Skip to main content
21 votes
Accepted

How can I tell which way is "down wind"

Use your ears. OK, Let me explain that. But first things first. The direction of the wind is what we call “downwind”. If I throw a handful of white flour into the wind, the direction that flour ...
243DRob's user avatar
  • 1,792
20 votes

What is meant by "an Easterly wind"?

Wind direction is, by convention, the direction that the wind is coming from. An easterly wind blows from east to west. If the bow of the boat is pointing into the wind, it's pointing to the east.
Pete Becker's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

When making camp in the mountains, which direction should I face my tent?

Depends on where you set it, where I'm from the wind is almost always the determining factor, when you're in thick trees and wind isn't a factor, then you set your tent wherever it fits. Which ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
12 votes

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

Conditions in which you can handle the boat depend on the style of boat and the paddler The range of what defines a "covered cockpit kayak" includes play boats from under 2 meters to over 5 ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 8,097
8 votes

What do you call it when a sailboat starts to have trouble?

I grew up around sailboats and live on an island. I have always heard the word "foundering" used to describe a boat taking on water and sinking. I have heard the word "flounder" ...
That Idiot's user avatar
  • 2,924
8 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 ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 1,801
8 votes
Accepted

What can I do if I have 24-hour warning of very strong wind gusts (45–50 m/s), but I cannot reach a fixed shelter within this period?

What you are probably going to want to do is to build your own shelter out of rocks. Basically, you are going to want to pile them up into a wall a couple of feet high and get down behind that. If you ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

At what wind speed is hiking considered unsafe

By the Beaufort scale if would be over level 8, Level 7: 50-61 km/h, 32–38 mph: Inconvenience felt when walking against the wind. Level 8: 62-74 km/h, 39–46 mph: Twigs break off trees; generally ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
7 votes

How can I tell which way is "down wind"

Simply the easiest way is to light a match (or light a stick from your fire), and look at which way the small flame blows. Simpler still (but less.. uhh.. 'classy'?) take some leaves from the ground, ...
Avik Mohan's user avatar
7 votes

When making camp in the mountains, which direction should I face my tent?

The answer and reasoning I've heard is place the door facing upwind, or South / Southeast, as this is where the warmer winds tend to come from, northerly winds being colder. Face it east to wake up by ...
Avik Mohan's user avatar
7 votes

How can I tell which way is "down wind"

Wet your finger in your mouth, then hold it straight up. It will feel noticeably cooler on the upwind side.
Pete Becker's user avatar
6 votes

How can I tell which way is "down wind"

How can I tell which way is down wind? How do I know which way is down wind? I turn so the wind is coming around me from the back and is equal on both right and left sides. I feel it in my hair, on ...
wallyk's user avatar
  • 1,319
6 votes
Accepted

When should I carry both a wind jacket and hard shell?

When wind is guaranteed but rain is unlikely you might decide the extra weight is worth it. But good layering with a hard shell that is breathable and has underarm zips can be quite comfortable while ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.6k
6 votes

When making camp in the mountains, which direction should I face my tent?

You pitch the door downwind to help prevent blowing rain/snow from entering when you go in and out. Orienting the shelter to prevailing/expected winds is even more important for those of us that use ...
topshot's user avatar
  • 2,012
6 votes

What can I do if I have 24-hour warning of very strong wind gusts (45–50 m/s), but I cannot reach a fixed shelter within this period?

In addition to Charlie's answer on building a shelter: Make sure you don't have to move once the storm hits. You'll likely hardly be able to walk around safely, so make sure you're in the best spot ...
fgysin's user avatar
  • 13k
6 votes

How much heel is optimal on a small katamaran in low wind?

As you mentioned, a vertical sail gives you more power, so where possible that should be your goal, but the drag caused when heeling is enough that for most catamarans you want to minimise it as much ...
Rory Alsop's user avatar
  • 24.9k
6 votes

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

As said elsewhere “It depends”—-on the paddler’s fitness and skill, the geography of the lake, and whether the equipment (boat and clothing) make capsizing inconvenient or dangerous. Generally ...
mmcc's user avatar
  • 3,466
5 votes

Managing the risk of storm damage to a tent each night

The Lanshan design doesn't look great for windy conditions - normally I'd pitch with a pointy end (not the door, or don't use that door) into the wind, but on that tent you'll get wind coming ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.6k
4 votes

When making camp in the mountains, which direction should I face my tent?

Pitch the tent flat. If not flat then most people prefer feet down hill. You may prefer feet up. Lay down and decide what you what. Most people sleep head at the opening. Across the grade you roll -...
paparazzo's user avatar
  • 7,186
3 votes

What would cause sudsy surf?

An interesting article from The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Research lists causes of sea foam, most of which have been covered by all your other answers. It does say that the ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
3 votes

What would cause sudsy surf?

Sea foam is from diatoms breaking up (unless it is from pollution). Normally, it is from diatoms, which are a form of plankton that have a glass-like silica shell (also their broken shells make ...
Jane's user avatar
  • 96
3 votes

What is a good tarp setup for very high winds above the tree line?

This blog post has two crazy complex tarp pitches, for a 3x3 meter tarp, that are fully enclosed. I have never tried either, but they look promising. The Summit Wedge The Laavu The Low Tetra also ...
StrongBad's user avatar
  • 10.7k
3 votes

What do you call it when a sailboat starts to have trouble?

If you gets gusts and choppy water, that's what we call "sailing". It happens. :) If the gusts get severe, you reef the sails, or drop the sails altogether. Note that this is still within the ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 2,229
3 votes

What is meant by "an Easterly wind"?

One interpretation of the question, in its original form, was What does the phrase "in the wind direction" mean? This is an answer to that question. The phrase "in the wind direction&...
Martin F's user avatar
  • 4,106
3 votes

Managing the risk of storm damage to a tent each night

I go to mountains in Europe all the time and I use windy app a lot. You need to use weather radar layer. You see storm cells there and lightning strikes. Hail is probable when there is more than 55 ...
Alex J.'s user avatar
  • 1,235
2 votes

Managing the risk of storm damage to a tent each night

First of all, let us be clear that a tent offers protection only against wind and rain, but not against sizeable hail or falling trees. The best way to manage your risk is therefore being close to a ...
Manziel's user avatar
  • 7,435
2 votes
Accepted

How to wind-proof an existing tent

One thing you can do is close up the gap under the fly sheet on the upwind side using something you already have. That's easy for me - I go bike camping and my panniers are heavy duty dry bags that do ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.6k
1 vote

At what wind speed is hiking considered unsafe

There is already a good answer to this but I'll add a slightly different perspective, especially since you noted in your question you want more general answers. For working in the forest - as in ...
cr0's user avatar
  • 4,003

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible