Ask the Gear Guy

    • 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!

    • 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?