Hot answers tagged

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 ...


46

I don't backpack, but I canoe camp and I used to do it with small children. We took a watch and used it for three things: we need to have all the work done and food eaten by the time it's dark, say 9pm, so we need to land by [whatever] pm to set up camp and cook. this food needs to cook for 20 minutes (or this bread needs to rise for 2 hours) that portage ...


44

While doing the West Coast Trail in Vancouver, Canada I had to buy a watch for the first time. I had a table with the tides for that week and I needed the watch to tell if high tide was going to get me while going through different parts of the track. I knew how long hiking through the tide-dependent section would take me and needed the watch to tell at ...


40

I've hiked a lot with a lot of female trekkers. And I've never seen women trekkers having any problem with any unisex/male backpacks. Most of the manufacturers keep the chest straps adjustable so that one can adjust the position of those. So I would say it makes no difference. Since a hiking backpack is meant to distribute the weight among your chest, ...


39

The only gear you need is a good, comfortable pair of running shoes and any cheap backpack (extra points for Hello Kitty). There is a popular belief, probably based on pop-culture images dating back to the 1960s, that people need big, heavy hiking boots, or that ankle support is necessary if you're going to carry heavy loads or walk on uneven ground. ...


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

All of the resources that I can find say that it should be done with the screw tip pointing up and the hanger below with up to a twenty-degree angle from horizontal. Contrary to what you might think, the best angle for the screws is slightly upward, meaning the hanger is slightly lower than the teeth in the ice. This counterintuitive method is ...


36

I'd argue that a watch is a fairly important device for backpacking and I generally never leave without one. Monitor progress If you do multi-day hikes you generally have a plan or schedule you should more-or-less stick to. This schedule can be dictated by your entry/exit procedures (e.g. public transport), by the food you brought (e.g. you have to walk at ...


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. ...


34

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 ...


33

As to why you're still cold with those specs: it happens to me as well, and I think the specs are for the 'average' person meaning not only average amount of body fat but also average temperature regulation (as in: certain people feel cold at x°C, while others might already feel cold at x + 2°C or so, you get the point). So it might be possible that you have ...


33

The important specification is how strong it is and this information seems to be missing. This is included on all climbing rated carabiners for both proper loading (along the long axis) and when it is cross loaded across the gate. You should never use a non-rated carabiner for a critical application. Most likely, there is a reason why it is not rated. ...


32

Like it says in the other comment, these glasses are to be used when belaying so that you don't have to tilt your head up. The lenses are made of a prism-shaped glass that bends the light in such a way that you see what is happening up while looking straight in front of you. They help to avoid neck pain, and they also make it easier to always keep an eye on ...


29

Other answers have addressed the "why", but let's talk about the "what's real" regarding lumens. Before we get into calculation the actual output of this light (which is definitely nowhere near 2000 lumens), we need to understand what lumens are. Lumens is the SI unit for luminous flux, which is essentially the total amount of light in the visible spectrum ...


29

You're bringing all the right things... (the only thing I would question is why a flashlight as well as a headlamp? - though if it's just a small flashlight, no big deal- I sometimes bring a spare headlamp). 20kg's is 44 pounds and 30-40lbs is about right for a 3 day trip alone. The only way to get the weight down is by bringing lighter (i.e. more expensive)...


29

Trying to cut pack weight is all about leaving "extra" things out and then replacing needed things with light versions. Some things that jump out at me as "extra": Tent for 2 people If there is only one of you, why do you need a 2 person tent. For only 2 or 3 days, I would go with a tarp which will be lighter 2 pairs of underwear and socks A spare ...


28

Sadly, in North America, there is no rating beyond what each manufacturer decides for itself. I suspect that in the US especially, some thought goes into liability (i.e. if someone freezes to death in a bag that's rated to 0F and it's 20F out, they could be in trouble). Certain manufacturers gain a reputation for conservative ratings, others for optimistic ...


28

In Canada, at least, we do distinguish between kayaks and canoes, and those are the words I'll use for the contrast here. To first make sure there's no confusion, have a look at the articles in wikipedia: "A kayak is a small, relatively narrow, human-powered boat primarily designed to be manually propelled by means of a double bladed paddle. The ...


28

The loop allows the gloves to be hung, on a carabiner for example, such that the fingers point up preventing the gloves filling with rain or snow. For example, see the manufacturer's description of these gloves: Finger-mounted clip-in loop enables gloves to be attached to a carabiner with finger-tips facing up, eliminating snow-fill


27

Been there, done that, it's far more worrisome when you have to show them how to put the harness on and then have them test that it's tight enough. And like you said, you really don't want to touch them. The simple solutions is to show them how you take your harness off, and have them mirror your actions and go through the steps slowly. I will point to what ...


26

I think capacitive gloves are your best bet. Basically, they are gloves with something that allows the screen to close a circuit with your body (your hands) and that makes the screen work. I've provided some links to reviews, but the bottom line is this: at the temperature you're describing (around 0 degrees Celsius) they will probably do the job reasonably ...


26

Just sleep with the solution in your sleeping bag. Same with drinking water. During the day you may need to carry it next to your body.


25

If you're consistently cold in your sleeping system, then you need to change your system. An adequate sleep system for cold weather constitutes two sleeping pads: a solid foam sleeping pad underneath of an insulated air mattress. Your sleeping bag should be rated to well below the temperature you're sleeping in. I don't know who comes up with these ...


25

Yes it does, especially mobile phones. I attended an avalanche course last year. The guide did a very simple demonstration. He powered his avalanche beacon on "send" mode, and put it on his backpack over the snow surface. All participants walked away from his beacon in a straight line with their own beacons in "search" mode. We all marked in the snow the ...


24

To me the first and foremost concern would be comfort and carrying capacity. Everything else is only considered after those 2. I recently went shopping for backpacks with my girlfriend and we noticed a couple of things regarding gendered models. Mostly there where no real differences between male and female versions. We looked at several brands and found ...


23

The absolute best is going to be titanium, but it also happens to be the most expensive. I'm not sure where you heard that it shatters in the cold, but being a space age metal I would think it can handle cold earth temperatures just fine. If you can't shell out the cash for titanium it's more or less a toss up between aluminum and stainless steel. ...


23

Scheduled Transport If you are catching scheduled transport (e.g. bus or ferry) then you need a watch. There might only be one trip a day. If you miss it, you are stuck for an extra night. You might be ticketed on one particular time, so if you are late, the next bus or plane won't pick you up. For example, the Milford Track Great Walk in New Zealand. ...


22

The differences between a "roto-molded" plastic and a hand made fiberglass boat are quite substantial. Plastic Kayaks Advantages Will be much less expensive than a comparable fiber boat. Will be more durable if put in contact with a hard surface such as a rocky beach or parking lot. Are easier to repair if damaged, using plastic putty and some adhesive ...


22

In general climbing ropes are quite robust in terms of storage. The Safety Research Group ("Sicherheitskreis") of the German Alpine Club (DAV) has done a lot of research about this in the 90ies and their general result was: as long as they aren't exposed to sunlight or aggressive chemicals or have been strained over a sharp edge during a fall their ...


21

I would say you need things in this order. Only #1 is required: A harness. You can't climb with a rope unless you have one. Shoes. You can get by with runners, but climbing shoes make a world of difference. Chalk/chalk bag. If you don't sweat much, this is not crucial, but a little chalk is very nice for keeping your fingers from being slippery. If you ...


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