Mr.Wizard
  • Member for 10 years
  • Last seen more than a month ago
What does it mean to cross load a carabiner?
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40 votes

A carabiner is designed to be loaded only along the long axis, near the spine (leftmost figure below). It will be weaker in any other direction of stress. Primary long-axis strength should be marked ...

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Ideal and Minimal Rope Diameter for Lead Climbing
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29 votes

Failure by cutting is a primary concern In terms of safety (rather than e.g. rope life) laboratory (UIAA) fall testing may not be the most important concern. Even a new, thick rope can be cut in a ...

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When should I retire my rope
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27 votes

The manufacturer of your rope says: Time in use : The potential lifetime of BEAL PPE in use is up to a maximum of 10 years. The lifetime of the rope in use must never exceed 10 years. ...

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Surviving a forest fire by starting another fire
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25 votes

This does have a basis in a known technique, back burning, but by your description the application wasn't orthodox. From Wikipedia: Back burning is a way of reducing the amount of flammable ...

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Is it realistic to teach yourself rock climbing?
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22 votes

With dedication you could learn to climb at a top-rope or bouldering climbing gym without professional instruction. The key skill there is belaying, and you could learn that from videos. However I ...

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Why don't we apply the principles of layering when it comes to pants?
18 votes

I'm not sure why pants don't receive the same attention but the layers are available. You can easily find base, insulating, and shell layers. Olin's answer gives some good reasons layering pants may ...

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How do you safely cut wood with a knife?
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18 votes

You really want a saw or camp axe for this purpose, but if using a knife you want one without serrations. Serrations are not a replacement for a saw. A saw cuts a kerf wider than the blade itself so ...

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Using a Girth Hitch in Alpine Draws
17 votes

The knot reduced the runner rating in half, but since there are two strands , its back to the UIAA standard of 22KN ... The 22kN rating is for the loop strength of the sling, not the single-strand ...

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Do tent colors have functional purposes?
16 votes

I have a Marmot tent and those were my color choices. I chose the brighter one as I thought it would be useful if I were lost and needed visibility, either lost from my own campsite or in need of ...

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What can an injured person in the outdoors do to prevent infection by flesh-eating bacteria?
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16 votes

The National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation says: Preventive Measures First, let it be said that there is no sure prevention. Necrotizing fasciitis has been known to be spontaneous. A bruise or ...

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What are the benefits of Vibram FiveFingers?
15 votes

Ben Crowell already answered the "why minimalist" angle better than I could have, but he didn't specifically talk about Vibram FiveFingers (hereafter VFF). This is intended to complement his answer. ...

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Methods for taping hands, wrists, and fingers for climbing?
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15 votes

I am only familiar with a couple but I wouldn't be surprised if there are many more for certain injuries or specific applications (e.g. ankle taping for off-widths). Crack climbing For crack ...

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Can oiling keep tools from rusting?
15 votes

The type of oil surely matters. Within petroleum products, thick, waxy Cosmoline has proven to be effective, but it's not nice to remove. (I've never personally used it for this reason.) I have ...

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Best type of rope for glacier travel?
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14 votes

Beal Ropes has a guide that covers this. Read the page but here are two images for quick reference: A robust half rope such as the Mammut Genesis is probably a very good choice; such a rope is much ...

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Climbing with a much lighter partner?
14 votes

Alright, there are several different issues here that we must be sure to address. I'll give you my thoughts on each of them. As before I recommend receiving in-person instruction as there may be ...

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Permanent Camping Cooler - No Ice Needed
14 votes

Although technology has brought us many conveniences most of them require supporting power or other technology. You seem set on refrigeration and you say: "I am willing to go to just about any extent ...

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Can a Finger Pulley injury be predicted / anticipated?
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14 votes

Rather than try to answer the personal part of your question, which as Liam said needs a doctor's attention to answer properly, I shall reply to the more general title: Can a Finger Pulley injury be ...

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How high to climb before clipping on a sport climb?
13 votes

The pragmatic answer has already been given, but in my own words: Clip from the most solid stance available Clip with your harness as close to the rope-end carabiner as possible Sometimes the old ...

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Is it ever necessary to double up locking carabiners?
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13 votes

A number of prominent climbing organizations (e.g. International Federation of Sport Climbing) either recommend or require two locking carabiners for clip-in attachment to a harness, e.g. IFSC Rules ...

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Is there a kayak / paddleboard for large people?
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13 votes

I think a sit-on-top tandem kayak might work; something like this: The open design means there is no cramped compartment to fit into. This particular tandem claims a capacity of 500 pounds. I ...

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Why do some knives have one-sided sharpening?
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12 votes

Serrations are formed on one side due to the method of manufacture (a formed grinding wheel). I suppose it would be possible to grind serrations from both sides with very careful alignment but I ...

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What is a good knife for survival in a forested environment?
12 votes

Time-tested bushcraft designs look like this: Fallkniven F1 Woodlore Bushcraft Northwest Spyderco Bushcraft EnZo Trapper Classic but less bombproof (because of the lack of a full shank): Puukko ...

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What are creative uses for retired carabiners?
12 votes

This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion because it's not nearly as "feel good" as helping remote Asian herdsmen. (Which incidentally is probably one of few exceptions to what follows.) ...

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Wood versus plastic trail signs?
12 votes

My only experience with this is as a hiker, and I can only give my own opinion. But first: Examples In the Columbia River Gorge there are a few different types of signage used. Major road-side ...

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How to toughen up hands?
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12 votes

I don't think anything works the hands in exactly the same way as climbing. I think that a training board or minimally Metolius Rock Rings are the best bet for keeping hands in shape. If there is no ...

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How do I check paracord to determine if it's genuine?
12 votes

You cannot tell by simple observation if a cord is as strong as it should be. Even if the cord was originally manufactured to the correct specification it may become invisibly damaged by chemical ...

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How to safely carry a fixed-blade knife?
12 votes

If your primary concern is "a knife I can quickly get out with just one hand" then you may want to look at better folding knives instead. A modern folding knife should not be difficult to open with ...

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"Used" top rope when bouldering
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11 votes

With due respect to Ben Crowell, who is I believe a far more experienced outdoorsman than I am, I beg to differ with his answer. (Edit: his answer prior to revision.) Having worked at a very small ...

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Technique and physical conditioning for crack climbing
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10 votes

Update 2019: video links and PDF links fixed, and new 2019 video added. Please let me know via comment if the links break again. I don't have a lot of experience with cracks myself (I refuse to make ...

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What's the minimum diameter cord to use when climbing a rope using a prusik
10 votes

I am going to approach this question differently. Since the question is marked with the rock-climbing tag the use of a 7.5mm Technora escape rope that AM_Hawk's answer focuses on seems unlikely. ...

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