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Posts by zoul‭

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Q&A The outdoors, solitude and dealing with loneliness

I like being out alone. Generally you have more time for introspection, for getting calm and enjoying what’s around you and inside of you. Of course there’s times when you have to deal with yourse...

posted 10y ago by zoul‭  ·  last activity 10y ago by System‭

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Q&A Are all Alpine winterraums just for emergency?

I would love to spend a few winter nights with my friends in a winterraum (winter room) in the Alps; officially, with the owner’s permission. Are all the winterraums meant for emergency only, or ar...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by zoul‭  ·  last activity 6y ago by System‭

Question winter alps
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Q&A How safe is sleeping in bear country?

We have recently hiked in Slovakian mountains where bears live. I’m not too concerned about the bears during the day, as we make enough noise to avoid an encounter. But I am not sure about sleeping...

4 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by zoul‭  ·  last activity 6y ago by System‭

Question safety bears
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Q&A Which is more durable: Hard shell or soft shell?

The hardshell/softshell distinction doesn’t mean pretty much anything today. It used to be that hardshell was completely waterproof and windproof, implying limited breathability, and softshell was ...

posted 9y ago by zoul‭

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Q&A While backpacking, should one bring hand sanitizer, soap, or both?

I usually take just a bar of plain soap. It’s universal, can be used to wash hands or hair, shave, or wash the clothes. And plain soap is friendly to the environment. I guess that a special desinfe...

posted 10y ago by zoul‭

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Q&A What can I do with a retired rope and harness?

People who work with children are usually very happy to take any old ropes for non-climbing purposes (marking playing fields, tug of war, anything really). Even an old rope totally unfit for climbi...

posted 10y ago by zoul‭

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Q&A What is the main purpose of the foam inside a self-inflating mat?

All self-inflating mats I have seen are self-inflating in the sense that you’re supposed to inflate them yourself. [That is, the mat self-inflates a bit, but mostly you have to breathe the air in.]...

2 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by zoul‭  ·  last activity 9y ago by System‭

Question sleeping-pads
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Q&A What characteristics should I look for in a good torch/flashlight?

I would buy a headlamp, it’s so much more convenient to have your hands free and the light always pointing where you look. I would go for two/four AA bateries. My current headlamp uses three AAA’s...

posted 10y ago by zoul‭

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Q&A Am I allowed to sleep in the wild in the Austrian Alps?

I don't mean to use a tent, just a mat + a sleeping bag, or possibly a bivy sack if the weather is foul.

2 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by zoul‭  ·  last activity 6y ago by System‭

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Q&A How easy is it to magnetically destroy a compass?

I have quite a lot of items with built-in magnets in my backpack, like a mobile phone, an iPod or headphones. How easy is it to destroy my compass by putting it too close to these items?

2 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by zoul‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

Question compasses
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Q&A How do I take care of Gore-Tex boots?

Whatever you do, the membrane will wear out in a few years. That's one of the reasons why many people prefer leather boots, because once the membrane starts to leak, they can still waterproof the l...

posted 11y ago by zoul‭

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Q&A How do I extend the life of waterproof leather boots?

The first commandment of leather care is to never let your boots dry too quickly, for example on direct sun or next to a source of heat. The leather could crack or shrink. You have to let them dry ...

posted 10y ago by zoul‭

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Q&A What makes a good head lamp?

For me, feature number one is regulated light output. When I bought my first head lamp I was quite surprised that the brightness significantly dropped after a few initial hours. This is called unre...

posted 11y ago by zoul‭  ·  last activity 11y ago by System‭

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Q&A What clothing would be appropriate for hiking in -18&#xB0;C with up to 30 km/hr wind?

Cotton pants are fine if you wear something windproof over them, like membrane pants. I use my regular manchester pants for hiking throughout the whole year. Balaclava might be a good choice, so t...

posted 11y ago by zoul‭  ·  last activity 11y ago by System‭

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Q&A What exercises are recommended to build strength for hiking?

There’s no better hiking excercise than hiking :) Seriously, if you can walk to work, with your dog, to the shop, do it. Regularly. If you have some time during the weekend, go out for a few kilome...

posted 11y ago by zoul‭

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Q&A What is the difference between men's and women's hiking boots?

I think that there are three reasons for special women's gear and clothing: fit, appearance and marketing. If you are happy with the man's boots you have got, if they fit you well, there's nothing ...

posted 11y ago by zoul‭

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Q&A What to look for in a durable, 3-season sleeping bag?

One of the main questions is choosing between down and synthetic filling. Down bags are much lighter, they last longer because the down takes less damage when compressed, and they are generally war...

posted 11y ago by zoul‭  ·  last activity 11y ago by System‭

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Q&A What's special about a winter gas mixture? Why does it work better?

There’s a special “winter” gas mix available for gas stoves. How is it different from the usual propane/butane mix and why does it work better in low temperatures? (Does it work better in lower tem...

2 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by zoul‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Charlie Brumbaugh‭

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Q&A How do I store a bivy sack?

I bought a BlocVent bivy sack. What’s a good way to store it for a long time? Obviously I’ll dry it after a hike, but is it okay to roll it up and put it into a small stuff sack afterwards? Or shou...

1 answer  ·  posted 11y ago by zoul‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

Question storage bivy-sacks
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Q&A How can you prevent kids getting lost at night while camping?

My experience with children summer camps says the children are so afraid of the dark that they won’t go into the night unless their bed is on fire, and even then very reluctantly. When they need to...

posted 11y ago by zoul‭

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Q&A Is the "Rule of 3" proven for food?

There’s quite a lot of people interested in fasting for spiritual and health purposes. When fasting, these people don’t drink anything but water and don’t eat anything at all, their stomach simply ...

posted 11y ago by zoul‭

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Q&A What&#x2019;s the difference between a B and a T ice axe?

Some ice axes are labeled as “B”, others as “T”. What’s the meaning of these letters and what are their practical implications?

2 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by zoul‭  ·  last activity 10y ago by System‭

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Q&A Covering up ears at higher altitudes

Sounds like a myth to me. The only thing that could possibly come into play is the pressure inside your head. But in order to hold the pressure inside your head constant, you would have to plug you...

posted 10y ago by zoul‭

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Q&A What is the difference between Gore-Tex and Mountain Hardwears DryQ?

Gore-Tex is a family of products and even DryQ isn’t a single fabric. Probably a better comparison would be between Gore-Tex Active Shell and DryQ. Both are a new generation of waterproof fabrics t...

posted 11y ago by zoul‭  ·  last activity 11y ago by System‭

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Q&A What is the best way to store my sleeping bag for long periods of time?

When you put the bag into a compressing sack, the insulation fibers take some damage. (Synthetic fibers are less resistant in this regard than down.) The longer and harder you compress the insulati...

posted 11y ago by zoul‭

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