Ask the Gear Guy

    • shoegoo-200x148My favorite rubber rain boots have a hole in the side. Now they aren't dry at all. They weren't really expensive, but I don't want to get new ones. How can I repair my boot? Please help.

    • sharkies-200x148It's a special day when "tastes good" and "mom-approved" can be used in the same sentence. And that's why we're stoked on Sharkies.

    • bikepump-200x148Q. Yesterday my friend told me my bike tires needed air, but I don't think so. How can you tell if a tire is pumped up enough?

    • livevest-200x148Q. My family has a great sit-on-top kayak and I love paddling it around the lake in the summer but my parents make me wear a lifejacket and my back gets totally sweaty and gross. Please help me!

    • knife-200x148Q. Whenever I go camping I always cut oranges with my knife. But then my knife sticks and is hard to get open. What is the best way to de-stick my knife?

    • Q. Hey Gear Guy! I am thinking about buying an inflatable boat. I checked all of the safety regulations, laws, details, etc. The only thing I’m not quite sure about is how to inflate it. It says it comes with two Boston valves for easy inflation. Do I attach them to a hand pump, like the one for my sports balls? Or do I need a special pump? Please say no! HELP!

    • kayak-200x148When I'm kayaking, my paddle is always slipping through my hands. Can you help me?

    • stove-200x148What's the best way to light a camp stove without getting too big of a flare-up? I have an MSR WhisperLite.

    • ocean-200x148Q. Dear Gear Guy. My friends and I do a lot of swimming in saltwater in the summer, and a common problem we have is the infamous itchy groin. Is there a solution?

    • headlamp-200x148Q. What’s better for the outdoors: a headlamp or a flashlight?

    • walkingstick.jpgHow tall should a walking stick be?

    • nikwax-200x148Q. I went camping, and a few days later I found the bag for my sleeping bag has an orange sort of mold on it. Help me!

    • wd40-200x148You've probably heard of WD-40. It's a spray-on lubricant that has been around forever and is useful on nearly everything -- except bike chains. Now there's a WD-40 made specifically for bikes.

    • boot-200x148Q. Hey Gear Guy, I was really unsmart on my first campout and brought sneakers! My Scoutmaster said I had to get hiking boots, but my family doesn't make that much money. Do you know of some really cheap, decent hiking boots?

    • Q. I’ve been in Scouts for about a year and I was wondering why my backpack is so heavy. I only pack about two pairs of jeans, extra socks and two shirts. I also pack a mess kit and a flashlight plus batteries. My sleeping pad is not heavy; neither is my sleeping bag. Why might my pack be so heavy and do you know how to fix it?

    • Q. How do I clean out my Camelbak hydration system?

    • Q. How do you get sand out of your knife’s insides?

    • Q. Yo Gear Guy! This weekend when I was setting up my two-man tent to air-dry, one of the fiberglass poles broke. Any places that I could go to get a replacement?

    • febreze-200x148Dear Gear Guy, I've been skateboarding on my friend's ramp a lot. I always wear my elbow and knee pads and helmet, but they are starting to really stink. I guess I've been sweating in them a lot, and the pads are super-smelly. What can I do?

    • teva-200x148The Teva Original Universal Sandal was designed 30 years ago but has now been rereleased. We dig them because they are basic, simple and comfortable.

    • coleman-200x148Q. Dear Gear Guy, I recently inherited a Coleman white-gas stove from my father; he has been using it since he was a Cub Scout with my grandfather in the 1960s. I would love to bring this to camp, but I've heard a lot of talk that white gas isn't permitted in Scouts anymore. Is this true?

    • Q. I have a 20-degree-rated sleeping bag that I use with a fleece liner, but in late fall and early winter, I'm still cold. I've tried everything -- what should I do?

    • Q. I have a lantern that has a removable glass covering, and it has soot all over it. How can I get it off?

    • Q. I've been camping for years but am still having trouble getting comfortable when I'm sleeping. I can only sleep on my side with my right arm under my pillow but that can be trouble on cold nights when my mummy bag is cinched up tight. Any help Gear Guy?

    • pole-200x148Q. I'm going on a backpacking trip and am wondering if I should get hiking poles or not. I think they would help with balance, but my dad says they are a waste of money. What do you think?

    • stio-200x148The Seeker is one of my favorite new fleece jackets on the market.

    • snowboard-200x148Q. I'm going snowboarding and need to know: What's the correct way to pick the right-sized snowboard for me?

    • Q. I have been reading Boys’ Life longer than most Scouts, but I saw the question about “I have a 20 degree bag…but still cold.” His problem might be that he is going to bed in the clothes that he has been wearing all day. Your body sweats, even in the coldest weather, and that moisture will keep you cold even in the warmest sleeping bag. My advice is to change into fresh dry clothes, at a minimum, change into dry socks and long johns. Try it. Dry means warm.

    • Q. Whenever I go on a camping trip my sleeping bag gets all smelly from me sweating all day. How do I make it smell better — besides taking it into the cleaners?

    • Q. Hello Gear Guy, My son will be attending a Freeze-O-Ree next month. We need to get some good thermal underwear for 30-40 degree temps. What can you recommend?

    • sleepingbag-200x148Dear Gear Guy, I have a 30-degree rated backpacking sleeping bag but still get cold in above freezing temperatures. Can you recommend a good bag that is light enough to carry and will still keep me warm? Thanks!