65 votes
Accepted

Why aren't there any electric stoves that can be used for cooking where you can't build a fire?

Comparing hydrocarbons with batteries As Olin Lathrop wrote, the big problem is energy density: hydrocarbon fuels simply offer a huge amount of energy per unit mass, compared to any current battery ...
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  • 3,692
47 votes
Accepted

Why is it prohibited to sleep in a tent?

The tent just makes your intent obvious: You planned to sleep there from the beginning. And this is what the authorities want to prevent: Camping in the wild. On the other hand many legislations allow ...
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35 votes

Can groundwater still be consumed if after boiling the water turns brown with an oily substance floating on top?

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 ...
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  • 8,021
33 votes

Why do I always wake up freezing?

As to why you're still cold with those specs: it happens to me as well, and I think the specs are for the 'average' person meaning not only average amount of body fat but also average temperature ...
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  • 871
30 votes

When back country camping, how do you avoid being attacked by a mountain lion in your sleep?

If one looks at the list on Wikipedia of fatal attacks, one will notice that fatal cougar attacks are pretty rare. At least 20 people in North America were killed by cougars between 1890 and 2011, ...
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25 votes

Why aren't there any electric stoves that can be used for cooking where you can't build a fire?

There are no electric backcountry stoves because there aren't long enough extension cords. Seriously, where do you propose to get the energy from? Batteries of current technology don't have the same ...
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  • 21.3k
25 votes

Why do I always wake up freezing?

If you're consistently cold in your sleeping system, then you need to change your system. An adequate sleep system for cold weather constitutes two sleeping pads: a solid foam sleeping pad underneath ...
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  • 53.1k
24 votes

Why is it prohibited to sleep in a tent?

It's not really about the tent, it is about planned "bivouacs" (that means you plan to sleep outdoors) and emergency bivouacs where the latter of course aren't forbidden. That means if you carry a ...
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  • 12.1k
24 votes
Accepted

How can I protect myself in case of a human attack like the murders of the hikers Jespersen and Ueland in Morocco?

What mistakes did these girls make during their camping trip? I don't know that they made any glaring mistakes. The only caution I would note (and you'll see that it's of limited value in this ...
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  • 482
22 votes

Why is it prohibited to sleep in a tent?

In Central Europe there is a much higher population density as e.g. in many parts of the USA, Canada or Scandinavia. There is almost no valley without a village. So private property is rather rare ...
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  • 321
19 votes
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What is a good tarp setup for very high winds above the tree line?

If the wind is blowing from all directions, then you need to get as low as possible to the ground. Do your best to find a spot that is somewhat sheltered from the wind. The lee of a crest usually ...
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  • 53.1k
19 votes

Why do I always wake up freezing?

Here are some other things you can try, Fill a water bottle with hot water, wrap it in a t-shirt and put that inside your sleeping bag. Don't drink warm tea before you go to bed, as that will ...
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19 votes

How can I protect myself in case of a human attack like the murders of the hikers Jespersen and Ueland in Morocco?

The way to protect yourself against attacks like this is to greatly reduce the probability of being attacked. Granted, you can be attacked anywhere (Yosemite, the Appalachian Trail) for any reason or ...
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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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17 votes
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What are the basic considerations for hammock camping?

I've been hammock camping for about four years, and there are a few issues you should be aware of. First, as already noted in the comments under your original question, insulation is critically ...
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  • 1,738
17 votes

Are there wild camping rules in Scotland?

This sounds like a great idea. Wild camping is permited under the Land Reform Act. Outdooraccess-scotland have put together a useful summary of how it relates to your access rights. Key points from ...
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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
16 votes
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Can urinating around camp attract wildlife?

According to Backpacker, and the National Park Service, peeing attracts some large predators because animals like the salty taste: ...urinate well away from camp on rock, sandy areas, or duff. ...
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  • 7,160
16 votes
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Legal situation for camping in the German Elbsandsteingebirge

Yes, there are special places where you are allowed to sleep outside if you are climbing there. And by "outside" I mean without a tent, because these locations are (more or less) ...
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15 votes

Can groundwater still be consumed if after boiling the water turns brown with an oily substance floating on top?

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 ...
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  • 31.5k
15 votes
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Stuff or roll a tent for storage?

There are differing schools of thought on this: Rolling/folding is a lot easier to manage in my opinion, easier to keep track of all the pieces, and when camping in dirty/snowy/wet environments ...
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  • 8,620
15 votes

Why should I take a pocket knife for wild camping / hiking?

A multi-tool or a knife? A multi-tool can be a very appropriate tool for backpacking. It combines the function of many of the tools you mentioned. You may carry the tools you mention above, though. ...
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  • 1,738
15 votes
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What's a good place for a beginner to go backcountry camping in Oregon and California?

I'll answer the slightly broader question "How should I plan my first backpacking trip in Oregon or California?" (with emphasis on California, since that is the area I know best) Since you are ...
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  • 7,471
14 votes
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When is it unethical to dismantle a fire-ring?

Different land managers have different takes on this so I don't think you're going to get a solid answer that applies across all areas. I generally use the term "trail camp" to describe what you're ...
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  • 2,138
14 votes

Why are people so worried about Giardia?

I'm going to chime in on a more practical answer. The question is not "What is the scientific case for Giardia". The question is "Why are people so scared of it?" "Or why is everyone so scared of it ...
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14 votes

What is the best way to manage Scottish midges?

I've been battling the little buggers for half a century. Here's what I've learned. Take them seriously! Most of the time they're only a minor irritant, but at their worst they're very nasty. I've ...
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  • 11.6k
14 votes

When back country camping, how do you avoid being attacked by a mountain lion in your sleep?

Since 2000 there are only 3 recorded death by cougar in North America and all of those were day time. wiki Cougar attacks are up but still rare on the west coast. Up in CA as partly because ...
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  • 7,097
13 votes

Legality of "semi-permanent" wooden structures in state and national forests in the US

Since you don't know if this area is national or state & you didn't say which state, I will answer for national forest land. The National Forest's 14 day law (no more than 14days in one spot/must ...
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  • 351
13 votes
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What order of response time can I expect if I hit the "911" button on my SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker?

Types of satellite-based emergency beacons Personal Locator Beacons Personal Locator Beacons (or PLBs) have one and only one purpose: to send your location to emergency responders, indicating that ...
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