Hot answers tagged

73

Humans have a few intuitions about how temperature, heat, and liquids work. These intuitions lead us astray for the specific case of a bladder full of urine. "Keeping Warm" / "Cooling down" The first intuition is that things cool down on their own: If you leave a pie from the oven on your counter, it eventually cools down to room temperature. We believe ...


55

Common mistakes, some of which I've made: Unfamiliarity with equipment - this isn't specific to winter camping of course, but if you've used all the gear before in milder conditions, then there's obviously less that's new to you. So if you're using a different tent to summer, make sure you've spent a night in it before the winter, so that you know where ...


41

As long as you are okay with grinding your beans at home, why not just make cowboy coffee. Basically you Put your tin cup on the fire/stove and bring the water to a boil Remove the cup from the heat and let the water cool a bit so you don't burn the grounds Stir in the grounds and bring the water back to a simmer being careful not to burn the coffee Remove ...


38

As a former soldier (and Medic), I personally don't flavour my water during the outdoors. The contents of the canteen/flask might be required for a non-drinking purpose such as: Eyewash Rinsing Medical Cleaning etc However, I do flavour my water on a day-to-day basis for the gym etc using super-concentrate micro capsules such as Squash'd If you have ...


38

Some common mistakes, definitely nothing close to exhaustive, so feel free to edit (I'll make it a community wiki if appropriate). If the point is about what you should do, the mistake is not doing it ;) Underestimating the sleeping pad, You need a well insulated pad. There are various designs, but while R-Value isn't an absolute measure, it still is a good ...


37

If you have children with you, you will have no worries about keeping yourself busy, you'll be plenty busy. If the weather is nice, your kids might enjoy games like: Throw Rocks in the Water Run Around As Fast As You Can See If You Can Throw A Prized Toy Into A Tree And Get It Stuck There Find A Stick and then Fight Over Whose Stick It Is My kids also ...


37

Effectively, it isn't much better to sleep on an air mattress that isn't specifically made to insulate from the ground than on the ground itself although it does make a slight difference. The main takeaway is that you should always avoid sleeping directly on the ground so even a poorly insulated air mattress will be better than nothing. Your friend isn't ...


36

Yes, it is definitely doable. -20°C is only -4°F. The real question is whether it is doable by you at the level of discomfort and hassle you are willing to put up with. Only you can answer that. At best we can point out what the hassles and discomforts will be. First, your fear of dying of cold in your sleep is silly. You'd have to do something ...


36

I'm from British Columbia; lots of BC is technically a rain forest, which pretty much means you're always starting your fire with wet wood. The trick to getting wet wood to light is to generate a lot of heat when you first start your fire - that means using lots of extra kindling. Cut triple or quadruple the amount of fine kindling and build yourself a ...


35

To add to the already-good other contributions: Wearing cotton clothing is a common mistake. When cotton gets wet (from sweat or external sources), it doesn't quickly get dry, and that cold moisture close to your body conducts heat away. To underscore another answer's point even more, layering is also important; use non-cotton layers wherever possible. ...


33

Sometimes, regardless of the pins, it's simply impossible to put pins into the ground no matter the technology. In such a situations, boulders may be your friend: Raising a tent between Baugevatnet and Sijdasjávrre, near Narvik, Norway, ~68.1°N, 1 October 2012. The ground was frozen solid and it was completely impossible to drive a peg into the ground. My ...


33

One reason (and I don't know enough to suggest this is the main reason) is for identification. When putting a tent up you may have a bundle of fabric that you need to set down on an uneven surface, sort and erect. Having it in black distinguishes it from the varied colours of the tent walls so you can always place your tent floor down, without having to ...


33

This depends enormously on landscape, weather, and infrastructure. I grew up in The Netherlands several hundred meter from a motorway, but with good noise barriers, we heard almost nothing. My friend lives less than 100 metre from a noise-barriered motorway and it's nearly inaudible. Now I live several km from a motorway in England, without noise barriers....


31

It's difficult to tell exactly how long wood you've gathered will last you, unless as an expert you can gauge an accurate estimate due to the type of wood, weather conditions and other contributing factors (theoretically possible, but above my ability level.) However, there are different ways of constructing a fire, and one in particular is designed to burn ...


31

I regularly backpack overnight with two dogs (one is a great dane / lab mix) in the US. A tired dog is a good dog. I have an advantage of several miles of hiking in, but you can still tire the dog out when you get there. A frisbee (flying disc) and swimming works well for my big guy (the lab mix), my smaller girl is tired from the hike itself. Whatever ...


31

The best way is to reduce (actually to remove) any kind of attractions they like: food and water. If they cannot find anything useful, than they will stop releasing scents that attracted other ants. This means, you have to make sure there is no (open) water or drinks nearby, no sugar in any way, and no food in general. Keep everything enclosed, in such a ...


31

Soak the mug in a sink of hot water to warm it up quickly. Be prepared to pry the gas cartridge out quickly, perhaps using small screwdrivers or needle nose pliers. The thermal mass of the gas in the cartridge will help slow it heating. Some shaking may help. Then, don’t do that again;)!


30

If one looks at the list on Wikipedia of fatal attacks, one will notice that fatal cougar attacks are pretty rare. At least 20 people in North America were killed by cougars between 1890 and 2011, including six in California. Children are particularly vulnerable. The majority of the child victims listed here were not accompanied by adults. So just by being ...


30

I've used one of these filter holders on top of a thermos, pouring hot water a little at a time. If you don't want to carry a thermos, use a mug. A largish single-walled mug + one of these and a few filters will probably weigh about as much as the coffee grounds.


29

Don't get wet! No I'm not being facetious, I hike through the rain forests of BC all the time, I've spent days in a row in solid rain while backpacking and setting up camp. Getting wet up here can mean death overnight even in the middle of summer, doesn't matter how hot it gets during the day, temperatures can drop to near zero overnight, if you're wet when ...


28

Should I understand a water source to mean a spring/well, or any place where hikers may collect water (streams, lakes, etc.)? Yes. Any source of water - no matter how large or small - should be avoided when choosing a camp site. 100 meters is just a guideline, 200 meters is better. 200 meters and out of sight is great. The reasons are several-fold: ...


27

For tents that erect outer first, pitching in the rain is no different to any other time, just don't leave the dry inner out in the rain while putting the outer up. The outer will get wet on both sides anyway. To make this easier a bit of forward planning is useful, like pack the inner and outer separately so that you can just leave the inner in the car ...


27

Most important reason to pee before you go to bed: you'll be uncomfortable lying there all night feeling like you have to pee. Second most important reason: if you try to delay it, you'll just have to get up later, in the middle of the night. This means getting out of the bag and getting cold. The REI blog sounds scientifically illiterate to me and does ...


27

The easiest and most reusable method in my opinion is the Moka Pot. Simply add water and ground beans to the base and heat over a stove or open fire. You end up with espresso in the top compartment. You can now easily regulate strength and temperature by adding hot or cold water. No filters, no bits in the bottom of your cup. Just try not to burn the coffee ...


26

The answer is it depends. Highway noise is typically 70-80 dB at 15 m. To a first order approximation, sound waves obey the inverse square law where there is a 6 dB drop every doubling of the distance. This means a sound source that has a level of 72 dB at 15 m would have a level of 0 dB at 60 km. While absolute threshold is typically described as 0 dB, ...


25

I'd try and be more specific towards the kind of the fuel we are talking about: White Gas / Naphtha Burns clean without any smell and/or effect on food taste. Accidental Spilling of the fuel is not much to be worried about. Evaporates very quickly, without leaving an odor. That said, make a note that the spilled fuel is very flammable White gas is safer to ...


25

Having spent most of my life within a couple of miles of the beach in pretty windy areas, I have learned some tried and tested things you can do (although I have never found it much of an issue in any case) Always point the opening of your tent downwind so sand doesn't blow in. This will prevent the majority of your sand-related problems. Keep sand from ...


24

I hadn't seen any of these but a quick Google does indeed seem to bring up a few! From a quick glance around, though this isn't an authoritative answer, it seems that 5 season tents are specifically designed for the harshness of Arctic-like climates, rather than a 4 season tent being designed more for your average winter in non-arctic conditions. I guess in ...


24

There are all kinds of people who put up the fly first, then crouch under it putting up the inside. It's generally a very unpleasant experience from all I have heard, what with the crouching, crawling, and being rained on at least while getting the fly up. I handle it completely differently, because I have a free standing tent. On arrival at a site the very ...


24

It's because the sunlight will damage the tents fabric over time. UV damage occurs when long term exposure to the sun damages the fabric and thread of your tent or rain fly. The fabric will become thin and brittle. If you tent or rain fly seems to rip for no reason or with very light pressure, this could be the reason. The outside of the fabric will often ...


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