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27 votes
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Pitching a tent in the rain?

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 ...
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  • 1,003
24 votes

Pitching a tent in the rain?

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,...
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20 votes

How to prevent fingers from freezing?

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 ...
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20 votes
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What is the relationship between altitude gain and temperature decrease when mountaineering?

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&...
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20 votes
Accepted

Why do upside down tree leaves mean rain

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 ...
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  • 2,750
19 votes

What is a 'Whitecap' and why should I be concerned about boating in them?

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. ...
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16 votes

How do I determine if a tent can handle strong wind?

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 ...
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15 votes

Reacting to tornado warnings while camping with no buildings nearby

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 ...
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  • 8,011
14 votes
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Why doesn't it snow much at -30 °C?

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 ...
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  • 53k
13 votes

What is a place in the U.S.A that is between 40°F - 60°F (5°C - 15°C) year round and doesn't get a ton of rain?

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,...
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  • 21.3k
13 votes

What is a 'Whitecap' and why should I be concerned about boating in them?

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, ...
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  • 3,466
12 votes

Pitching a tent in the rain?

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 ...
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  • 625
11 votes

Pitching a tent in the rain?

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. ...
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  • 949
11 votes

How to prevent fingers from freezing?

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 ...
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  • 24.4k
11 votes
Accepted

How do you predict weather with an altimeter while mountaineering and or backpacking?

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 ...
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  • 22.2k
10 votes
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How do you assess the weather when getting an alpine start?

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 ...
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  • 2,338
10 votes

How do you assess the weather when getting an alpine start?

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, ...
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  • 21.3k
10 votes

If you are canoeing on a lake when whitecaps start happening, what is the best direction to get off the lake?

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 ...
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  • 795
9 votes

Pitching a tent in the rain?

In addition to the other answers, if you expect heavy rain (I'm also heading for Snowdonia this weekend...) be careful about the location you choose as well. Avoid places near rivers or streams but ...
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  • 5,862
9 votes
Accepted

What do surf report terms like "fading WNW swell" mean?

Wind directions are always given as the direction the wind is coming from. It would be natural for surf reports to do the same. This is born out by looking at Surfline surf reports for the West ...
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  • 1,407
8 votes

Pitching a tent in the rain?

One last tip, if you don't get everything just right, carry a pack towel or other microfibre super absorbent towel to get the inside as dry as possible before putting gear inside.
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8 votes

Pitching a tent in the rain?

Firstly, if possible, wait a while. Find somewhere to shelter out of the rain, and wait to see if the rain stops. For typical UK summer weather, most heavy rain is only short showers. So it will ...
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  • 854
8 votes

Reacting to tornado warnings while camping with no buildings nearby

I've been with the Boy Scouts for many years and one thing that we always did when backpacking in remote areas was to not get too cozy. By that I mean don't unpack everything. We always kept as much ...
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8 votes
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How to get weather forecasts at Yellowstone?

A forecast should be posted daily at all ranger stations and visitor centers in the park. This will be the most reliable (i.e. not dependent on technology) way to get an up-to-date forecast. On the ...
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  • 8,600
8 votes

What are good indicators of hail approaching?

Hail is a result of the same type of instability that causes thunderstorms. Not all thunderstorms have hail, but most hail is part of a thunderstorm. Therefore, all the same warnings for ...
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  • 21.3k
8 votes

Does firewood have to be stored inside or is storing it in a lean-to sufficient?

Very simply, the drier the wood, the more efficiently it burns, and the easier it lights. A lean-to on the downwind side of the house is very common as a long-term wood store (there's generally a ...
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  • 22.5k
8 votes

What signs can I use to navigate a cave if lost?

When you say "trapped" I presume you mean he cannot find his way out, as opposed to being trapped by rock fall or something blocking his exit such as flooding? The only weather-related clues could be ...
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  • 5,862

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