65

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 technology. To put some numbers on this, we can look at Wikipedia's page on energy density. Let's compare ethanol (probably the least energy-dense of the ...


45

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 for emergency and high altitude bivouacs, which are inevitable. So the gray area developed where people sleep without a tent in order to escape punishment, as ...


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 ...


33

Sometimes, regardless of the pins, it's simply impossible to put pins into the ground no matter the technology. In such a situations, boulders may be your friend: Raising a tent between Baugevatnet and Sijdasjávrre, near Narvik, Norway, ~68.1°N, 1 October 2012. The ground was frozen solid and it was completely impossible to drive a peg into the ground. My ...


33

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 regulation (as in: certain people feel cold at x°C, while others might already feel cold at x + 2°C or so, you get the point). So it might be possible that you have ...


30

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, including six in California. Children are particularly vulnerable. The majority of the child victims listed here were not accompanied by adults. So just by being ...


27

The question doesn't state what geographical area it's about, and it really isn't possible to give an answer that covers everything. In this answer, I'm only going to deal with pristine backcountry areas in North America, such as the Sierra. In order to interpret the scientific evidence properly, it's necessary to understand some scientific background about ...


25

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 energy density by weight or volume as chemical fuel does. Battery technology is advancing rapidly, so some day this may no longer be the case, but today it is....


25

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 of an insulated air mattress. Your sleeping bag should be rated to well below the temperature you're sleeping in. I don't know who comes up with these ...


24

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 tent and sleep in it, it was obviously planned to sleep outdoors where people possibly do harm to the nature because they generally don't follow the Leave No ...


24

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 particular case) is that they were two women camping alone in a very remote area of North Africa (although Morocco was not considered a threat to tourists at the time)....


21

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 and the land owner want to protect it. In Austria there had even been a law from 1852 (Reichsforstgesetz), which prohibited entering the forest completely. Not ...


19

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 increase the chances of having to get out of bed or being uncomfortable all night long. On the other hand, eating before bed will give your body fuel during the night. ...


19

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 for seemingly no reason -- but choose a place for vacation where such attacks are very low probability -- Yosemite and the Appalachian Trail, despite one case ...


18

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 works, but if you have wind blowing from all directions then try to find a recess in the ground - a low spot where the ground that slopes up in all directions away ...


18

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 light and don't affect the balance of the bag too much so I wouldn't worry about that. foam pads like the one you have are also really tough! Unlike an ...


17

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 which are; Does it mean I can camp anywhere? The main places where access rights do not apply are: houses and gardens, and non-residential ...


16

If you absolutely must have a fire, reset your thinking from "fire pit" to "fire mound" Creating a fire mound is a great way to enjoy a back-country fire with little to no impact to the ground / vegetation. Carry a small sheet of plastic, burlap, or a section of an old fire shelter, or anything of the like (it shouldn't get hot enough to burn if your mound ...


16

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 important. I know that below about 65 F (18 C), I sleep uncomfortably cold. This is because your insulation (sleeping bag) beneath you is compressed by your body ...


16

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. (Note: I've NEVER needed a bottle opener...) If you mean a knife, read on... I do a lot of backpacking in the Eastern US, so I am going to assume that this ...


16

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 because they may not fit, or they may get squashed. If the pads are waterproof, which is common, you really don't need to worry about the pad getting wet from ...


16

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. Animals are attracted to salts in urine... I would argue, therefore, that urinating around your campsite is not a good idea when near large predatory animals. ...


16

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) weatherproof by having roofs of rock. They usually have a a lot of sand on the ground which makes them quite comfortable. The local term of such a place is "boofe&...


15

Depending on your activity level, access to water, etc, the types of food you carry should change accordingly. Some points to consider: Dehydrated foods are great in that they are light-weight since they have no water in them. But they might not be a wise choice if you are dry camping with no water available (e.g. in the desert) since you would just have to ...


15

I have come across wild boars about a dozen times (I admit, not that much), in numbers from a single male, mothers with young upto groups of 30-40 and I've never felt threatened. Sometimes the leading (fe)male might approach you aggressively just long enough for the rest of the group to run away and then retreat too. I usually stay silent and try to observe ...


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 ...


15

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 mentioning fishing and hunting, I am going to lead with permits. Make sure that fishing and hunting is permitted in the areas you are considering. Hunting is not ...


14

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 makes it easier to keep the ground side of the tent together and the clean(ish) parts away from it. Stuffing results in fewer creases in the fabric over extended ...


14

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 talking about. An area with up turned rocks for sitting and doing stuff on, a fire ring, some flat spots for sleeping, etc. I've never dismantled a single one, ...


14

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 now, when no one seemed to care before?" Or in other words, we're not talking about how dangerous Giardia is, but rather why people are worried; specifically ...


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