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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10
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1answer
247 views

Monkeys and Rock Climbing

Monkeys are funny, as well as dangerous. I have already asked a question about how one should go about camping where there are monkeys around: Camping and Monkeys. The best advice would be to avoid ...
12
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2answers
1k views

What do life jacket ratings mean (Type I, Type II, etc)?

Looking at flotation devices (life jackets) they are rated Type I, Type II, etc. What do these rankings mean and what type should I by?
8
votes
2answers
147 views

What causes these shallow indentations in cheek of axe head?

On a new Hults Bruk's Kisa axe, the cheek isn't entirely smooth and has shallow indentations in it. The blade is nice and sharp, whole thing feels sturdy. Where do these indentations in the cheek ...
12
votes
1answer
173 views

Precautions when walking through area of crocodiles

Unlike other places, in India, the region where I stay and trek, we don't have warning boards stating the crocodile threats/warnings. I have been wandering in the region for almost a decade now and ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Venomous/Semi-Venoumous Snakes at Higher Altitudes

When we camp in rainforests or even country side forest, we are supposed to be very careful about Reptiles, especially Snakes. In India out of the many venomous snakes, I have found Pit Vipers to be ...
34
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5answers
9k views

Can I use a bicycle helmet as a climbing helmet?

I have a bicycle helmet that fits well. Can it be used effectively as a rock climbing helmet? Most climbing helmets have a hard shell that the bicycle helmet does not. However, one of the more ...
29
votes
4answers
2k views

If I have to cross an icy, flowing river, what are some ways I can cross safely?

If I'm alone in a survival situation and I have to cross a very cold river that's still flowing, how should I accomplish this safely?
7
votes
1answer
158 views

How can you tell if a rocky outcropping (lookout) is safe?

We've all been on hikes that pass close by a good lookout. A rock or ledge sticking out with a good view. Sometimes these are heavily maintained by park rangers, but often not. If I'm on a trail ...
16
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3answers
3k views

Vetting belayers at the gym?

The other night I went to the climbing gym, intending to look for a climbing partner once I got there. (My usual gym climbing partner isn't available to climb as often as I want to.) The gym provides ...
13
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3answers
838 views

Is there a general rule for climbing runout grading?

Climbing route grades in Yosemite Decimal System can be suffixed with an "R" to notify a runout. The Wikipedia entry for a runout is A lengthy distance between two points of protection which in ...
40
votes
4answers
9k views

Is it possible to rappel with only a rope? (No harness, Prusik cord, or other gear)

There may be an emergency situation where I find myself needing to lower myself but with no or damaged equipment. Assuming I only have a rope, can I lower myself to safe ground?
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Is my tent pole a lightning rod?

I have used the Mega Mid tent almost exclusively for hundreds of nights out over the last many years. It's versatile, well ventilated, light... but has this pole sticking straight up the middle. Is ...
11
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6answers
2k views

How safe is drinking distilled water?

Are there any adverse effects of drinking distilled water (possibly obtained melting snow or using other survival techniques like a solar still)? Maybe dehydratation, diarrhea...? Some people even ...
19
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6answers
1k views

How safe is it to hike alone?

Should a woman legitimately fear to be assaulted or raped on popular backpacking trails in the US when hiking by herself? How common are attacks of that nature? How does it compare to residential ...
20
votes
1answer
4k views

How much sea water can I safely drink?

Anyone who has played in the ocean knows getting a little sea water in your mouth and swallowing it will not kill you. Seawater contains salt. When humans drink seawater, their cells are thus ...
18
votes
4answers
676 views

Why are people so worried about Giardia?

Everyone I have ever been camping with seems to have an unwritten rule never to drink from streams no matter how clear they might seem, for fear of Giardia. I have also heard people telling about ...
13
votes
6answers
21k views

How long does mayonnaise last unrefrigerated in the back-country?

Yes, mayonnaise. It is sold unrefrigerated, and is an essential component of any back-country sandwich. Has anyone reached its limit and had it spoil on them? (I haven't. Of course, I've never had an ...
9
votes
1answer
142 views

Is there statistical backing for asserting the wilderness is safer than the highway?

My brother once told a concerned parent (whose son he was taking hiking in the "wilderness" (John Muir trail) for a few days) that the most dangerous part of the trip would be the drive there and back....
13
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5answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
209 views

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?
21
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5answers
6k views

Will Black Bears actually follow you up a tree

I always see it pointed out, when discussing how to handle/avoid bear encounters, that black bears can climb trees. Granted, but does that matter? Has there ever been a case of a black bear pursuing ...
9
votes
2answers
171 views

Can Grizzlies climb trees?

I continue year of the bear with more trees. Can grizzly bears climb trees?
12
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the correct way to attach an autoblock to your harness for rappelling?

When rappelling and using an autoblock consisting of a french prusik knot it seems there may be some options on how and where to attach the autoblock to my harness. Is there a correct placement on ...
27
votes
6answers
2k views

What precautions should I take to protect myself and my camp from bears?

Most of my prior hiking experience has been in areas that are not home to bears, so what precautions should I take to protect my camp (and myself as I am hiking) from bears. I am aware of a couple of ...
27
votes
4answers
576 views

Can I sail a raft on a European river with commercial traffic?

I'm thinking about sailing a part of the Danube, alone, on a self-built raft. I have no experience sailing rivers on any serious basis. I'm considering a raft for a number of reasons: It's cheap. ...
16
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3answers
2k views

Should a hiker be concerned about wolves in the back-country?

In this question, it was asked whether bear-spray was effective against other animals, such as wolves. I know the old adage that "there has never been record of a healthy wolf attacking an adult" is ...
9
votes
1answer
166 views

How effective is wasp spray on bears?

I've been hearing that a lot of people are recommending wasp spray as a bear repellant. Proponents argue it has a longer range, and is more accurate to aim. How effective is wasp spray as a bear ...
7
votes
3answers
151 views

How can I safely wade through swamps/bogs?

It looks like I may be able to spend couple months from March in Newfoundland. During my last trip I noticed a great number of hauntingly beautiful bogs, right by the road - thus one could ...
18
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Where is a good introduction to snow chain usage? [closed]

I have never used a snow chain with my vehicle, or even saw the process of someone putting a snow chain onto a vehicle. I plan to drive to western Cascades Mountain area in my small front-drive ...
7
votes
4answers
341 views

What respirator should I get for urbex?

Sometimes while hiking/trekking/whatever I practice urbex (in random buildings, factories, farms, tunnels, the usual), and I'm aware of the risks to my health caused by toxic gas, asbestos, lead and ...
8
votes
4answers
282 views

Bouldering beside the freeway

Hello I have a question that I ask myself every morning when I commute to work. I live New England and I take the I-95 south from New Hampshire to Massachusetts every weekday. During my commute I ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

How to “spot” someone who is bouldering?

We have discussed a lot and at length about how to climb and other climbing techniques. I haven't come across a single post that talks about Spotting techniques. What are the duties of a Spotter? ...
12
votes
1answer
114 views

How safe are stoppers/rocks when threaded through rock tunnels?

Last year, I learned that you could thread the wire of stoppers/rocks/hexentrics through tunnels in the rock if threading cord or a sling through them would be too difficult. As a reference, see the ...
10
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4answers
2k views

Is it ever necessary to double up locking carabiners?

I see people doing this a lot: My question is: Why? When is it necessary to double up locking carabiners? Ever? Doubling up non-locking carabiners with opposite and opposing gates was, and still ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

What are some of the winter hiking trails rated difficult in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park that don't require technical climbing?

Headed to Denver,CO (mid-february) for a couple of weeks and looking to shed some fat through a weekend trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. I am looking for a hike with an elevation gain of 4000-...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

Meeting an unknown snake on the trail; what is the best thing to do?

The newsletter from the Virginia Wildlife Rescue League reported the following incident. A man, his partner and her 4 year old daughter were walking in Farquier County (a rural county), when they saw ...
10
votes
1answer
179 views

Does it help to play a fake sound when confronted with a wild animal?

I think this might be a silly question. I was thinking about heading to a place where there is a chance to confront a coyote. It worried me a lot then..this question popped up. If I have big enough ...
9
votes
2answers
88 views

I've been out of the water for a little over a year; what should I focus on refreshing before I dive again?

I've been scuba diving for several years, but it's been a little while now since the last time. I last dove in the summer of 2014, and I'm traveling to Chile next month and am hoping to go diving ...
7
votes
5answers
519 views

Is listening to music on earphones while hiking safe enough?

Hiking/ trekking can possibly make you feel anxious especially while hiking solo. Music can soothe your mind and motivate you a lot. I would like to know the possible dangers/loss due to listening to ...
25
votes
9answers
80k views

How to warm up your cold toes and fingers?

In winter your hand and feet (especially toes and fingers) may get painfully cold or you may even stop feeling them. How can you warm them up? This usually happens, when it's below 0°С or when it's ...
20
votes
5answers
618 views

When sailing, how do I rescue a man overboard?

If someone falls overboard from a sailboat, it is firstly imperative not to lose sight of the person since finding a man in water, especially when there's waves, can be very difficult. What ...
5
votes
2answers
154 views

How to react to a fox in furious phase (rabies)?

So, I had this question. The answer was that we should kill a fox with rabies to help it. Rabies has a phase called "furious phase". The infected animal has symptoms which can directly affect ...
5
votes
2answers
208 views

How to help a fox with rabies?

Rabies has a phase called "furious phase". The infected animal has symptoms which can directly affect humans. An infected dog may viciously attack any moving object, person, or animal; a caged ...
6
votes
1answer
127 views

Is a portable jump starter dangerous?

Like many campers, I bought a portable jump starter, which contains liquids and gases. In what situation does it get dangerous? Can I simply carry this portable charger along with all my camping ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What to do if a team member falls sick?

Recently I fell ill whilst car camping and it made me consider the situations when not around amenities. In addition to this I recently was part of a four man, one dog team climbing Snowdon and one of ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

Can groundwater still be consumed if after boiling the water turns brown with an oily substance floating on top?

This weekend we went "pole camping". A pole camp site (dutch link only) is a camp site offered by the departments of forestry in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is very basic. What is offered is a ...
9
votes
1answer
196 views

Staying safe from hunters while hiking in France

This question is specific to France, as different countries have different hunting cultures and regulations. There have been a number of highly publicized accidents in France this year (1, 2, 3). ...
15
votes
2answers
522 views

How do you make a snow shelter?

Sometimes when mountaineering, there may be an emergency situation which leaves you in bad weather with no or damaged shelter (such as returning from a summit attempt or after a wild and crazy storm). ...
16
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6answers
2k views

Reacting to tornado warnings while camping with no buildings nearby

This afternoon there was a tornado warning - TAKE SHELTER IN A PERMANENT BUILDING IMMEDIATELY - for the west half of Algonquin Park issued through the usual channels including Twitter. I believe by "...