Questions that discuss about precautions need to be taken for ensuring the safety in various outdoor activities that are in scope of The Great Outdoors should be tagged with this tag.

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One-sided overhand bend

Why is the one-sided overhand bend also called the European death knot (EDK)? Is it safe for climbing and mountaineering purposes?
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1answer
80 views

Is rope-soloing inherently dangerous, and if so, why?

I've never tried rope-soloing and don't have a very detailed idea of how it's done. But reading the 2015 edition of Accidents in North American Mountaineering, I was struck by how many accidents ...
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0answers
32 views

Safe ways to abseil last [duplicate]

When being the last one to abseil you obviously need to make sure that when you are down, you can retrieve the rope. While the most common way is probably to use twin/half ropes and to put one rope ...
4
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2answers
527 views

Most common avoidable reasons for climbing accidents?

What are some of the common things people do that are avoidable and contribute to accidents and injuries when climbing?
4
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1answer
90 views

Is Kamikaze knot safe with ropes of different diameters?

I know how the last man rappel. While practicing at a local place, I saw one of the groups using a kamikaze knot for rappel and rope retrieval after the last man rappelled. Kamikaze and Sheepshank are ...
5
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1answer
111 views

What safety precautions should I take on the Appalachian Trail?

I plan to do a short hike (3-4 days) on the Appalachian Trail in September in Connecticut. What safety precautions should I take? What wild animals (and wild people) could I encounter?
2
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1answer
59 views

What do you hang on 1/4" bolts while rock climbing?

So 1/4" bolts, although not suitable for free climbing protection, are apparently still used for aid climbing to hold body weight, and for alpine rappels. What I want to know is, what do you use for ...
3
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1answer
64 views

Is the “rattlesnake line” higher now in the Sierra than it used to be, decades ago?

Decades ago, the rule of thumb was that there were no rattlesnakes above 9,000 feet in the Sierra. I don't remember what the authority for this was. It is definitely warmer in the Sierra now than it ...
2
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2answers
80 views

When can a glacier be crossed without special gear (axes, crampons, rope, etc.)?

As a child, I remember walking with my family over the Gornergletscher to reach the Monte Rosa-Hütte. I remember the same for crossing Vadret da Diavolezza. In both cases, we did not have crampons ...
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3answers
118 views

Is it safe to cook food during a hike (on trail) when bears are possibly around?

I'm going to the Rockies (trails in Jasper and Banff). Would it be safe for me to cook food while on the trail? Won't bears be attracted towards the smell of the food?
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3answers
102 views

Can I use a tent in bear country, if I ate food in it over a year ago?

In bear country, we are told, never eat food in your tent. I no longer live in bear country but I may return in the future. If I eat food in my tent now, does that mean that, from a bear's point of ...
5
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1answer
46 views

Where to almost wild camp in the Ardennes?

Wild camping is not permitted in Belgium, but I heard about places where this is allowed. Well itś not exactly wild camping but almost. Where are these places? are there any hiking trails associated? ...
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1answer
57 views

How safe is it with Grizzly bears when hiking in the Rockies near Calgary, Alberta?

I am attending a conference in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and afterwards I am considering going for a 3-day hike somewhere around Turbine Canyon[1], 3-isle[2] or Aster Lake[3] in the Rockies. How safe ...
9
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3answers
153 views

What are some simple tasks to teach knife safety?

My younger brother (14 years old) has recently expressed interest in joining my outdoor escapades (hiking, camping, backpacking, etc). As part of this interest, he has asked me to teach him how to ...
7
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1answer
715 views

What level of UV protection is recommended for glacier travel?

What level of UV protection is recommended for glacier travel? For example, I have sunglasses which says 40% UV layer. Will this be ok for glacier trekking, or do I need glasses with higher level of ...
6
votes
1answer
211 views

When should you remove old pitons?

We were up above the treeline below the final climb to a scarcely visited cave and discovered an old rusty piton with a length of weathered webbing tied to it. It was obviously there as a safety for a ...
11
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2answers
133 views

Running in bear country

I am an avid runner. I will be visiting British Columbia for the first time, soon. My trip will include a few weeks in the Rocky Mountains (Glacier, Banff, Yoho) and north of the Sushwap Lake. At ...
10
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2answers
184 views

Exploring coastal caves safely?

Having read this good question I felt it covered mountainous regions very well however myself and my husband are big fans of the coast and he certainly has (with his ex-fisherman father) explored many ...
5
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1answer
66 views

How to use an avalanche shovel as a snow anchor for a belay?

Avalanche shovels come equipped with holes in the blades for use as rescue sleds and making anchors. I've got plenty of my own ideas, but I'm looking for any documentation provided by manufacturers ...
7
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1answer
70 views

Do dog life jackets have the same ratings as humans?

I'm looking into purchasing a dog life jacket for kayaking with our Shetland Sheepdog puppy, when he is fully grown (6months, he's currently almost 4months). Ideally this will be for rough water such ...
5
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0answers
41 views

What is the best rope material to use for climbing protection? [duplicate]

I've been doing some research on what type of cord to use for resligning some hexes, and I found something very surprising here. Basically, the paper seems to suggest that while the tensile strength ...
6
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1answer
795 views

Sleeping Bag Damp for long time - risks of use?

I have just pulled out a bag of old hiking gear to discover that the storage bin had a leak and floor had 2 inches of water. My sleeping bag, a Jungle Snugpack, had been partially submerged and has ...
7
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4answers
224 views

Belaying two seconds?

I'm planning on doing some Grade III scrambling/low grade multi-pitch climbing this weekend. Normally just me and my girlfriend would do this kind of thing, I'll lead she'd second. But I'm thinking of ...
4
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1answer
75 views

Properly using a Gamow Bag

I was just informed that our group is going to have a Gam-off, technically known as a Gamow Bag. While I have never seen one such thing and so I don't have any experience with them, I browsed the ...
8
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1answer
114 views

Bolt Conditions at the New River Gorge

I am getting back into sport climbing and I am planning a trip to the NRG. I get very nervous about safety issues in regards to climbing, almost to the point where I don't want to start again. One ...
7
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2answers
115 views

How do I make sure my cliff-diving location is safe?

I like cliff-diving, but I am always scared that there might be a rock hidden in the water. If it is a popular spot, then I just trust that someone has already done the work, but what if I am going ...
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1answer
385 views

eating ash in Soviet Union

My Polish grandfather in early 1950's was sent by communist regime to a gulag. People were starving there and malnourishment was common, so they came up with idea of burning some kind of trees and ...
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4answers
1k views

Is campfire smoke safe for inhalation and cooking?

Is it safe to burn any kind of wood as campfire if you are going to be cooking on it directly? Like broiling a steak on a grill over the fire where the smoke and the flames will touch the meat. Can ...
11
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2answers
414 views

When to use a static rope?

I usually do sport-climbing so I've never owned a static rope. However, most rope-related Q&As in TGO.SE don't bother specifying dynamic vs static ropes. I've been told that for rappelling (or ...
3
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1answer
466 views

How effective are pen launcher bear bangers compared to bearspray?

So pen launcher bear bangers have apparently been around for quite a while, the training video for Truflare looks like something from out of the 90's, but they don't appear to be very popular, and I ...
6
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3answers
629 views

What type of rope should I use for roof work?

Am going to do some repairs on my roof, (not a climber). not sure regarding the type of rope I should get? Also, any advice as to how to secure the rope to my harness?
6
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1answer
87 views

Best sun protection for swimming

When I am going swimming in the pool my skin gets tanned due to sun. Which SPF value is suitable for my purpose? Should I go for some specific ingredient, so that the lotion won't dissolve in ...
5
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2answers
259 views

Continue a hike when legs start cramping

Yesterday I was hiking in partly deep snow where postholing was inevitable. I had no problems until one moment when I was getting cramps in the femoral. Luckily it was close to the end of my tour and ...
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9answers
11k views

How far would you need to fall for it to be fatal?

A little grim this but I was discussing free soloing with a non-climber in work and I said "Well once you get over a certain height you're not going to survive a fall anyway so anything over ...
7
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1answer
163 views

Donating blood at higher altitudes and Acclimatization

While I was re-reading this question where there is a lot discussed about impact of higher altitude on the physiology, acclimatization and things around it. Though, I have had put in an answer in the ...
6
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2answers
240 views

Reliability of snow bollards

I just discovered there is a way to rapell (e.g. for crevasse rescue) without any equipment building a snow bollard: How is this done in the best possible manner? What do I have to look for in ...
7
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3answers
424 views

Why should I carry a snow anchor?

I regularly see online that on expeditions snow anchors are strapped to the side of the backpacks. This is typically an item like the upper on following pic: I never saw this in the Alps by myself. ...
7
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3answers
267 views

Quality/robustness of avalanche shovels

At an online shop I found a great deal for an avalanche shovel (14€). It's not a no-name brand, indeed it is a trustworthy German label. Still there are users complaining about the robustness of the ...
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2answers
2k views

Best rope for a rope swing

A few years ago I, er… a friend of mine, put up a rope swing in a nearby park. It's in a large eucalyptus, about 25 metres high, and is much loved by many local kids – and parents. Originaly I just ...
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2answers
382 views

For how long afterwards do we benefit from acclimatization?

Consider we are trying to pre-acclimate for an expedition in Himalaya to shorten the actual timespan on site. As an example, I am expecting a benefit if I go in the Alps for several days above 4000m ...
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2answers
161 views

Chaining locking carabiners

Googling seems to show that the conventional wisdom is that it's not a good idea to chain carabiners together: Another thing to avoid is chaining carabiners together to lengthen a connection in ...
5
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1answer
266 views

Is there a recommended safety standard for crampons?

I follow an outdoor group on facebook and one of the guys on it asked about these crampons on ebay They look very suspicious, they're a little too cheap and don't seem to fit very well, etc. They ...
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4answers
2k views

Is it a bad idea to dry clothes by the fire?

Is there too great a chance of accidentally setting your only pair of undies on fire? What about putting the undies on a hot rock? Or would the rock explode ...
11
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3answers
308 views

Dropping gear: Where did the hairline/micro fracture urban legend come from?

In an answer given to this question: Micro-Fractures in Climbing Equipments, it's stated that dropping gear causing micro fractures is a persistent myth, quoting Black Diamond's statement: Q. Is ...
8
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1answer
180 views

What should one do when get a cramp while swimming?

I had asked a question about struggling with cramps after swimming. For it being not really on topic at TGO, it got closed. I'll put it in a different way this time around, and make it on-topic at ...
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5answers
6k views

How to check if a fence or cable has electricity without having special tools?

You run across a wire cable, or wire fence in the wild, with which you would have to interact in some way. How to check if electricity runs through it without having special tools? EDIT: As the ...
5
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1answer
102 views

Tips for camping in the territory of elephants

I have recently planned to go for a long trail that passes through a territory that is known for elephants. While speaking of camping overall, I know what basics should I be following, but are there ...
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2answers
314 views

How can I avoid an encounter with a large feline?

I'm backpacking through a national park in India, which also happens to be a tiger reserve. I understand that chances of even spotting a Bengal tiger are slim, but still, what precautionary measures ...
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4answers
357 views

What are the real dangers of climbing at high altitude?

I had a campfire discussion not long ago with a man that got pulmonary edema while attempting the summit of Aconcagua, and we got into the discussion of the effects of high elevation. I had always ...
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1answer
149 views

How to achieve a climbing anchor that can withstand an upward load?

Commonly when setting SARENE-SA trad anchors on multi pitch routes the only protection available are nuts/wires. Additionally, there is very rarely an option to place a nut to protect against an ...