Kevin
  • Member for 9 years, 11 months
  • Last seen more than a month ago
Which will keep my food colder longer, draining the melted ice water, or leaving it in the cooler?
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73 votes

From a thermodynamics point of view, I'd say you should leave the water in. Temperature is a measure of the active kinetic energy of the molecules in a substance. Warming up is essentially the ...

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Should you pop a blister?
35 votes

My mother, who is a doctor, has always told me to let blisters be. Keeping them unpopped keeps them clean and sterile, and (if I recall correctly) the fluid in them actually helps them heal faster. If ...

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What are good knots to know for camping and backpacking?
28 votes

The most important knots you'll ever need to know are the taut-line hitch and the bowline. For instance, on your bear bag, you would tie a bowline through a handle or other loop the bag, and then the ...

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What essential items should go in a small first aid kit?
18 votes

It depends on precisely how big the kit is. A couple other answers have covered bigger packs, so I'll mention what could be in a much thinner pack. If it needs to be flat and relatively small: ...

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How do I read a topographic map?
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16 votes

A topographic map, as we see here, is made up of a number of lines.: Every point on a given line is at the same elevation. Where the lines get closer the slope is steeper, and vice versa. But that ...

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What proven alternatives are there to DEET?
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16 votes

Besides DEET, the CDC lists: Picaridin (Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan (outside the United States)) Lemon Eucalyptus oil (PMD)** (no examples given) IR3535 (Skin So Soft Bug ...

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Does Moss only grow on the North side of trees?
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13 votes

Moss grows best in the shade (and damp, but most relevant here is shade). Because of the curvature of the Earth, in the northern hemisphere the north side of trees is shadier than the south side, so ...

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How can I locate the leak in a inflatable pad
11 votes

Take a bath. Fill the bath tub with water and the pad with air, and put the pad underwater (if it's too big to all go under at once, check section by section). You should see bubbles coming out of ...

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How do I catch fish with fish hooks but no bait?
11 votes

Dig a bit and search for worms. Look under some old rocks or break open a rotting log and grab a couple insects. If you have a bit of granola or a raisin, or something similar, try that. If you can'...

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What type of mosquito repellent is most effective?
10 votes

The CDC says Picaridin and DEET* are the best, with Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus** being something of a shorter-lasting runner-up: Of the active ingredients registered with the EPA, CDC believes that two ...

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What should I do if I'm stung by a scorpion?
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9 votes

The answer is right there in your link. Some select tidbits to answer your question: All known scorpion species possess venom Of the 1000+ known species of scorpion, only 25 have venom that is ...

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Navigational gear worldwide
9 votes

GPS (wikipedia) is based on orbiting satellites and so is accurate worldwide. There are other similar systems in use or under development, run by other countries (Russia, China, India, and the EU), ...

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How much garlic in the mountain kitchen?
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8 votes

This has now been brought up on skeptics.stackexchange.com. Presumably you were looking at the contraindication for before surgery: Not recommended for: Upcoming Surgical Procedure ...

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Best way to illuminate a tent?
8 votes

When I was younger, I had a flashlight where the cone part pulled out and it became essentially a lantern. I would tie it to the top of the tent (most tents I used had a hook there), and that provided ...

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How do I set a top rope anchor?
7 votes

Rule number one: Assume that one piece of your equipment will break, there must be redundancy right up to the rope. At least two, preferably three, independent anchors should go to two opposing locked ...

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Recipe for baking bread/cake on the trail
5 votes

Here are two dessert recipes I like to make while camping: Peach Cobbler: 1 (big/commercial-sized) can of peaches in heavy syrup 1 (regular-sized) box of cake mix (plain yellow cake, unless you want ...

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Driving tent pegs into rocky ground
5 votes

You will probably need, as you mention, a mallet/hammer or rock, but if you find a particularly resistant spot, you may have hit an underground rock, and you should move the stake around a bit, see if ...

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How to sail a packraft
4 votes

I have no personal experience with sailing a raft (though I do sail), but as it's getting on three weeks without an answer I'll give it a shot. I see two primary concerns here: the stability of the ...

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How can I make a footprint for a tent?
4 votes

Perhaps this is too naïve a solution, but I would take a tarp, lay the tent out on top of it, trace the outline with a sharpie, and cut on the outline you just drew.

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