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29
votes
6answers
14k 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 ...
29
votes
2answers
4k views

What makes certain mountains more dangerous than others?

Why do mountains like K2, Nanga Parbat and Annapurna (36 successful attempts, 47 failed) have higher fatality rates than, say, Everest or Cho Oyu (79 successful attempts, 28 failed)? (source) Can I ...
29
votes
2answers
4k views

At what angle should an ice screw be screwed into the ice?

Recently we were climbing up a glacier with the ice at an angle of around 80°. We were placing the ice screws angling slightly upwards with respect to the slope of the ice wall. However, one from ...
29
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this animal with orange webbed feet, a white head with black stripes, and really likes breadcrumbs?

Quite simply: What is this animal? I have searched through various wildlife identification guides (particularly ducks and geese) and have so far not found anything close.
29
votes
2answers
6k views

Is it possible to differentiate between a dog print and wolf print?

This question got my thinking: Did I see a wolf's paw print?. I did a bit of Googling and it appeared that wolf paw prints and dog paw prints are very very similar. Is there any good way (given ...
29
votes
4answers
20k 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?
28
votes
13answers
7k views

Are there any tips for preventing a vehicle from being broken into while parked at a trailhead?

It is fairly common practice to drive to a trailhead, park your vehicle and then go backpacking for a while. It would be a real bummer to come back from a trip and find that your vehicle has been ...
28
votes
7answers
33k views

How to check if a fence or cable has electricity without having special tools?

You run across a wire cable, or wire fence in the wild, with which you would have to interact in some way. How to check if electricity runs through it without having special tools? EDIT: As the ...
28
votes
8answers
11k views

Is it possible to hike over 30km per day?

I am planning to go on a trail (Cleveland Way trail in the UK, moderate level, if this helps). The official guide recommends spending 9 days on this trail, but I only have 7 days. Is it reasonable to ...
28
votes
5answers
10k views

Modern equivalent of a flare gun?

This summer I will be taking a rather inherently dangerous multi-day hike by myself. I was considering buying a flare gun since I will be out of cellular range unless there is something more modern ...
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 ...
28
votes
9answers
11k views

What is the best way to cross streams while backpacking?

I'm curious of a good technique to cross a stream while backpacking that's above the boot's waterproof line but no higher than the knees. I typically face upstream and use my hiking poles for ...
28
votes
9answers
5k views

How can you navigate / determine your location in thick fog?

Are there any good hints, tips and ways you can use to navigate around and find your location in thick fog (apart from a GPS)?
28
votes
4answers
6k views

Could a tick make several test bites in a circle?

I got my first tick bite recently, on the top of my foot. The tick was latched on. There was a circle of small dots around the tick and a slightly bigger red area close by. They were all there from ...
28
votes
5answers
12k views

Is sleeping on the ground in cold weather better than on an air mattress?

My friend and I had an argument about this topic. He says that the cold air in the mattress will stay at the ambient temperature, so if it's -20 outside the air in the mattress will stay at -20 so I'...
28
votes
5answers
4k views

Camping with a dog for the first time

In a few months my fiance and I will be joining two friends camping. My friends chocolate labrador will be joining us for the weekend. My fiance and I, whilst both dog lovers, have no experience ...
28
votes
7answers
6k views

How likely are you to be injured by falling shot from a game shoot?

One of my regular trail running routes goes past a pheasant shoot. The route is on a public footpath and the shooting is usually from the woods nearby towards the direction of the path (ascertained by ...
28
votes
5answers
6k views

What advantage does the what3words coordinate system have over other, traditional systems?

I recently came across the what3words coordinate system in an outdoor magazine. The system divides the world into squares of 3 m x 3 m. Each square is then named with a combination of three (as far as ...
28
votes
5answers
9k views

Are there any techniques for starting and maintaining a fire in snow?

What are the techniques for starting and maintaining a fire in a survival situation when snow is present? I would like to know if there are any known techniques for starting and maintaining a fire in ...
28
votes
7answers
12k views

What's the best way to carry a dslr camera when rock-climbing?

I am interested in hearing how people take their dslrs (digital single lens reflex camera) onto multi-pitch-rock-climbs. I have carried mine up in a small pack, but I end up taking hardly any pictures,...
28
votes
3answers
1k views

What can I do to prevent altitude sickness?

I will be going above 15000 feet (4500 meters) on a trip next month, and I've heard people will often get altitude sickness. Is there anything I can do beforehand to prevent sickness or take while I'm ...
28
votes
5answers
7k views

Wax paper as a fire starter

One thought led to another and I started wondering how effective wax paper would be to bring along as tinder to start a fire. I've seen suggestions of using paraffin in conjunction with other ...
28
votes
2answers
9k views

Possible diet to avoid/delay defecation

We plan to go on a three day hike (two nights). The amount of food is no problem of course, but we want to avoid defecation while on the trail. Which kind of food comes into question? Edit: It's ...
28
votes
4answers
20k views

What's the difference between white gas, propane, kerosene, and gasoline?

How do I know what type I should use when I'm planning a camping trip?
28
votes
6answers
22k views

What animal could strip all the bark off the lower 7 feet of this tree?

I was out in the woods the other day and I came across a tree. It had all of the bark around the bottom removed, and a good layer of wood removed as well. I estimated the damage was a good 7-8 feet ...
28
votes
2answers
5k views

“Due to the sheep in the settlement the surrounding area has no mosquitoes”

I was surprised by this Visit Greenland statement on Qassiarsuk: Due to the sheep in the settlement the surrounding area has no mosquitoes. Does that make sense? Is there any reason why the ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

Hiking boots vs trail shoes

I have two sets of shoes that I wear while hiking. My favorite by far are my light weight trail running shoes. I have worn them on 9 mile hikes without any break-in, and went blister free. From a ...
27
votes
14answers
9k views

Are there any situations while backpacking that would require a watch?

One of my favorite things about backpacking is the absence of time constraints, you eat when hungry, sleep when tired and sort of track how much time is left until dark. Would there be any situations ...
27
votes
12answers
6k views

How to temporarily mark a trail?

If one needed to hike out and then come back to a certain spot, how could one temporarily mark their trail so that it is easy to follow back to that exact spot when the route back is not obvious? ...
27
votes
9answers
9k views

How to keep bees out of canned beverages?

I drink canned beverages when I'm gardening and camping. I know several people who have ended up in the hospital due to swallowing bees that were stuck in their beverage (stung in the mouth). How do ...
27
votes
8answers
21k views

Why do people who backpack sleep in tents instead of tarps?

I know that this has been debated for some time (whether it is better to sleep in a tent or a tarp) but recently this debate came up between my friends and me, and I am just feeling out this possible ...
27
votes
12answers
9k views

Reusing disposable water bottles vs. buying dedicated bottles

Can anyone share any experience re-using ordinary PETE disposable water bottles until failure, as a lightweight and low-cost alternative to dedicated water bottles/bladders? How long did they last ...
27
votes
9answers
5k views

What foods can you cook by directly placing them into a fire?

Sometimes I do not want to bother wish dishes. The other day, I took a yellow pepper, and placed into a wood fire I had going, and left it there for a good 5 minutes while I prepared a curry. I pulled ...
27
votes
12answers
10k views

Toothpaste in the back-country and the principle of leave no trace

I am a staunch proponent of leave no trace. I don't carry dish detergent (sand and small rocks work much better on stainless steel anyways,) and I don't use soap or shampoo, not even of the ...
27
votes
4answers
8k views

What is wrong with the rabbit living under my shed?

So there is this rabbit that lives under my shed, and I've been watching it through my window for the past few days. It comes out in the mornings, and sits next to its hole crouched in a tight ball, ...
27
votes
7answers
3k views

What equipment do I need as a beginner outdoor rock climber?

What are the bare essentials that I need in terms of equipment when it comes to rock climbing? I've done indoor rock climbing but always rented my equipment from the rock-climbing gym. (For the ...
27
votes
7answers
6k views

Meeting an unknown snake on the trail; what is the best thing to do?

The newsletter from the Virginia Wildlife Rescue League reported the following incident. A man, his partner and her 4 year old daughter were walking in Farquier County (a rural county), when they saw ...
27
votes
5answers
22k 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 ...
27
votes
5answers
44k views

What's the most remote place in the contiguous US?

The United States is a very developed place. Sometimes this can prove to be challenging when trying to find a place to get away from everything, especially east of the Mississippi where I reside. I am ...
27
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the point of belay glasses?

I was going through the REI website for some of the products and I stumbled upon this one here. It's called Y & Y VERTICAL Classic Belay Glasses The product punchline says: Stop wrenching ...
27
votes
6answers
5k views

How to avoid getting wet when exiting a canoe onto shore?

At the end of November we are going an a 3 day canoeing trip with multiple obstacles where we have to get the canoe out of the water. As it is really cold at this time, we don't want to get wet boots/...
27
votes
5answers
4k views

What are the benefits of learning to climb outdoors rather than indoors?

I would say I'm a fairly experienced hiker, and would love to begin climbing some more challenging mountains, i.e. mountains that require actual climbing, rather than just hiking. I have next to no ...
27
votes
6answers
995 views

When buying a backpack, what should I pay attention to?

I know one can compare backpacks by the following: Content (in liters) Number of external pockets (for quick accessable water bottles for example) Hip belt available or not Waterproof / Water ...
27
votes
3answers
8k views

How much distance is there between True North and Magnetic North Poles?

This question is not as simple as it seems, and a few minutes of googling did not drop the answer in my lap. A comment at I never adjust for true north. Is this bad practice? suggesting that: ...
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 ...
27
votes
2answers
18k views

Can groundwater still be consumed if after boiling the water turns brown with an oily substance floating on top?

This weekend we went "pole camping". A pole camp site (dutch link only) is a camp site offered by the departments of forestry in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is very basic. What is offered is a ...
27
votes
7answers
9k views

What are some toilet paper alternatives you could use in the woods?

When in the great outdoors, nature is bound to come calling, so what are some good natural toilet paper substitutes when the real thing isn't available?
27
votes
2answers
6k views

In a survival situation, should I drink unpurified water?

If I am in a survival situation, is there any reason I shouldn't drink the available water? I am aware of Giardia and cholera. Are these worthy concerns, or are there good enough cures available that ...
27
votes
4answers
16k views

What are the rules for eating raw, wild meat?

Can you always eat raw meat (wild) as long as it is fresh?
27
votes
2answers
50k views

Is whiskey a good disinfectant?

You see this a lot on films, the hero/heroine is injured and disinfects their wound(s) by pouring whiskey on it. I'm a bit sceptical. If I'm in an emergency scenario and need to prevent infection. ...

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