Hot answers tagged

34

Humidity Keeping clothing dry in normal weather can be challenging, but high humidity or precipitation regions can make this even more difficult. That's because humidity is really a "relative" measure and means the amount of water vapor that the air can hold at a given temperature before condensation. The condensation can occur in the sky as rain, near ...


26

For tents that erect outer first, pitching in the rain is no different to any other time, just don't leave the dry inner out in the rain while putting the outer up. The outer will get wet on both sides anyway. To make this easier a bit of forward planning is useful, like pack the inner and outer separately so that you can just leave the inner in the car ...


24

There are all kinds of people who put up the fly first, then crouch under it putting up the inside. It's generally a very unpleasant experience from all I have heard, what with the crouching, crawling, and being rained on at least while getting the fly up. I handle it completely differently, because I have a free standing tent. On arrival at a site the very ...


20

Some general rules: layer system also for the hands is a good idea but those gardening gloves won't work pretty well better use inner liner gloves (wool or even a softshell glove) and a warm mitten as the outer layer to avoid cooling off use hats (again use a layer-system) including a warm winter hat which covers the ears (also see this about heat loss ...


20

The answer is that it depends on the moisture held in the air moist air changes at a rate of 3° Fahrenheit per 1000 ft of vertical / 0.6° Celsius per 100m. dry air changes at a rate of 5.4° Fahrenheit per 1000 ft of vertical / 1° Celsius per 100m. As moist air rises, it cools with height at a rate of 3°F per 1,000 feet (not nearly as ...


20

This is the old saying, "When leaves show their undersides, be very sure rain betides." From the farmersalmanac.com: The leaves of deciduous trees, like maples and poplars, do often to turn upward before heavy rain. The leaves are actually reacting to the sudden increase in humidity that usually precedes a storm. Leaves with soft stems can become ...


18

Yes, "Nor'easter" is derived from "north-easter" meaning the winds come from the northeast. That is exactly what happens in a nor'easter. You are confusing the wind direction with the travel direction of the storm. The whole storm moves up the coast, but remember these are counter-clockwise rotating cyclonic storms. The winds that bring the most stuff ...


18

White caps are named for the white caps at the top of waves. White caps are sign that the wind is picking up and that the weather conditions are getting worse and look like this at low wind levels. Source By the Beaufort scale these start happening at between 7-10 knots. Its even more dangerous if you are in a canoe as the wind can flip you. Wind and ...


16

Generally, the more times the poles cross each other, the better the wind resistance. Additionally, tents with crossed-pole designs usually have better head room. Of course, more poles means more weight and more time required to pitch and strike the tent. How you pitch the tent is also important. Keep the doors away from the wind, put the bottom of the tent ...


15

I was caught by a hailstorm the weekend before last. I was high above the tree line, the nearest trees were perhaps 20 km away, and several hours hiking from shelter. The hailstones were not huge, but large enough to hurt. Hail north of Rássevárri, above Guovdelisjávri, Narvik, Norway. There's only one place to hide: under my backpack. A backpack ...


15

The general guideline for tornado safety is to get as low to the ground as possible and assume the tornado safety crouch: Wind speeds will be slower close to the ground, you are less likely to be hit by a flying object, and are less of a target for lightning strikes. In the same vein, it is best to avoid stands of trees if possible because the risk of ...


14

Sandstorms (or, here in the southwestern part of the US, dust storms) impair the ability to see and breath. The winds also carry heavier debris. Because the storms often occur when it is hot, the wind can contribute to dehydration. The reverse is also true--cold, winter dust storms occur in some places, and hypothermia can become an issue. Fortunately, ...


14

If you have a synthetic sleeping bag, you can put your hiking clothes down the bag, near your feet, when you go to sleep. Your body warmth will help them get drier. Note, however, that they will not be completely dry by morning, but will still remain somewhat damp. Still, better than completely wet. And do not use this method with a down bag.


14

It's actually kind of the other way around, it's not that being too cold prevents snow from falling, it's that an absence of moisture in the air allows the atmosphere to cool. Low pressure systems bring with them (relatively) warm moist air which precipitates as snow. The clouds overhead act as a blanket, and keep the surface air warmer. When the low ...


13

Here's a lot more advice than you aked for: Around 24000 people in the entire world are struck by lightning each year. Supposing you live to be 85, that's 2 million people in your lifetime. On 7 billion people alive today, that's a lifetime chance of 1 in 3500 -- your chances are pretty slim anyway :) But, to be more elaborate: your chances of being ...


13

As well stated in another answer, whitecaps (the white tips of waves) are a visual indicator of local wind speed over the water. Just wanted to add emphasis that whitecaps, as an indicator of wind, will often appear before the local formation of the sort of short, steep waves (aka “wind chop”) that can be challenging for canoes and kayaks paddled by people ...


12

Depending on how much moisture you're talking about, it can also help to wrap some clothes together with a microfiber towel and wring them out together. The towel will draw some of the moisture out of the clothing and into itself. This won't get clothes dry, but it can substantially reduce the amount of water in clothes. I use this technique to mostly dry ...


12

There is no such place. 40-60°F is a very narrow range. 20°F can be just from day and night variation, which leaves basically nothing for seasonal variation. Even if you meant daytime highs, I still don't think there is any place on earth that fits this description, let alone anywhere in the US. Let's flip this around and think of what would make ...


12

In a sense, yes. While mountains don't literally "make their own weather," they do sometimes provide additional catalysts to create localized disturbances which you might otherwise characterize as "weather" (thunderstorms, clouds, rain, etc). In a broader global sense, weather events occur when masses of air with differing characteristics suddenly collide. ...


11

The outside of a tent is designed to get wet, the key trick is to keep everything else dry. You will want to pitch the outer first and only then add the inner. The other answer has covered that well. Some more general tips though is to have a look at the base of your inner tent and see how waterproof it is. A lot of ground sheets are not waterproof at all. ...


11

Assuming you don't have an outer first tent pitching in the rain comes down to planning and practice. It is actually possible to stay fairly dry if you're organised. There is no sure fire method but there are a few tricks which can help you keep the inner dry. Don't wrap the tent poles up inside the tent, this will force you to unwrap the tent while it's ...


11

If the suggestions in Everything's answer don't work, try these heating options: Heated gloves (I have linked to an example) Hand warmer packs to tuck into your gloves My wife has Reynaud's which leads to poor circulation in fingers and toes, so needs to use these solutions on occasion, and they are very effective.


11

On a backpacking trip, calibrate the altimeter only at the trailhead and at places, such as a pass or a lake, that are marked on a topo map. In your comment you mention maybe calibrating the altimeter three times a day, and also by as little as 40 feet. This seems like overkill to me. On a backpacking trip, we write down the altimeter reading when we stop ...


10

One of the big reasons that we seem to be 'caught' by the weather when we're on the mountain is that the mountain forces otherwise harmless air to ascend and condense. As the warm and moist air is forced to ascend the mountain, the air quickly cools and reaches its dew point, water droplets form and a vicious cycle is set in motion. This is especially true ...


10

I think you have already answered. Check for clear sky or how the overall weather feels like. A barometer could give you a brief indication as well. Ideally, you have left home with an idea of the forecast. We have a service of mountain radios here in my part of the world where you can hire some radios and they do a daily broadcast of weather forecast and ...


10

It's usually not that hard to detect clouds at night after your eyes have adjusted to the darkness. So assessing weather at night is not much different from doing it when the sun is out. However, the real problem is that morning weather is a poor indicator of what is to come that day. Morning weather is usually the calmest, then stuff starts happening ...


10

I was always taught that it is best when possible to "three quarter" the waves, whether your intended direction of travel is up or down wind -- either way this avoids most splashing, and the boat will float over surprisingly large waves. It also allows you better control, as the wave is less likely to "catch up" to your forward speed and broach you, as it ...


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