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Q&A

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

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What is the proper way to use a sauna?

I thought that, according to what I've read from the web, people alternate between sauna and swimming. I tried to do that but people thought that I was in trouble. I posted the whole experience to ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Michael Tsang‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Would top-roping in this limestone quarry be reasonable?

So there's this limestone quarry that looks like a beautiful place to rock climb. It's about 40 feet high, and the top is easily accessible and has many trees that look like they'd make fine top-r...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by user42541‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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What is the ecological justification (if any) for bird feeders?

Like many people, we have bird feeders, and a bird-bath. We also have a feeding station (replenished in the mornings only) that attracts squirrels and chipmunks and some of the larger birds. Duri...

3 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by ab2 MonicaNotForgotten‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Which is more dangerous, icy roads or icy roads with snow on top?

Where I live, we are about to get a bunch of snow (5”-8”). This has brought about the question of which is more dangerous an icy road or an icy road with snow? Does the snow help traction on the ic...

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

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How to repair worn hiking boot eyelets

I noticed one of the eyelets on one of my hiking boots is very worn. The lace was fraying at the point of the worn eyelet, so I have put new laces in. However it does not look like the eyelet will ...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by vegemite4me‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How to waterproof leather gloves & mittens?

I have leather gloves and mittens and I want to waterproof them. I usually use mink oil on my leather boots to condition and seal them, Can I do the same for gloves and mittens or should I use som...

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

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What is the safest and most effective additive to keep drinking water from freezing?

I know that the antifreeze used in fresh water RV tanks is non-toxic and can protect to -50F. Thinking Sugar might be a good choice I posted the question How to calculate how much sugar to use as ...

5 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by James Jenkins‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Which tree produces heart shaped seeds enveloped in a long pod?

Which tree native to Florida produces these seeds? The pods are really long and the seeds inside are in the shape of little hearts.

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

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What is this tiny round shiny black bug that bites?

Can anyone tell me what type of bug this is? I found two of them in my bed in Tennessee, United States. It's not a tick. The shell is hard. It was alive and you could see it moving. It's .016", ...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Terresa Morris‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How warm should a down jacket be in a layering system?

I'm building a layering system for cold Colorado winters where I will be going from strenuous hiking to standing still in below freezing weather to take photographs. In full my layering system wou...

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

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How long does water need to be boiled for to kill all bacteria / viruses?

This has come up a few times in a few other questions, but I've heard varying opinions from different people in a number of answers and comments on here - some saying that just boiling for a moment...

4 answers  ·  posted 11y ago by berry120‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Is a type of walking trailer a good alternative to a heavy backpack in off-road conditions?

Heavy backpacks can spoil the pleasures of being in the outdoors. There are two ways to resolve this: Carry less Find an alternative to the backpack While the first option is usually the best o...

7 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by Ben‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Transferable skills between rock and ice climbing

I would like to understand if skills/experience gained in rock climbing are going to be useful in climbing steep ice/hard-snow. Of course the gear as well as techniques involved in either are diffe...

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

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When to kill and bleed a fish

I am getting into fishing (I bought an entry-level spinner and plan on going to some nearby rivers/lakes) and have been reading a lot of conflicting information in regards to the sequence of events...

11 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by TicketMonster‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Where do white tigers live?

We saw this magnificent white tiger in a wildlife rehabilitation center in the United States. I don't like seeing animals out of their natural habitat, but all of these animals were rescued from ci...

2 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Which Ultralight & Compact Jackets are suitable for Winters (minus 10-15 deg. Celsius)?

I am not sure if this question fits here but since I like to travel and often face difficulties because of different weather conditions in different cities/countries so, I am hoping that somebody c...

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

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Waterproof mittens for cycling and snow-fun: leather or synthetic?

I have a pair of nubuck leather mittens that are nice and warm but do not last very long when cycling in the rain in autumn/winter or when building snowmen and throwing snowballs. So now i'm looki...

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

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When should I use spray-on versus wash-in waterproofer for treating DWR garments?

There are both spray-on and wash-in products available for treating my DWR (Durable Water Repellent), gore-tex, eVent and other garments using products such as nikwax wash-in or nikwax tx-direct. ...

5 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by Benzo‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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If I kill a deer how long can the body last before preserving?

This isn't a question for a real life situation I am in, but more for a simulation that I want to be as accurate as possible. My setting is pre-refrigeration and someone has just successfully hunt...

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

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Jelly Knees while climbing

I have been climbing for more than 10 months now. I had been climbing regularly for 6 months before, unfortunately, I had a 2-3 months break from climbing. When I have gotten back to it now, I find...

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

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Guide mode ATC with locker to belay loop

So just questioning some advice I received once: When in guide mode when belaying a second from above, is it ok to take the locking carabineer and attach it to your belay loop? The primary benefit...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Daniel Harvey‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Can I get away with less advanced food storing methods if backpacking in areas where meeting bears is unlikely?

A page like this one, as well as a number of questions on this site, discuss how to pack food safely from bears. What about other animals? This post advises a pretty sophisticated way to protect ...

4 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by gerrit‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Where can I get little durable cases you can hang on your climbing harness?

On longer climbing sessions I like to keep my cell phone close by, but most of the time I have no backpack with me. So I would like to pack the cell phone in a little case that I can put on my clim...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Andreas Schwab‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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What do you call the criss-crossed elastic strap on this Northface backpack?

This Northface backpack has an elastic strap which criss-crosses the back side of the pack. What is this type of strap called? The image below shows what kind of strap I'm talking about:

4 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Lexi‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Worm catching with electricity?

I have heard about people using electricity to catch worms, mostly around catching worms for fishing. How does this work? Is it safe?

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

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How should a backpack be carried to keep from injuring the spine?

For example, which recommendations should backpackers follow while carrying heavy weights, and should backpack straps be tightened or loosened?

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Seeker001‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Are snow shoes useful in mountaineering?

In mountaineering one often encounters snow fields with about knee deep snow that basically needs to be trudged through. This is extremely tiresome, especially at high altitudes. Typically the team...

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

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Are kangaroos dangerous?

When I first saw a man get kicked by a kangaroo, I said "nope to Australia" because that is mainly where kangaroos are. Then, I looked on google and it said kangaroos are not dangerous. So now I'm ...

0 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Anonymous‭

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What is this tool on a Swiss Army knife for?

I have this tool on a few Swiss Army knives (though I think I've seen it on other multi-tools as well). What is it and what is it for? On one edge, it has a sharp edge. It also only opens halfwa...

6 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Scribblemacher‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Is sleeping on a yoga mat better than on an airbed during winter camping?

This is a follow up on question that my friend asked earlier, but I can't comment on. My friend and I have an ongoing argument about a question : During cold winter camping (-20C air temperature, ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by b0nd‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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What is the benefit to telemark skiing?

Occasionally I've seen skiers free-heeling it down the slopes in telemark style but not understood why they do it. Is the main benefit for exercise, style, control or just to try something different?

7 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by Brad Patton‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Clothing for cold weather hiking

I will go for two day hiking on a mountain (intermediate level). The weather will be chilling (3 °C to 5 °C, no snowing,but it may rain). I would like to know what kind of clothing would be better?...

6 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Science123‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Surfacing out of a sunken ship/submarine - Survival Tips

Here is a scary scenario: Let's say you were in a ship or submarine that sunk to the bottom of the ocean. No scuba gear, no oxygen tank, nothing. The depth of the ocean is such that nitrogen le...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by mph85‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Why does a manufacturer recommend normal detergent instead of wool detergent?

I have purchased some outdoor clothing made of 83% merino wool. The manufacturer states in their care instructions to "use regular detergents, not wool detergents". What is the reason for them reco...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by user1049697‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Iodine tablet correct use and efficiency

I've used these many times before, always followed the instructions (3 tablets/Liter, shake, wait 30 minutes minimum) and never had (or noticed) any issues. I've always been under the impression, ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by mreff555‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Outer Layer Recommendation Question

I'm relatively new to outdoors wear and was wondering if anyone had any advice on a lightweight outer layer/weatherproof jacket for my specific needs. I'd be layering it over a base layer, mid laye...

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

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Are Italian mountain huts accessible when unstaffed? Do I need a key?

I am considering a late October trek through the boundary area between Ticino (Switzerland) and Verbano Cusio Ossola (Italy), including the Valle Cravariola. This takes be along several bivouacs a...

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

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Food for desert hiking

A recent question discussed how to maximize water retention on a desert hike. One answer suggested that 100g of protein lead to 800ml loss through urination, so protein intake has to be minimized....

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

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Would Mud Prevent Sunburn?

If you had no sunburn cream, would it work to cover your exposed skin in mud and gunk as a crude way to prevent sunburn? I have never tried it. I have tried using paper tissues on my face as a sun ...

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

sun
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What determines whether the young of a cat is called a kitten or a cub?

The young of cats are called kittens or cubs, depending partly on how large the cat is, and apparently partly on informal custom. Wikipedia, kitten says: The word "kitten" derives from the Mid...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by ab2 MonicaNotForgotten‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How likely are you to be injured by falling shot from a game shoot?

One of my regular trail running routes goes past a pheasant shoot. The route is on a public footpath and the shooting is usually from the woods nearby towards the direction of the path (ascertained...

7 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Darren‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How do I fold in / tidy up the straps on my rucksack?

I bought a new rucksack. However, how can I tidy up and hide away the myriad straps so they don't flap about and get caught in things?

10 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by Andrew Welch‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Do birds eat chillies? Do they feel the chilli heat?

We had a few white browed bulbuls visit us recently. One of them seemed to have a peculiar interest in the chillies that grew in one of our pots (I believe these are bird's eye chillies [no pun i...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Ricketyship‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How to temporarily mark a trail?

If one needed to hike out and then come back to a certain spot, how could one temporarily mark their trail so that it is easy to follow back to that exact spot when the route back is not obvious? ...

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

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replace Sunfish flotation blocks

My sunfish got to be over two hundred lbs.I opened up the forward deck to find only expanding foam. No Styrofoam. I see pics of the Styrofoam but need the specs/dimensions of the Styrofoam. I have ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Mike N‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Synthetic insulated belay jacket vs thicker mid layers or down

When it gets colder while walking, I'd add an extra fleece as a mid layer and when we stop to eat, I would put it on too, or I'd wear a down jacket if it's dry. However when it's wet, it seems lik...

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

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What to look for in wellington boots

So this actually stems from the fact my last two pairs of wellington boots have split - as have my husbands, and his were a different brand - my boots were both Joules (~£45 so low-mid range boots)...

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

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Can I place emergency calls on a FirstNet cell with a standard cell phone?

Recently I was part of a wilderness SAR training event where there were drone-based FirstNet cell tower deployed to provide emergency personnel with cellular communications in remote areas. Perha...

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

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Are there any areas in Southeast Asia where it would be safe to wild-camp with a tent in the mountains?

I am not interested in camping on a campsite among lots of other people, I want to pitch-up a tent where there is just me and nature around. Are there any areas in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar...

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

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Water preparation on desert hiking

I have heard that if you drink a lot of water as a habit, the body doesn't do much retention. Therefore, if you are preparing for a hiking in the desert where not much water will be available, is...

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

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