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136 votes

Do I still need to hang my food if I have two large dogs?

Yes, you absolutely need to properly protect your food. Proper food storage in the wilderness isn't just for you, it's also for the bears. Even if your dogs or you are able to fend off a bear, you ...
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121 votes

How do I make people not be afraid of me and my dogs?

Couple suggestions for meeting people on the trail with dogs, Keep the dogs leashed. When passing people put the dogs on the opposite side of yourself so that you are between the dogs and the people. ...
115 votes
Accepted

When hiking, why is the right of way given to people going up?

There are three good reasons for this: The harder work an uphill hiker has to do The smaller field of vision of an uphill hiker They are in that "hiking rhythm" zone which shouldn't be interrupted (...
  • 23.4k
95 votes
Accepted

Etiquette of playing musical instruments on popular hikes

I can only speak from experience, but I'll share what I have seen. The following paragraphs are ordered from least desirable to most. In every case where people have been playing music on a speaker ...
  • 1,456
84 votes

What exactly is so wrong with playing music on trails?

For the most part people head into the back country to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature; playing music detracts from that for many people. This is partly because music covers up other sounds, ...
  • 8,340
75 votes

Etiquette of playing musical instruments on popular hikes

I, and the people I hike with do not appreciate music on the trails. If you want music use headphones. We try to hike the least popular trails to avoid encountering blaring music. We are out in nature ...
  • 972
68 votes
Accepted

Mountaineering with a 6-year-old kid in winter

Other people have addressed several concerns that I would have bringing a young child into the mountains during the winter. One concern that I haven't seen addressed is; what if something happens to ...
  • 9,628
68 votes
Accepted

How can I get a GPS location for this tree on a distant hillside?

There are a number of different ways to do this. Method using GPS, compass and Google Earth. Get the GPS coordinates of where you can see the tree from. Take a bearing with a compass to the tree ...
66 votes

Given limited space and weight what should I carry to get a fire going with damp wood?

A healthy set of firelighters and some woodworking tools. An axe and saw are a must along with your pocket knife. Failing that, a knife and hand axe. With fire lighters, you will struggle to light ...
  • 739
60 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to hike over 30km per day?

Your planned hike sounds like it's within your physical capabilities. It will really come down to mental, rather than physical constraints. Do you enjoy challenging yourself, pushing through an ...
  • 4,364
55 votes

What exactly is so wrong with playing music on trails?

Is it acceptable It depends. The response will vary from person to person. Some might agree, someone like me won't. In general, this hatred you are referring to isn't only towards music, but towards ...
48 votes

Do I still need to hang my food if I have two large dogs?

You know, most black bears are probably going to be deterred by the presence of your dogs, but bears come in all sorts of personalities and degrees of desperation for food. Your dogs might be able to ...
48 votes
Accepted

How fast can you typically hike through untracked forest?

As a CDT through hiker, off-trail ultramarathon runner, and general fan of cross-country travel, I feel somewhat qualified to speak to this question. Moving off trail tends to be slower than moving ...
44 votes
Accepted

Is it offensive to "just hike" on a pilgrim's path?

No, it would not be offensive. A survey of 200 pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago found that motivations were as follows, in order of importance: Exercise Adventure Peace, solitude, relaxation ...
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43 votes
Accepted

How to treat a severe allergic reaction while hiking?

Anybody who has severe allergies which could lead to anaphylaxic shock should carry appropriate medication with them. Typically, that would consist of: An antihistamine (e.g. benadryll) An ...
  • 8,620
43 votes

What exactly is so wrong with playing music on trails?

One of the first hits with your google search terms is explaining the issue very objectively, with no noticeable "vitriol" or "extreme hate": Here's why you should stop blasting ...
  • 1,898
41 votes
Accepted

Given limited space and weight what should I carry to get a fire going with damp wood?

Bring skills. Skills are by far the lightest and most useful thing to carry. They are, however, also rather difficult and time-consuming to acquire (as compared to, say, some tools that you can simply ...
  • 12.3k
38 votes
Accepted

When should you carry a firearm when hiking/trekking?

For the purposes of defense, the only situation that comes to mind would be hiking through an area known for criminal activity ( think marijuana farm ). And even then, is a small handgun really going ...
38 votes

Etiquette of playing musical instruments on popular hikes

Just don't play your music with the aid of any electronic speakers. People sing and talk and laugh as they hike and that's fine, its when they start blaring music on their waterproof bluetooth ...
37 votes

Trumpeting while backpacking?

Depending on how much other stuff you will be carrying, a whole trumpet and case may be too heavy and/or bulky. Just take your mouthpiece and blow through it when you feel like it, on an easy part of ...
  • 1,070
36 votes
Accepted

Modern equivalent of a flare gun?

In increasing order of complexity and price you have, Personal Locator Beacons Personal locator beacons are high-powered (typically, 5 watts) devices designed primarily to send out a personalized ...
36 votes
Accepted

Is it significantly faster to hike along a river bank?

It depends and is hard to generalize about. If river volume is seasonal (think late summer in temperate countries, especially with snow-capped mountains or places with a specific rainy season), you ...
35 votes

How do I make people not be afraid of me and my dogs?

As someone who is fine with dogs, I'm saddened that my son was nipped by a puppy when he was very young and is now very nervous when needing to walk past dogs, and there are lots of strays where I ...
34 votes

When hiking, why is the right of way given to people going up?

For another possible explanation, I have always found it easier to see oncoming parties when you are going down. When hiking uphill, many people end up almost staring at their feet. In contrast, when ...
  • 3,823
34 votes

Other than good shoes and a stick, what are some ways to preserve your knees on long hikes?

Carrying less weight makes a big difference. My packing follows the "be prepared" style more than the ultralight one, but even I admit it's easy to carry too much. Stepping cautiously especially on ...
  • 23.8k
34 votes

Would waterproof gaiters (over waterproof trousers and boots) prevent water from seeping through my clothes if submerged?

Your issue isn't the material (Gore-Tex is fully waterproof for the pressure of standing in water) but rather the interlocking mechanism between your articles of clothing. There are a few ways of ...
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33 votes
Accepted

Possible diet to avoid/delay defecation

The term you're looking for is "low-residue diet" or "low-residue meal" (for some reason, the medical community tends to avoid the term "poop" in their technical terminology). Simply googling on those ...
  • 3,732

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