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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?
37
votes
7answers
10k views

Any tips to reduce chance that I have to get up and pee in the night (not counting dehydration, of course)

Well, here's the situation. You're on an outdoor trip in winter. It's cold outside and after a long day all you want to do is crawl into your warm sleeping bag and not get out of it until the next ...
37
votes
6answers
8k views

If I'm caught in lightning above tree-line, what should I do?

We all know the general lightning guidelines, but what if I am above tree-line and caught in a freak lightning storm. Is it better to: Run like mad to toward the trees Lie flat, and find religion ...
36
votes
9answers
478k 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 ...
36
votes
7answers
12k views

Are longer kayaks faster than shorter ones?

I've been researching which kayak I'd like to buy, and I keep coming across the notion that longer kayaks are faster than shorter ones. I can understand that shorter kayaks have a greater tendency to ...
36
votes
9answers
34k views

Sleeping in twos in one hammock

My girlfriend and I both like sleeping in hammocks in the outdoors. We now sleep in two separate hammocks. However, I've seen many hammocks that are designed, or at least make it possible to sleep ...
36
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. ...
36
votes
7answers
7k views

How to overcome the fear of falling in lead climbing

I used to really enjoy climbing (almost all indoors). I was bouldering around V2-3 and leading at 5+. The mismatch was all down to fear of falling - I would repeatedly bail or fall from routes that ...
36
votes
12answers
151k 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 ...
36
votes
2answers
5k views

Is there a way to find out the age of climbing ropes?

I have two half ropes from Camp that are basically unused, but are slowly getting old, and I would like to know their age. Is there a way to do that? I know the name of the model: Camp Plekton 8.2mm....
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?
35
votes
8answers
19k views

Pitching a tent in the rain?

So I've had the complete and utter luck of never having had to pitch my tent in the rain. However, with needing to pitch it this weekend and the high probability of rain and potential thunderstorms (...
35
votes
10answers
8k views

What should I do to avoid ticks other than wear particular clothing?

Today I've learnt that one can't vaccinate against Borreliose, also known as Lyme Disease. I've thought that I can't get that (yeah, that was stupid) and so didn't really care about ticks. However, ...
35
votes
7answers
49k views

What is the fastest method to 'break in' full leather boots?

After purchasing full leather boots (similar to these boots) I had many blisters for the first few hikes until I broke in my boots. What are the fastest ways to age the boot so that when my foot won'...
35
votes
2answers
15k views

If the Dawn Wall had been climbed before, why was the 2015 attempt so difficult?

There's a lot of talk in the media about Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell's free ascent of the dawn wall of El Capitan. This wall has been climbed before, but this is the first time it's been free ...
35
votes
4answers
3k views

Practicality of Beards

I have several friends with full beards. After talking at length with one, he started to convince me the protection it offers might be worth it. So, I thought I would come and ask. What are the Pros ...
35
votes
1answer
53k views

What's the UPF of a T-Shirt or jeans?

Many outdoor clothing items advertise themselves with a UPF (Ultraviolet protection factor) of 30 or even 50. How does that compare with a normal cotton T-Shirt or a pair of jeans? Do I have to use ...
34
votes
14answers
16k views

How can I stay warm in subzero (0°F, -18°C ) weather?

I'm going on a campout this weekend and the temperature isn't supposed to rise above zero degrees Fahrenheit (0°F) the entire time. I've been in subzero weather before and I didn't last long, even ...
34
votes
11answers
16k views

Is it really a good workout to go to work by bike every day?

Foreword: I know there is a bicycle SE where this question may belong, but it is more about the training factor for other outdoor hobbies than about cycling itself. Cycling could theoretically be ...
34
votes
2answers
12k views

Why don't climbers use electrically heated suits?

Why do climbers not use electrically heated suits to climb peaks like Mt. Everest? Or am I just mistaken and they already do it?
34
votes
11answers
39k views

Dealing with rashes between thighs and around the groin

This, I believe, most of outdoor people once in a while do have to deal with: Rashes between thighs, around the groin. This may really screw the entire trip and make it annoyingly miserable to walk ...
34
votes
6answers
22k views

How does one dry clothes in humid weather?

What are some quick ways to dry clothes in moist weather?
34
votes
4answers
7k views

Why do horses need to wear shoes?

Lately I chatted with my neighbor while the farrier was there, to provide her horses with new shoes. Later it made me wonder why they even need them. They don't have any in the wild, so why would they ...
34
votes
5answers
21k views

What is the difference between “dry rope”, “non-dry rope” and “dry core rope”?

I've just recently gotten into climbing and so far the ropes have always been provided for me. I'm starting to look at getting my own rope for outside climbing, and am confused by some of the ...
34
votes
4answers
1k views

Can I sail a raft on a European river with commercial traffic?

I'm thinking about sailing a part of the Danube, alone, on a self-built raft. I have no experience sailing rivers on any serious basis. I'm considering a raft for a number of reasons: It's cheap. ...
34
votes
4answers
62k views

How can I acclimatize to cold?

People used to tolerate a much wider range of temperatures. What techniques can I apply to widen my body's range of comfort? A few examples that may or may not help: Spend a lot of time slightly ...
34
votes
2answers
25k 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.
33
votes
5answers
12k views

Why aren't there any electric stoves that can be used for cooking where you can't build a fire?

There are quite a few countries where you aren't allowed to make open fires in the great outdoors (I'm sure for at least Austria and Germany). I wondered why nobody has yet thought about electric ...
33
votes
5answers
94k views

How dangerous are kangaroos?

After watching this video of a man punching a kangaroo to rescue his dog, I am wondering how dangerous a kangaroo is to a human on foot? I am sure that there are a lot of other things in Australia ...
33
votes
7answers
5k views

Wood versus plastic trail signs?

My town (Groton MA, USA) has 110 miles of trails open to the public, but virtually no signs helping people navigate at intersections in the woods. I am on the Trails Committee, and I'm pushing hard ...
33
votes
7answers
44k 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
7answers
140k views

How dangerous is a band of coyotes to a lone, unarmed human?

There's a delightful thrill to the call of a band of coyotes when you're alone in the dark woods. Do they present a danger? That is, have healthy coyotes (that is, not rabid) been known to attack or ...
33
votes
7answers
10k views

Can I safely camp in deer tick country, and if so, how?

Most of my camping has been above timberline and ticks have never been a problem. However, a day in the garden at home in northern Virginia often results in a deer tick or two, despite long pants and ...
33
votes
9answers
20k views

When back country camping, how do you avoid being attacked by a mountain lion in your sleep?

I'm looking to camp in SE Oregon. At minimum, my girlfriend and I will have sleeping bags. We're open to adding a tent, fire, and other stuff as recommended. Our goal is to be able to hike around ...
33
votes
4answers
6k views

In the US is it legal to travel on any river/creek my canoe will navigate?

I have always assumed that if my Canoe will float, and the waterway ultimately reaches an ocean it is legal to travel on. I looked around for documents that said it clearly one way or the other. ...
33
votes
4answers
62k views

My head torch/lamp has a red mode, why?

My new head torch has a mode that produces a red light. I've seen this several times and I have no idea when our why you would use it?
33
votes
9answers
24k views

How much water should be carried while hiking in the desert?

I live in the Arizona desert, and during the summer, despite my best intentions, I always seem to end up doing some hiking in the summer heat. What is a good formula to figure out how much water I ...
33
votes
8answers
52k views

How do I avoid leeches?

The last time I was attacked by leeches I thought I'd taken enough precautions such as pulling my socks over my trousers and avoiding walking through particularly wet areas or long grass but I still ...
33
votes
1answer
2k views

How are sleeping bag temperature ratings determined?

One things that has always troubled me when buying a sleeping bag is the temperature rating. When looking at a bag that claims to be a +15°F bag (for example) how do I know that it is really good ...
33
votes
4answers
851 views

What everyday tasks can be adapted in a way that helps build muscles and technique for bouldering?

(This is related to "What hand and finger exercises help with climbing?" but asking for what can be done when not climbing/training.) Like most climbers, I don't get to do as much as I'd like, and I ...
32
votes
7answers
9k views

How do I keep my group together?

Although I'm primarily asking about caving, this is a problem that exists in any activity that moves through the landscape: walking, cycling, kayak touring, etc. A natural tendency when on the move ...
32
votes
9answers
14k views

Is it dangerous to sleep in a tent alone in a forest in -20°C?

Can I spend the night alone in a tent in a forest outside Stockholm in -20°C without risking my life? The backstory From the end of January, I'm starting my studies in a suburb of Stockholm. I've ...
32
votes
10answers
34k views

How to create campfire which will burn overnight?

I watched a documentary "Man vs Wild" which showed the TV presenter Bear Grylls collecting wood and starting a fire. He somehow always manages to keep his campfire burning until dawn. How does one ...
32
votes
6answers
10k views

“Don’t step on anything you can step over.” - What does this mean?

Fred Bear’s 10 Commandments of hunting state as the first principle: Don't step on anything you can step over What does he mean with this statement? I don't really get what's the problem ...
32
votes
4answers
10k views

What do mountaineers eat and drink on the day of an Everest summit?

I was watching Everest (2015) on the weekend and was wondering what the mountaineers do for sustenance on the day they attempt to summit. It appeared they left around midnight, aiming for a 2pm ...
32
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 ...
32
votes
7answers
22k views

Driving tent pegs into rocky ground

Sometimes you can't help but set up camp in an area where the soil is very rocky / stony or firm, especially when wild camping. This can make it incredibly difficult to drive the tent pegs into the ...
32
votes
6answers
9k views

Is burying human waste always the lowest-impact solution?

According to leave-no-trace principles, one should bury human waste (poo). But burying damages plants and roots. Is this really always better than not burying it and pooing on the surface? (Of ...
32
votes
7answers
7k views

When will a rattlesnake strike?

There are a few questions about how to avoid rattlers, and what to do if you're bit, but at what point does a rattler actually strike? I had my first rattler encounter ever yesterday, just out in ...
32
votes
10answers
137k views

What are areas of the body which lose heat more quickly, and how can I reduce that loss?

What are the higher heat loss areas of the body and how can I reduce heat loss in those areas?

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