recently got a pair of climbing shoes, and want to ...
44
votes
2answers
45k views

Can I eat rotten meat and carcass given enough cooking?

I've met often with the concept that rotten meat and carcass is inedible because of bacteria and toxins. The most harmful is the botulinum toxin. However, in the question Can any waterborne pathogens ...
43
votes
13answers
20k 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, ...
42
votes
12answers
12k views

Is it poor etiquette to ask fellow backpackers where they have been/where they are going?

I got a comment here that said, Please omit the "Where have you been?" part of your social interaction. That is going to set me more on edge, not put me at ease. It sounds "stalker-ish", which is ...
42
votes
15answers
20k views

Why do so many people hike with such light footwear?

More and more, I see people hiking with very light-weight shoes. To me, they look like regular sport shoes and they look to be lacking thick soles, waterproofness, or ankle support. I thought this ...
41
votes
6answers
55k views

What is this tool on a Swiss Army knife for?

I have this tool on a few Swiss Army knives (though I think I've seen it on other multi-tools as well). What is it and what is it for? On one edge, it has a sharp edge. It also only opens halfway (as ...
41
votes
12answers
32k views

FiveFingers or hiking boots?

I have been wearing Vibram FiveFingers exclusively for three years now. I day hike in them, I exercise in them, I go to to work with them, I hit the beach and swim in them. I have tried wearing "...
41
votes
7answers
15k views

How do people drown while wearing a life jacket?

Recently, I heard of three tourists from Germany drowning in a lake in Alaska. Their boat overturned and they ended up in the water. All three of them were wearing life jackets. This is what I don't ...
41
votes
2answers
12k views

Impact of throwing away fruit waste on a peak > 3200 m above a glacier

Is it okay to throw away the non-edible part of the apple - the apple core / or in general fruit waste? Does it decompose on the rock (maybe with the help of animals) and temperature, or does it ...
41
votes
9answers
16k views

How can I identify edible berries/fruit from poisonous?

How can I identify edible berries/fruit in the wide and avoid the poisonous varieties? Is there a general guideline that can be followed or is specific to each plant?
41
votes
4answers
4k views

Compass compatibility: Can I use my US compass in Australia? [duplicate]

Background I bought my compass in the US last year. Next week I'm going to travel to Australia. Question Is my US-compass compatible with Australia? or do I need a special compass? Do I need an ...
41
votes
5answers
18k views

What is the best way to store my sleeping bag for long periods of time?

I've heard that storing a sleeping bag in its stuff sack for long periods of time will cause it to lose loft, and won't provide as much comfort or warmth when used again. If so, how should I store my ...
41
votes
6answers
21k views

What essential items should go in a small first aid kit?

Another question asked what survival equipment should be carried in an emergency kit. But very little was about medical or first aid supplies (band-aids, gauze, tylenol, moleskin, etc). What items ...
41
votes
4answers
6k views

How to treat a severe allergic reaction while hiking?

Suppose you are out hiking, many hours from the trail head and someone has a severe allergic reaction (ie, anaphylactic shock or Anaphylaxis). In this case, what is the best course of treatment to ...
40
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 ...
40
votes
1answer
42k 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 taking ...
39
votes
9answers
3k views

The outdoors, solitude and dealing with loneliness

I have been out camping a few times, once with a group, the other times with my girlfriend. Although I enjoyed those times very much, I often wondered what would it feel like to enjoy the complete ...
39
votes
4answers
14k views

Ways to desalinate water when “lost at sea”?

In recent news reports that all seem to be saying the same things: Jakarta Post Indonesian teenager survives 49 days adrift in Guam waters NPR: 19-Year-Old Survives 49 Days At Sea After Floating Hut ...
39
votes
2answers
5k views

How to walk silently in the woods?

Today I walked in the woods and it was quite late in the evening. While I was walking, a deer jumped and ran away. I guess I disturbed it while it was sleeping. And it came to my mind that I'm the ...
39
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 ...
38
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?
38
votes
8answers
11k views

How to test the sharpness of a knife?

In order for knives to be useful, they need to be sharp. If I am sharpening one myself, how do I know when I am done? What would be a simple easy test of whether a knife is sharp enough?
38
votes
8answers
12k views

Jumping off of a cliff into water - survival tips

Another scary scenario: Let's say you're in a situation where you have to jump off of a cliff into the water to survive. The cliff is at least 100 feet high. What would be the best way to survive ...
38
votes
8answers
10k views

What are the differences between a $25 sleeping bag and a $440 sleeping bag if they have the same temp rating?

I am planning a backpacking camping trip when the quarantine is over. And looking for some cool gear while indoors, that is to say a 30-40F sleeping bag is also needed. There a lots of sleeping bags ...
38
votes
9answers
26k views

What hand and finger exercises help with climbing?

It's been a while since I went rock climbing but I'd like to get back into it. What are some hand exercises that will help with climbing?
38
votes
4answers
14k views

How can I be absolutely sure my fire is safely extinguished?

One great problem with fire in the wild is that it may not be completely out. What is the recommended procedure to prevent accidental forest fire?
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 ...
37
votes
6answers
14k views

Do I still need to hang my food if I have two large dogs?

I have two large dogs - a German Shepherd and a Presa Canario. I hike alone with my dogs in black (not grizzly) bear country. Do I still need to hang my food? Or will the three of us be able to ...
37
votes
10answers
10k views

Mountaineering with a 6-year-old kid in winter

I'm planning to go to the Austrian Alps with my 6-year-old daughter in one week. We would like to go on Großer Priel, 2515 m. The plan is to go for three days (sleeping two nights in a tent on a ...
37
votes
9answers
495k views

How far would you need to fall for it to be fatal?

A little grim this but I was discussing free soloing with a non-climber in work and I said "Well once you get over a certain height you're not going to survive a fall anyway so anything over this ...
37
votes
16answers
7k views

Other than good shoes and a stick, what are some ways to preserve your knees on long hikes?

My knees aren’t in the best shape, one in particular. I had a rather devastating 13 hour up-and-down hike on day two of a three day hike, and the last day my knees were hurting every step. What are ...

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