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Q&A

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

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Is "scat" used to describe the droppings of any animal?

I understand that when you see animal droppings in the wilderness, it's referred to as "scat." I have heard scat referred to when referencing bear, coyote and mountain lion droppings. Is this the...

2 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by steelersquirrel‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How big do ducklings get before they can fly?

The ducklings are getting much bigger very quickly, to the point that it's almost hard to tell the mother duck from the ducklings, (mother duck in back of procession) How much bigger are these d...

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

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What are surfing spots that are equally safe as Peniche (Portugal) but with somewhat smaller waves?

Last September my wife and I went surfing in Peniche (Portugal). We took a beginners course there. We had a lot of fun but I found the greenwaves and their strength when they come crashing down on ...

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

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Why would you climb hard bigwall projects in Yosemite in winter?

One of the hardest routes on El Cap, The Dawn Wall, was done by Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson in January 2015. What are some of the reasons to choose to climb such a hard route in winter, when ...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Paul Paulsen‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Require advice on power conservation for backpacking trip

Edit: Thank you for all the helpful replies. I will have to go through them all now, and I will pick the best fitting one for my question. I will go backpacking in the summer of this year, for abo...

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

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Can any automotive fluids be made safe to drink?

My vehicle has broken down in the middle of a desert, I have some tools but I am out of water. I have the ability to make a fire. I know that drinking antifreeze is fatal, but I am wondering i...

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

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What signs can I use to navigate a cave if lost?

I'm working on a story where a character gets trapped in a cave but use his knowledge as a weatherman to navigate and escape! Are the any weather-related clues you could use to escape a cave specif...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Jori Richman‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Is a hand chainsaw legal to carry in the UK

I've picked up a hand chainsaw for the woods as it's cheap and an amazing bit of kit. UK law states the legal carry for a knife is less than 3 inches and must be a non-locking folding blade. Wi...

3 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Chris J‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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OS Map Symbols - Black Dots

Does anyone know what black dots mean on an OS Explorer map? There are a lot of them on the map of Kinder Scout in the Peak District (UK). I know the black dashed line is a footpath, I am asking ...

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

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Could a lamprey attack a swimmer in coastal waters around the UK?

I have seen two articles about bloodsucking lampreys in UK rivers, which warn swimmers about the risks of lamprey attacks when swimming in rivers and lakes. Our river lamprey spend their adult live...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Angela Richardson‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How to arrange 2 Prusiks when ascending a rope?

If I want to ascend a rope with minimal equipment, I use 2 Prusiks: one tied to my harness, and the second one for my foot. However, there are two ways to arrange the Prusiks on the rope - the foo...

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

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How to prevent skin cracks?

So every winter working in the dry cold, my skin, on my hands and feet, cracks. Particularly between my fingers and toes. What can I do to prevent this?

5 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by MaskedPlant‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Rods for shark fishing

I was looking at jawbone 2 xtreme blanks, the sledgehammer model is 10' with 100-250 pound line rating. It's E glass with 28-36 ounce lure rating. I've been looking all over the Internet for someth...

0 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by user25300‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How stiff of a sole should I look for in hiking boots?

There is a spectrum of sole stiffness in boots, from full shank on mountaineering boots to the easily bendable ones on really cheap boots. The way to test is to push in on the shoe lengthwise and s...

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

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What to do if you cross paths with a buck?

On my last bike ride I was riding on a trail and I was going pretty fast, fast enough that I went around a corner really fast and there was a doe right in front of me. I stopped as fast as I could....

3 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by John‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Given limited space and weight what should I carry to get a fire going with damp wood?

Assuming firewood can be found, but it's likely to be damp, how can I best be prepared for getting a fire going? This is for a light hiking situation, so I'm not going to carry a sack full of kindl...

12 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Chris H‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Shore based shark fishing

So I have wanted to catch sharks like 7 gill in california and I have some questions about reels and rods. So I want to be able to cast my bait out to where the sharks are but most people seem to ...

0 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by user25300‭

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Does less riverside vegetation lead to fewer fish?

On the river I have been fishing, there is a section where the road was rerouted, and another where a dam was torn out. In both cases, those sections of river have fewer bushes and trees and the gr...

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

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Can orange safety vest be used when hiking during hunting season?

I'm going to be doing some winter hiking in parks where there are going to be a lot of hunters. Probably only during bow hunting season for deer in NJ. I'll be getting some blaze hats but for the v...

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

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Is sleeping on the ground in cold weather better than on an air mattress?

My friend and I had an argument about this topic. He says that the cold air in the mattress will stay at the ambient temperature, so if it's -20 outside the air in the mattress will stay at -20 so ...

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

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Group protocol should the group become separated

A small group (2-10 people total) is travelling in a wilderness area. For whatever reason a person or a couple get separated. What is the best strategy for the lost ones? What is the best strategy ...

4 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by Vorac‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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What are the differences between prismatic, lensatic, mirrored, and optical sighting compasses?

Background I am looking at compasses for backpacking and camping, and have come across more compass varieties than I had ever thought possible. Three terms that often come up together are "prismat...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Jonathan Landrum‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How to react to an aggressive boar

As far as I know, boars are pretty aggressive when they have piglets. In the appropriate season, one might happen to hike into the path of an overprotective mother and get attacked. How do I reac...

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

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How do I get my fingers and toes warm before rock climbing at cold temperatures?

I've had now a couple of days when going rock climbing while the temperatures are below the general comfort zone (meaning below 6 °C/ 43 °F). When starting to climb, my fingers got cold rather fas...

5 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by user4120010‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Why does my hand skin continue to crack and peel for days after rock climbing?

I've been having a problem where my hand skin starts to crack and peel on extended climbing trips and I can't get it heal, even by taking several rest days in a row. Instead, it just gets worse and...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by ntc2‭

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What is the easiest way to remove creosote from pots and pans?

I just returned from a five day trip during which we used a friend's Solo Stove (wood burner). My pots are now covered with a thick, sticky, black layer of creosote. I've tried steel wool and soa...

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

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How is an attempt defined in sport climbing?

I started to track my finished routes and I cannot find anywhere a definiton of an attempt. Of course if I try to send the route, give up in falf, go down, have a snack and then go again and finish...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Filip Šotola‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How do I safely move around Canada Geese?

I live in an area with a lot of lakes/ponds, with many paths around them. Many humans and dogs enjoy walking on these paths. However, the Canada geese have recently set up shop on the lakes. They d...

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

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What wetsuit thickness is recommended in which temperatures for diving?

I'm soon to embark on a chilly scuba dive around 5-7C at 18m, of which we'll be wearing 7mm semi-drys with shorties. The next thickest I think is actually a drysuit for really cold waters, but not ...

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

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How to prevent strap slippage through buckle?

A strap running through a buckle is typically easy to loosen and tighten as desired. Usually, it stays in place. Sometimes, however, it slowly (or quickly) works its way loose, as though the thickn...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Martin F‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How dangerous is it to walk with wet feet in cold terrain?

Let us say we have around 0 degrees celsius and I have wet feet and I am in the middle of nowhere (let us say 2 days away from any civilisation). On the one hand people say it is no problem to walk...

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

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Why is there such a singular place for bird watching?

There are a lot of interesting things in nature, but of all land vertebrates, birding has highly disproportionate attention. People (perhaps including birding enthusiasts) may note and appreciate m...

7 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Christos Hayward‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How to find good places for target shooting on National Forest Lands

Target shooting is expressly permitted on National Forest Lands. However, finding a good place to do it is not necessarily straightforward. What would be good strategies to find a place to target ...

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

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What's the best way to carry a dslr camera when rock-climbing?

I am interested in hearing how people take their dslrs (digital single lens reflex camera) onto multi-pitch-rock-climbs. I have carried mine up in a small pack, but I end up taking hardly any pictu...

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

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Are Hawthorn berries edible?

Being a bright red berry the old saying about avoiding red berries sticks to mind but I do remember reading that Hawthorn berries, or Haws, are edible... Is this true? Is there a seed to watch out...

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

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What attracts Spotted Lanternflies?

Where I work, there is a rather large population of Spotted Lanternflies around our office building. From what I've read, they are considered invasive species and quite a problem this year in ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Timmy Jim‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Water sources: which are safe and which should be avoided? (UK)

I have been trying to find a list of water sources that should be avoided. I have checked online and looked at several water companies, e.g. Scottish Water. I haven't found any information on which...

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

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Badges for tourists achievements/quests

In Poland Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society (PTTK), has created set of badges that can be awarded to tourists for various achievements in different activities (hiking, skiing, kayaking, etc). ...

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

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Difference between a "path" and a "footpath"?

I was chacking a map to see access rights on a particular route I know. I was checking if a path was a bridleway or footpath as I know Mountain Bikes should only use bridleways. Studying the key cl...

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

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Osprey Atmos AG 50 raincover

I have Osprey Atmos AG 50 and I am trying to buy a rain cover for it. There are two sizes in Ultralight rain cover model.One is 'M' size (upto 50 L) and another is 'L' size (50-75 L). Have anyone b...

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

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Handling feminine hygiene on multiple-month treks?

How can I handle multiple months of menstrual cycles on a long trek like the Appalachian Trail? I am asking about how to handle the mess. Here are my personal considerations: Using hormonal bir...

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

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What to consider when choosing between rigid and inflatable stand up paddle boards?

Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP) come in both inflatable and rigid. What should I consider when choosing between the two styles?

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

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What materials from nature can you use to build a pair of skis on a mountain?

I'm working on a survival story and want to make it authentic. If you were stranded on a mountain trying to get down as fast as possible, what would you do? EDIT: What if this was after a plane cr...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Jori Richman‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How to lock a trucker's hitch without losing any tension?

What is the best technique to lock a trucker's hitch in a strong way that's also easy to release, but most important, that doesn't loose any (or the least amount of) tension in the line, when I loc...

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

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Which mid-line knot is best suited for a trucker's hitch?

I've been using a trucker's hitch knot for a very long time (camping, strapping stuff down, line length adjustment, pulley system) I've always switched my mid-line loop when I've come to not trust ...

5 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by g19fanatic‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How to tension rope between two trees?

I often need to tension a rope between two trees, usually 20-30 ft apart. I am not skilled with knots so it is often sloppy and the tension doesn't hold even very modest weight (such as clothes or ...

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

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Why do they turn the 9/11 Memorial Lights off for birds?

On the morning of September 11, 2001, two airplanes flew into the "Twin Towers," part of the hub of the World Trade Center in New York City, United States. The towers, which at one time had been th...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Is it likely to be my technique or my muscles that cause my arms and shoulders to ache so soon after I start kayaking?

I've never had a stamina or ache problem with rowing a row-boat or paddling a canoe, although my limits have declined with age. However, my arms and shoulders tired very quickly the few times I tr...

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

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Will bug repellent repel deer?

I was wondering whether the deer would be able to smell bug repellent if you are wearing some while out hunting. Is there a specific type of bug repellent that can be used that is less likely to m...

2 answers  ·  posted 11y ago by J Lundberg‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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How to reduce pain of wasp stings?

Assuming I am not allergic, or showing signs of allergic reaction, what's the best way to treat multiple yellow jacket (a type of wasp) stings in the outdoors while hiking/backpacking? My key conc...

2 answers  ·  posted 11y ago by Russell Steen‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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