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What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying winter camping for the first time?

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 ...
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45 votes

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

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

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 ...
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43 votes

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

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

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 ...
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  • 7,785
40 votes

What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying winter camping for the first time?

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

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 ...
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37 votes
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Overtreated a backpacking outfit with permethrin. Safe to wear?

I am almost certain that you will be safe. Permethrin is not particularly toxic to humans, and exposures of notably higher concentrations than what you used for the clothing treatment have been found ...
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  • 2,390
35 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 12.1k
35 votes

What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying winter camping for the first time?

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 ...
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33 votes

Why do I always wake up freezing?

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 ...
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33 votes
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What is the point of belay glasses?

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 ...
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33 votes
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Titanium Carabiner: what is its ideal use case?

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 ...
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  • 1,280
33 votes

First aid: alternatives to hydrogen peroxide

Water. The American Red Cross Wilderness First Aid courses in 2021 recommend irrigating wounds with at least a liter of potable water, using an irrigation syringe. If you don't have enough potable ...
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30 votes
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Why might one need a 2000 lumen headlamp?

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 ...
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30 votes
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Am I packing too much for a 2-3 day hike in the forests?

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 ...
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30 votes

Am I packing too much for a 2-3 day hike in the forests?

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 ...
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29 votes
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Kayaks vs canadians (canoes) from a beginner's perspective

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 ...
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28 votes
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What is the loop on the finger of my winter gloves for?

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 ...
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27 votes

How to instruct someone how to take off a climbing harness?

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 ...
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26 votes

How to keep contact lenses from freezing during backpacking in cold temps?

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.
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  • 7,087
25 votes

Why do I always wake up freezing?

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 ...
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25 votes
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Do electronics interfere with avalanche beacons?

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 ...
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24 votes
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How much does a full/empty jetboil canister weigh?

This information is available under the Specs on Jetboil's website. 100g canister: 100g fuel; gross weight 194g; empty weight 94g (51.5% fuel by weight) 230g canister: 230g fuel; gross weight 356g; ...
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  • 8,620
24 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 341
24 votes

Are there any GPS devices with no transmission capability?

All GPS navigators on the market work as you’ve described. Two way communication is very battery intensive and costs money, so it’s only included in PLB beacons or devices like Spot, not your average ...
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  • 2,809
23 votes

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

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 ...
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22 votes
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Are there any GPS devices with no transmission capability?

You are probably best looking at older and cheaper models to achieve this lack of functionality. Therefore you should look for models that don't advertise bluetooth connectivity, app integration or ...
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  • 396
21 votes
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How do I attach a hammock to trees?

I hang my hammocks using the same slings I use for anchors while climbing, a girth hitch around the the tree is more than sufficient, but wrapping the sling around the tree twice, then tying it with a ...
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