Hot answers tagged

34

It is likely caused by iron in the pump or pipes. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health: Iron is mainly present in water in two forms: either the soluble ferrous iron or the insoluble ferric iron. Water containing ferrous iron is clear and colorless because the iron is completely dissolved. When exposed to air in the pressure tank or ...


25

Good hygiene is a highly subjective benchmark. Clean enough for comfort might be different than clean enough for company. Ocean water, albeit salty, is water. You can bathe with it, wash clothes with it, wash dishes with it etc. Soap behaves differently (the surfectants don't suds as well) but you'll still get things cleaner than they were. As for bathing, ...


22

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). It's naturally occurring, and to get a level of toxicity to animals you would need to get to 450mg per liter. Unless you're operating a mine or using literally tons of the stuff, it's quite safe and you'll never get near that. From a 2008 USGS study: Chronic toxicity was observed at concentrations that ranged from 450 ...


22

Even for "multi-week" trips, brushing with water alone is not going to compromise your tooth health. The abrasive action of the brush does most of the work, and missing the flouride hit for a few days won't affect your teeth in the least. Plus, it saves weight. So, the best LNT option: don't use it. If you MUST use toothpaste (or an alternative), try a few ...


21

There's a lot of dubious assertions in the answers here, and frankly some bad advice regarding how long to wait before treating a blister. We just had a lecture on blister management in my WFR class yesterday, so I'll give this a go. The answer to "should I deflate this blister" comes down to a very simple question: Will it pop itself if I don't? Any ...


18

Early this year I crewed on a yacht that was crossing the Atlantic and all of the crew were doing this for the first time. For our leg from Lanzarote to St Lucia we had 1,000 liters of fresh water in the tanks and this with careful use would last for 30 days for a crew of five. So from a practical experience I can answer some of the questions based on our 26 ...


18

I'll caveat this with -- I've never vomited in my gear, nor do I know anyone who has. But I did sit and figure out how I'd try to solve this if it happened to me. Dry the liquid. This will depend on gear and season. Sunshine, freezing cold, or dirt can all work for this. Even cooking materials such as flour can work. Anything to make it less liquid. ...


18

Apart from the practical advantages mentioned in practicality of beards, there's also some aspects that are special to remote and/or high altitude trekking: Melting snow to obtain water costs a lot of fuel (and time) which makes water quite a valuable good. You don't want to spend 10% or more of your expensively molten water just to pollute it with shaving ...


15

Cause of coloring: As you specifically referred to Groundwater, I believe it is most likely due to the Manganese and Iron contents in the water. Iron and manganese are common metallic elements found in the earth's crust. Water percolating through soil and rock can dissolve minerals containing iron and manganese and hold them in solution. Occasionally, iron ...


14

Simply throwing them in the wash should suffice, but if you want to be extra sure the fungus dies, you could soak your socks in a 1 part bleach to 10 parts water mixture for ten minutes. Keep in mind that it's not your socks you need to worry about so much as your shoes, they're a little more difficult to clean. Try changing your insoles out, they make ...


13

Unless you are dealing with Polar bears the answer is: No. According to an article on livescience: Despite campfire fears dating back to at least 1967, black bears and grizzly bears are not attracted to the odors of menstruation, according to a recent Yellowstone National Park report. Polar bears may be interested in the smell of menstrual blood, ...


13

The recommended depth you mention is standard Leave no Trace guidelines for most regions, and strikes a balance between: Getting it out of site (and other feet) Keeping it from running off Keeping it near the layer of organic soil Burying too deep can be a problematic from a health and safety standpoint, since pathogens have been known to survive for a ...


11

I like using a soap and sponge, but it's not the only solution. It is possible to cut the weight of a soap and sponge setup pretty significantly. Using a small scrubby like the one shown below works well and is much lighter. You can also take a regular sponge and cut it into a much smaller mini-sponge which is typically still fine for the duration of a ...


11

You can't. All you can do is throughly inspect yourself or have someone check you over to see if they can find any. But there's nothing you can do to ensure there aren't anymore around, you can only hope that you've found them all on your person. When I first got married, my wife and I went for a hike along the river close to my home. We hung out on the ...


10

I have it on good authority that the Shewee (no info on the other one) is incredibly easy to clean, as it is made of recyclable polypropylene, so all that you would want to do is give it a quick rinse with water if you need to. As it is so highly polished, all you normally need to do is give it a shake, but I think a quick rinse may be what you want on a ...


10

The leaves of the Striped Maple ("Moose Maple") are a no-contest winner, at least in the forests of the northeastern US. The leaves are large, and softer than some forms of toilet paper. As for availability: Anecdotally, I tend to see this plant in most deciduous forests of New Hampshire. It tends to grow bush-like near the ground, at least while it's ...


10

Thimbleberry leaves are my favourite (Rubus spectabilis), They're all over the place in the Kootenays in British Columbia (Southern Canadian Rockies). They're soft and they're about the size of your hand or bigger. The berries are very tasty too, so you you can have a peachy-fuzz-tart-raspberry snack while you do your business. Hand for reference, this leaf ...


10

(Late answer here.) A scholarly report discusses fungus and laundry Several years ago, a scholarly report was published. The report's "Appendix A" discusses, among other things, how you should do laundry if someone in the home has a fungal infection. The advice given The report advises: Whenever you do laundry, add some activated oxygen bleach (AOB). ...


10

Sauna. And not that joke-of-a-sauna but a real Scandinavian sauna with 80°C / 176°F. One thing with ticks is that they can take an enormous amount of beating and other forms of killing attempts but they're extremely vulnerable to heat. Same thing with deer flies. You can also try with a hot shower but you really have to gradually crank up the heat as much ...


9

To my knowledge, all popular routes in the United States require packing out all waste. Here are the rules for Yosemite, which has good guidelines applicable everywhere: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/climbingtrash.htm Obviously, back country climbing might not have rangers to enforce those rules, but you should abide by the Yosemite rules ...


8

The magic skunk-smell-be-gone recipe: In a plastic bucket, mix well the following ingredients: 1 quart of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide 1/4 cup of baking soda 1 to 2 teaspoons liquid soap First thing you want to do is get as much of the skunk goo off of you as you can. Using paper towel, tissues, or a rag you can throw away, dab the spray off your skin. Rinsing ...


8

Nhinkle gives an amazing answer here, but I wanted to add an option which we quite often use, which is to soapy wash less often throughout the day. This will depend on what you cook / eat / water supply etc however. For example when camping we often eat, packet noodles, porridge, beans, packet soups, couscous etc from our cups or mess tins. My point here ...


8

The two thoughts are correct. The other considerations should be: The layout should ought to be like Trail - Campsite and Kitchen area - Thickets (if there are any) - Toilet area. Preferably it can be a triangle. So that one doesn't have to pass through kitchen area to go to toilet area. "It should be lower than the Kitchen area, water source and campsite" ...


7

That's the rule on the Ozark Trail and the Appalachian Trail, to the best of my recollection. However - many times the ground is just rock surrounded by bits of dirt. Do the best you can and use your best judgement. Remember that everything else dumps it in the woods without burying it, but they're not using TP, either. No one wants to step in it, see it, or ...


7

Yes you can. And more to the point, you should (save weight, and leave no trace). I have not found a backpacking cooking mess that could not be cleaned with a combination of (in this order): Tongue Finger Water + Finger (drink it -- truly "Leave No Trace" (its not as bad as you think)) Snow (when available) Pine Needles / plant leaves / grass stalks / ...


7

What I do is carry a small microfiber cloth. First I rinse my dishes, then I swish with a small amount of boiling water (usually left from our post dinner coffee), and wipe with the cloth. Voila, clean dishes. Sorry I missed the part about "found in the wilderness". Given that just skip the cloth and use the water ;) Another note. If the above method ...


7

I haven't tried @Vorac answer, but it sounds interesting. I'm not going to say if popping a blister is correct or not. But, if you do, this is how I was taught to pop a blister: Get a needle (sterile of course) About 1/3 of an inch from the blister, insert the needle under the skin towards the blister. When it reaches the blister, remove the needle. There ...


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