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Q&A

General Q&A about the great outdoors and outdoor pursuits.

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Do animal trails have switchbacks?

When hiking in a rarely frequented area, trails may be very faint to the level of being essentially invisible. In such situations, it has happened more than once that I accidentally followed an an...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by gerrit‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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If the Dawn Wall had been climbed before, why was the 2015 attempt so difficult?

There's a lot of talk in the media about Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell's free ascent of the dawn wall of El Capitan. This wall has been climbed before, but this is the first time it's been fr...

2 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by System‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How often should I clean my water bladder/reservoir while on a thru-hike, extended backpacking trip, or survival scenario?

I'm wondering how long before one needs to clean their personal water bladder/reservoir while on a thru-hike, extended backpacking trip, or survival scenario. I know it's advised to clean after ev...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Peter‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Do U.S. Wilderness areas allow bridges?

A U.S. wilderness area prohibits road-building and other forms of development. Are bridges on hiking trail permitted, or are all river crossings in wilderness areas necessarily unbridged?

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by gerrit‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Where can I find resources to find user-contributed GPS tracks?

For trip planning and navigation during my outdoors trip, I would like to load a track into my GPS (or GNSS) receiver. Where can I find websites that gather user-contributed GPS tracks?

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by gerrit‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Where do I find hiking partners to go on glaciers/mountains?

Is there a well-known free webpage in Europe where you can find hiking partners to go on &gt; 4000 m mountains? For bouldering and climbing it is usually not a problem to find "new friends", since...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by cerv21‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Why does North Cascades National Park get so few visitors?

Last year I went to Washington state and I visited Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, and North Cascades National Park. I enjoyed all three of them. I just saw a Wikipedia page a...

5 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by pacoverflow‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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What is the best way to figure out the size/volume of an old pack?

I have a North Face Big Shot backpack that I purchased around 2003. It was a great general purpose backpack that I used for day hikes, rock climbing, and traveling. Unfortunately time and the abuse...

6 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Erik‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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What does "UVA in-vitro 49" mean in a sunscreen's description?

I read on https://www.walmart.com/ip/Isdin-UV-Care-FotoUltra-Active-Unify-Fusion-Fluid-Color-SPF-50-50ml/304385886: Isdin UV Care FotoUltra Active Unify Fusion Fluid Color SPF 50+ 50ml is a tin...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Franck Dernoncourt‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How common are avian diseases?

I feed the local birds quite a lot, and am wondering about the possibility of contracting any avian-related illnessess. How often is it for us to come across a disease-ridden bird anywhere, as well...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by Peter Johnmeyer‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Fly fishing rig knots

I have been fly fishing with my dad for a number of years but recently I went on my own and hit quite the stumbling block... I didn't know how to set the kit properly, normally I drive the boat whi...

3 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by rg255‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Did any lighthouses provide directional navigation signals?

Rather than shining in all directions, lighthouses usually produce a directed beam of light that continuously sweeps in a circle. This allows: the light to be more concentrated and so appear brig...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Ray Butterworth‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How dangerous are kangaroos?

After watching this video of a man punching a kangaroo to rescue his dog, I am wondering how dangerous a kangaroo is to a human on foot? I am sure that there are a lot of other things in Australia ...

5 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Charlie Brumbaugh‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Do Garmin InReach plans include unlimited incoming messages?

I am considering getting a Garmin InReach device (a device allowing two-way satellite communication via text messages) and I am trying to decipher the hidden costs of the subscription that comes al...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Vince‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How to properly light a Son Of Hibachi

So my friend convinced me to buy a Son Of Hibachi :) I've set it up and want to give it a try in the evening. Of course there are several sources for a "how to" and even videos but I wanted instruc...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by OddDeer‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How should I cast to a trout lying in the tail of the pool?

I frequently encounter trout sitting in the tail of a pool just above the start of the next rapid. So the trout is in slow water with much faster water downstream of it. So typically the fly is swe...

0 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by tjjjohnson‭

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Fall/autumn colours in northwest North American mountains

I've noticed that the vegetation in the subalpine forest is very different between the Alps, the Urals, Scandinavia, or the Canadian Rockies. In the latter, I didn't find any at all. In the Alps,...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by gerrit‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How do I whiten an old deer skull?

Yesterday I found a really old deer skull in a forest and I took it home in the hope to get it cleaned up. So I searched it up but I only saw how to clean up dead deer heads with skin on and those ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Hanna‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Question about climbing in "A Line Across the Sky"

I've been watching "A Line Across the Sky" which is a short-ish movie about Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold doing the Fitz Roy traverse. During which Tommy Caldwell mentions Alex doing a 1000 and ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Morten Nissov‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Adirondacks winter road open/closed status

I'm looking for a decent source to know winter road conditions for various Adirondacks access roads. First level of interest would be just what is or isn't being maintained. A better yet answer w...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Francky_V‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Is there an optimal strike indicator color for fly fishing reflective, tumbling streams?

Strike indicators are basically the fly fishing version of bobbers and they come in different colors white, yellow, orange, etc. When fishing streams that have a big of disturbance and the sun is ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Charlie Brumbaugh‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Technique for fly fishing into the wind?

Sometimes when fly fishing in canyons the wind will start coming down the canyon and it makes it that much harder to cast. It doesn't take a whole lot of wind to completely stop one from further fi...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Charlie Brumbaugh‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Any tips for landing fish on barbless hooks?

I have started to debarb all my flies a while ago (it is much better for the fish if you are doing catch and release), but have been loosing some hooked fish that I was otherwise able to net when I...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Kenji‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How to get out of thicker wetsuits efficiently and quickly?

I've always had a problem getting out of thicker wetsuits (4/3 mm and above, chestzip with/without hoodies). I would like advice from anyone who has tips getting out of these types of thick wetsuit...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by qxzsilver‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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What to look for when purchasing a ~70m rope for canyoneering?

I'm looking for a good longer rope (e.g. 70m or so) to use for rappeling during canyoneering trips. Most of the ropes on Amazon or REI are dynamic, and my understanding is that static ropes are gen...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by mfeingol‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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What is the difference between SPF and UPF, if any?

I read on https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sun_protective_clothing&amp;oldid=930941768: A relatively new rating designation for sun protective textiles and clothing is UPF (Ultraviole...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Franck Dernoncourt‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How to empty bowels before a hike?

They say prevention is better than cure, so for beginner hikes, especially dayhikes, how can one try to ensure that their bowels are empty and they won't suddenly need to poo? Are there proven ways...

6 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by user19652‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Behavior of crow pair, larger crow eats the food, not leaving any for smaller buddy

There are a couple of crows that come around regularly, they come as a pair. One is larger than the other. Perhaps a couple? or parent and youth? or adult and older parent? When providing nuts/see...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by devlop‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Post-hike shoe care

How do I get rid of bad smell of mountaineering boots / skiing boots which comes from sweaty feet? I know the best way is preventing that smell by putting them in a ventilated area, but sometimes ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by cerv21‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Good canyon (or canyoning) websites

I was wondering if you guys knew about some good websites to find canyons on with the necessary information ? Necessary information being: Longest abseil French level (V.A.I.) Wether the canyon i...

1 answer  ·  posted 8y ago by Nick‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Is Permethrin safe for cats after it dries?

I'm concerned about ticks and want to treat some of my outdoor gear with Permethrin, a spray-on very persistent treatment against ticks and mosquitoes, to reduce the chances that I'll bring home ti...

3 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Benzo‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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California nutria hunting

Does anyone know of an area in california where I could hunt nutria? I've looked on the CDFW articles but there is not much.

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by user25300‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Micro-Fractures in Climbing Equipments

I have always been very careful while handling climbing gear. Last year while returning from an expedition, I met a group that was returning from a tough-looking climb. They were selling off a few ...

3 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by WedaPashi‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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What&#x2019;s the main appeal for climbing outdoors?

I am a long time gym climber, and I climbed outdoors for a couple of times. I fail to understand why climbing outdoors is more appealing than climbing indoors. If the goal is to climb harder, whi...

11 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by user3667089‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How long can fresh water fish live on a stringer?

A fish stringer goes through the gill and mouth of a live fish, providing a way to keep them captive and alive in the lake or river they are caught from. I would imagine the key to survival is how...

3 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by James Jenkins‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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What advantage does the what3words coordinate system have over other, traditional systems?

I recently came across the what3words coordinate system in an outdoor magazine. The system divides the world into squares of 3 m x 3 m. Each square is then named with a combination of three (as far...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Snijderfrey‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Are "fall-arrester" devices used in climbing/mountaineering?

I came across an interesting looking device on the Petzl website. As per the description, the mobile fall arresters follow the user automatically as he moves, whether on an inclined or vertic...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Yogesch‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Would there be any practical uses of a geological map for a hiker/backpacker?

I just found that I can get free geological map overlays for Google Earth for all of the individual states in the United States from here. For instance, this is what a good deal of Yosemite Nation...

7 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Charlie Brumbaugh‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How can my neighbor encourage chipmunks to move away from her front-yard flower garden?

This question is related to my earlier question about when it is safe, from the young chipmunks' point of view, to relocate a burrow of chipmunks. To recap the background of the earlier question: ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by ab2 MonicaNotForgotten‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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What kind of toad is this 2.5 inch (6.5cm) one yellow with brown spots and a white back stripe?

I just found this toad on a sidewalk near a lake the elevation was probably somewhere around 4800 ft (1500m). Does anybody know what kind it is?

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Charlie Brumbaugh‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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When building a penny stove how do you keep the cans from splitting?

Penny stoves are usually built from two soda cans and they look like this, Image source with some variations between the builder and so on. The basic idea is you have the bottoms of two soda ca...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by Charlie Brumbaugh‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Why do snowshoes have a hole in the front deck?

I just tried on some modern snowshoes for the first time in some fresh powder and I'm confused by why there's a big hole in the decking in front of where the toe of the boot sits: With my boots ...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by feetwet‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Is it possible to apply DWR to heavy cotton fleece hooded sweatshirt for water resistance?

I have an American Giant sweatshirt that is fantastic. Superb quality and fit. Heavy 10oz cotton. What would be the best way to add water resistance to a garment/fabric normally water resistan...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Velobuck‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Is the correct term Canada Goose or Canadian Goose?

The author of a question on our site referred to a certain type of goose as a Canadian goose. Some people thought that the correct name is Canada goose, rather than Canadian. Wikipedia refers to t...

6 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Charlie Brumbaugh‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Can a regular backpack be worn on top of an avalanche airbag vest?

The majority of avalanche airbag makers seem to package their system in backpacks of varying sizes. If one doesn't wish to get locked-in to a specific backpack, or have multiple backpacks each with...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Yogesch‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How to Shoo away a stubborn Stray Dog/Dogs who decides to tag along with you on a hike?

This happened on one of my hikes. It was a hike with two villages en route. Somehow a dog from the first village decided to stick with us. We were OK with it. Then he was followed by a small Puppy...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Captain‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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E-ink device with GPS for maps?

I've been using various map apps with offline storage on my smartphone(s) for several years now. The main problem with them is the battery drain. I've searched for e-ink devices with GPS but only f...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by JollyJoker‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Earliest in the year one could deep water solo in Majorca?

I'm planning to go deep water soloing in Majorca as soon as weather conditions will allow it, I don't mind cold water as long as it's reasonably warm outside (~20°C). Since I'll probably be travel...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Alberto Zaccagni‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How do you overcome a preventative fear of dangerous wildlife

I live in Colorado and love hiking alone, it's quiet and peaceful. I want to be more 'free' to hike in early morning or late evening when it's dark or backpack in remote places, but at this point ...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by binarylegit‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Wild animals in Finland and Norway

Next summer I am planning to ride a bike from Belarus to the north of Norway through Finland. What measures should I take to be protected against wild animals (bears and wolves)?

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Rudziankoŭ‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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