28 votes
Accepted

How can I vet a hiking partner without potential hard feelings?

Invite them both on a day hike. That's a end onto itself, so no need to pretend anything else. You can watch the interaction between #2 and #3, and talk about experiences to find out what #3's ...
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  • 21.3k
28 votes

Backpacking Through Rain

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 ...
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  • 53.1k
20 votes
Accepted

Are there any general rules of thumb for route finding up a mountain without any trails?

I'll try to give a fairly generic answer to this broad question... Avoid Dangers This is obvious really, but first and foremost you'll want to avoid any kind of routes which lead you close to ...
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  • 12.2k
18 votes
Accepted

Leading an inexperienced group

There are few things which may go wrong: Injury. Carry some kind of the shelter. It may take few hours for mountain rescue to get to your group. Tired. Make sure you have alternative shorter and ...
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  • 777
18 votes
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Effective way to carry a sleeping mattress with rucksack?

I think having it vertically using side compression straps or bungees on the rear of the bag effects movement the least (ie not getting caught on stuff). As Kate Gregory mentions the pads are really ...
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16 votes

Effective way to carry a sleeping mattress with rucksack?

A rolled up sleeping pad is generally pretty lightweight, meaning the "you could misbalance your pack and strain your back" concern is probably one you can ignore. People try not put them inside ...
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  • 11.7k
15 votes
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How to prepare on hiking routes?

The answers you seek are not easily quantifiable - for instance, a very fit experienced hiker might walk 50+ km a day on flat, open (i.e. not brush covered) terrain, but might only do 5-10 (or less) ...
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  • 7,647
13 votes

Backpacking Through Rain

TL;DR: Bring a set of clothes that are comfy-when-wet and expect to spend a lot of time in them. Keep a set of dry clothes for in-the-tent-only use. Don't ever let your wet clothes come into contact ...
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13 votes
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How to plan a day hike

It depends on your destination. In general I would think of: Preparation organise one or more detailed map(s) of the area to go to check the weather forecast organise your way to your destination ...
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  • 296
12 votes

Leading an inexperienced group

A trek group should have a Leader who walks in front who leads the trail/route/climb, sometimes cleaning the route or navigating the route. I believe that will be you. Then the second most important ...
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  • 31.5k
12 votes

Are there any general rules of thumb for route finding up a mountain without any trails?

You will likely find topo maps as the best starting point. Find a route that avoids impassible features, like cliffs or high rivers, and sticks to easier terrain like snowfields (depending on the ...
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  • 221
11 votes
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How to stay hydrated with minimum water usage

How much water you need depends on how big you are, how fit you are, where you are and what you're doing. For example, on Mount Everest, the average person needs to drink 4-5L of water each day just ...
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  • 53.1k
11 votes

How can I vet a hiking partner without potential hard feelings?

IMHO, up to a certain level in mountaineering, friends that you make in mountains or at a base camp are likely to be good/close friends for life. So, If I were the guy with the lesser experience in ...
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  • 31.5k
11 votes

Backpacking Through Rain

My two concerns for trekking in wet weather are safety and comfort. The safety issue here is primarily hypothermia, which can be a real risk even in the upper 40s or lower 50s (F), if you're wet ...
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  • 708
11 votes
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Why is freeze-dried food not much more popular?

The answer is that it is very expensive to make compared to other forms of preservation, especially in the home. Canning can be done at home with nothing more than jars, lids, water and an oven. ...
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  • 7,647
10 votes

Leading an inexperienced group

As Jim alluded to, you need to be very explicit about gear. I've taken groups of 2-6 very inexperienced people on assorted trips, from strenuous dayhikes to backpacking trips. Here's things I usually ...
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  • 8,620
10 votes

How to stay hydrated with minimum water usage

This seems a bit low to me, but there are lots of other factors to consider. The main ones are temperature and exertion/walking speed. Different people also definitely need different amounts of water. ...
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  • 7,069
10 votes

How can I be sure that I'm ready to do the Three Peaks Challenge?

I have a few colleagues who have done this, and one team who did it with a colleague in a wheelchair. They are all reasonably fit, but the day job is desk-based, so if you have managed Kili easily, ...
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  • 24.4k
10 votes

How to design a semi-permanent campsite for short trips into the woods that won't attract vandals when we're not there?

What to sleep in? Any building will be inviting vandals, so I would just level out a part of the plot with easy access for your car or a camper van. Instead of having a building you can bring a tent ...
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  • 2,557
10 votes
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I am torn between axe or hatchet, what would you recommend?

Personally, I usually take neither. Instead, I bring a sturdy knife and a saw. The knife wouldn't be replaced by hatchet or axe: it is anyways needed for cooking and it is at least as good as a ...
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9 votes

How can I keep my backpack safe?

Here is some useful advice from "How to keep your backpack safe", an article on StartBackpacking.com. It's aimed at backpacking travellers rather than hikers, but some of the advice is still ...
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  • 481
9 votes

How can I keep my backpack safe?

I use a pac safe metal mesh for my plane travel as my pack is a camping pack not a travel pack with lockable pockets. http://www.blessthisstuff.com/stuff/wear/bags-luggage/bag-protector-by-pacsafe/ ...
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9 votes
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Most efficient training before alpine hiking/climbing?

Instead of running or walking, I recommend you go to the gym and do the Stairmaster. This will provide an aerobic workout while building the muscles you need for hiking and scrambling. This is what I ...
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9 votes

Most efficient training before alpine hiking/climbing?

All these are well and good, but "No training plan survives contact with real life". Doing something vaguely aerobic that you enjoy doing for several hours at a stretch one or two times a week is ...
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8 votes

How do you determine how long a hike will take?

Naismith's rule is a good starting point, but it doesn't really cover unusual trail conditions. My rule of thumb is to convert distance, elevation, and trail condition to "equivalent miles": Each ...
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  • 2,912
8 votes
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If injured and lost, what are your biggest priorities for survival?

Obviously, this is a scenario that could be avoided with proper planning and better practices. The best solutions would have been preemptive. Regardless, this scenario is where my question is to be ...
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  • 8,620

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