Ask the Gear Guy

    • Sunfish SailboatI want to buy a sailboat but don't want to break the bank. What is an affordable 35 to 40-foot boat with a nice cabin I can sleep in?

    • Riviera Standup PaddleboardsBy now, you’ve probably heard about—or even tried—standup paddleboarding (SUP). If not, the basics are you stand on an oversized surfboard and stroke with a long canoe-like paddle.

    • Hennesy Hammocks Scout Classic HammockDear Gear Guy, Where do I go to find a cheap, good-quality hammock? I have been looking all over the Internet but I can't find one for under $100. Please help me.

    • Q. My dad and I went on a camping trip. We brought a big cooler full of food with lots of ice. But it was super hot, so the ice melted and swamped our food. The buns were soggy, and my graham crackers were half-soaked. What can we do to avoid this?

    • My dad gave me an old Marmot sleeping bag, and it has two small holes in it and some down feathers are coming out. The sleeping bag works just fine, but how do I stop the feathers from coming out?

    • biviIn a survival situation, when you are all alone in the Northern Tundra with only a T-shirt and pants, what one thing would you want?

    • climbing-200x148What kind of basic equipment do I need to go rock climbing with some friends?

    • stakelight-200x148If you've ever tripped over the guy lines of your tent in the dark, or gotten a little turned around on your way back to your tent after a midnight trip to the bathroom, then you know exactly why the StakeLight is so cool.

    • When and how should I sharpen my pocketknives?

    • waterproof-200x148Q. Hey Gear Guy, I have a question for you. What’s the difference between waterproof and water-resistant? I see it on lots of outdoor gear but I’m not sure which is which.

    • blackpots.jpgHow do you keep pots from your mess kit from turning black when using them over a fire?

    • bathroom-200x148When I’m camping, I hate having to get up in the middle of the night to go outside and pee. Sometimes it’s too cold or I’m nervous about what I might step on in the dark. What should I do?

    • I feel like a mosquito magnet. Seems like every time I go on outings with my troop, I'm the only one who gets bitten. What can I do? Help!

    • Q. Gear Guy, How do I prevent the nasty odor and taste that I get when I store my Nalgene bottle with the lid closed?

    • backpack-200x148Watch as Eagle Scout Jon Almquist, who works for national outdoors retailer REI, shows you how to fit a backpack in this exclusive BL video.

    • bugspray-200x148Q. My Scout Troop took a four-day backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The mosquitoes were the biggest problem on the trip. I used several different bug sprays, and only one of them worked. But the one that worked only worked for about 15 minutes. What type of bug spray (preferably natural) could I use that would keep the mosquitoes away for at least an hour? Also, I’ve heard that there is clothing that keeps bugs away. How effective is this clothing?

    • boxers-200x148My troop just went on a weekend camp-out. After we climbed this big hill, I started chafing in my groin area. It itched so bad, it was really uncomfortable. My friends were making fun of me because I was adjusting my underwear all weekend. How do I prevent chafing?

    • daypack-200x148Q. What should you pack in a daypack at Scout camp?

    • 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!