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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5
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3answers
147 views

Is the keeper wire loop on a tubular belay device necessary?

The Reverso 4, ATC Guide, and others all have a keeper wire loop for carrying. However, the wire seems unnecessary -- one could simply cut it off and carry the device using the large hanging eye or ...
5
votes
1answer
90 views

What is the “Trail User’s Code”? [duplicate]

I hear people often talk about the "Trail User’s Code" or read about it and ever wondered what it might be. Is it some kind of official act?
5
votes
1answer
402 views

What's the safest way to hike up a steep slope in deep snow?

So I stumbled onto this GIF: It appears that this avalanche was caused by the deep trail cut into the snow. You can see ski tracks on the slope, it looks like it's been climbed and skied a number ...
6
votes
1answer
505 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
111 views

Distel Hitch vs Prussik

The Distel Hitch and Prussik both appear to be slide and grip knots, used for ascending a climbing rope. I have heard of people using Prussik many times more often than Distel Hitch. Which is a ...
33
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
61
votes
8answers
11k views

Should I run if I see wild dogs?

Wild dogs appear to be dangerous. Should I be running if I come across one, or should I stand fast and defend myself? They are a social animal, so they will be in a pack almost all the times.
12
votes
4answers
341 views

Safe, effective method for splitting firewood using a hatchet?

While car camping this past weekend, I bought some firewood from the park headquarters but unfortunately, it was split into very large pieces that obviously wouldn't light very well. I tried splitting ...
9
votes
2answers
854 views

Is this anchor set up right?

I was just looking at an article about an expedition on Eiger. I came across this picture. Is this setup right? For more info on the expedition: http://www.markseaton.com/stories/eiger.htm Kudos ...
6
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Walking through an active railway tunnel during a long distance walk

There is a long trail in the mountains near where I live. It requires one to walk through a Railway tunnel which is roughly 1.2 miles long and is not straight. Usually, there is a margin between the ...
47
votes
9answers
2k views

How should I remove a tick?

If I find a tick on myself or a friend, what is the best way of removing it? I've heard some people say that singeing the tick with a match makes the tick detach and fall off. However I've also ...
10
votes
3answers
326 views

What are other possible make-shift alternatives for chalk powder?

Climber's life rely heavily on equipment. Having all the necessary equipment for simplest of climbs is a must. But, if at all I forget to bring the chalk powder along, what other alternatives I have ...
14
votes
1answer
605 views

How to cross a 25 feet wide Crevasse?

How to cross a Crevasse when its absolutely unavoidable? What gear/equipment is/are required? What are the things that one should look for when choosing where to cross? Is it the hard ice from where ...
10
votes
6answers
5k views

Should a carabiner ever be clipped to the tie-in loops and should anything other than a carabiner ever attach to the belay loop?

I'm a beginning climber and am trying to resolve conflicting instruction related to tying into my harness. During a recent outing a friend (an experienced climber, but not an instructor) was showing ...
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? ...
13
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
173 views

Case example on Altitude Mountain Sickness: How to detect and react properly?

I know the theory behind effects of high altitudes on the human body is not entirely understood and because of cross-influence it is a difficult topic. It's not an exact science. Having said that I ...
5
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

Rappelling with an injured arm

Is there a specific method which would help one with an injured (say, broken) arm to rappel down a rock? It is very much possible that one may hurt his / her arm for some or the other stupid / major ...
11
votes
2answers
251 views

What should a rescue team be equipped with?

The last weekend when I was coming back home from a trek on Sunday noon, I got a news about this accident that took place. The place was on the way, so instead of choosing to rest at home, I chose to ...
6
votes
3answers
604 views

Makeshift Stretchers

I recently read in a local organization report log that a group of inexperienced and stranded hikers gambled up a route and had to take a risky way down the hill. In the process, a guy got badly ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Making a Make-Shift harness from Tape-Slings

I have some common knowledge about knots used for Climbing and Rope-care. There was an incident last week, where I needed a Seat-Harness which I didn't have with me. I needed one for tying up a ...
12
votes
1answer
303 views

At what point is a rattlesnake mature enough to control its venom?

Young rattlesnakes are more deadly than large rattlesnakes, the reason being because when they are young they are more likely to strike, but more importantly because they can't yet control their ...
26
votes
2answers
2k views

What makes certain mountains more dangerous than others?

Why do mountains like K2, Nanga Parbat and Annapurna (36 successful attempts, 47 failed) have higher fatality rates than, say, Everest or Cho Oyu (79 successful attempts, 28 failed)? (source) Can I ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the first aid precautions to be taken in case of a snake bite?

I'll be trekking through a dense monsoon forest which has a sizable population of king cobras and vipers. I'll be at least 5 hours away by walk to the nearest human settlement and another 1-2 hours by ...
13
votes
3answers
474 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is playing musical instruments like Harp/Harmonica, Flute unsafe during backpacking trips?

Along with trekking and camping, I am too involved in musical instruments that I play. And, I always have had a thought of carrying my six-string with me on some long hike for entertainment during I ...
41
votes
14answers
14k views

How can I tell if I am dehydrated or have low electrolytes (need salt, etc.)?

How can detect, in the outdoors with minimal equipment, if I am dehydrated or need electrolytes? Update Some background: I get overheated very easily, possibly because I don't sweat as much as most ...
41
votes
9answers
6k views

What is the safest way to purify water?

There are a number of ways to purify water, off the top of my head we have filters, iodine, and boiling. Clearly each has some advantage/disadvantage (iodine tastes terrible, boiling takes time). ...
5
votes
1answer
140 views

Similar knots to be avoided

There are knots that have similar sort of a structure or a look-alike looping which can easily confuse someone who is not seasoned in knots and safety associated with them. As a thumb rule, beginners ...
4
votes
1answer
286 views

Precautions needed to be taken regarding bee hives (honey) during Climbs

I am a regular climber and a hiker. Having an experience of more than 600 hikes and around 30 technical climbs, I have realized that during rock-climbing, the climbers are bound to face Honeybees ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Are bears attracted by Lotions and Perfumes?

Bears are mostly attracted by smell of food. That is why we are supposed to keep the food items in airtight and sealed packs or preferably finish up all the food (cooking and consuming) far away from ...
11
votes
2answers
594 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
250 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Spreader rig safety question

I built a spreader using steel double lock snaps from a NIB fall restraint lanyard and a 27 kn 50" webbing loop. I ran a bowline with blight to each double snap and one to where my steel 50 kn auto ...
9
votes
3answers
281 views

Rock climbing over edge - What can I put under the rope to protect it?

I am working on a very fun problem with an overhung roof that induces serious rope drag (Goat Rock Roof @ Castle Rock if you know it). I am very nervous about training this beta intensive problem ...
24
votes
4answers
1k views

What to do if the second seems stuck and absolutely no communication is possible?

Backstory: A few months ago, I experienced the following situation: We (two people) were climbing the last pitch of a multi-pitch route. Near the end, there was a cave-like chimney. Basically a ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

How safe is the bowline knot in different situations?

The bowline knot (picture below, source) has a great reputation as a very safe knot. Is it really completely safe in all situations and loads, or are there use cases where it may fail?
12
votes
5answers
832 views

Is clipping directly onto a dyneema sling safe?

I was recently doing a scramble route in North Wales. We needed to get past a large rock spike, though easy climbing, it was quite exposed and not a good place to take a fall. As a safety backup I ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

knives, how long a blade should I carry? [closed]

what size of knife should I carry to not make peoples eyebrows raise? what manufacturers would you suggest?
11
votes
3answers
3k views

What to do at the top of a sport climb

I dabble a little at leading trad, but have never led a sport route. If I do a sport lead, I want to make sure I don't make some stupid mistake when I get to the top. For example, I don't want to ...
34
votes
4answers
8k 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?
6
votes
3answers
150 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?
8
votes
2answers
783 views

Walking through a Thigh-high snow

I have far less experience in trekking where there is snow. I believe walking through snow and through Ice are two different techniques. Is there some sort of safe technique to walk on such snow with ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Surviving a forest fire by starting another fire

Awhile back I heard on CBC radio about a man who got trapped in a forest fire (surrounded on all sides) and survived. The way he survived was so ridiculous that he was brought to court and almost ...
9
votes
3answers
288 views

Snake dangers while hunting in the desert?

I plan to start doing some hunting in the greater southern Nevada Mojave desert (say within a 2 hour drive of Las Vegas). I know that while hiking, there is some "safety" from snakes because you are ...
5
votes
1answer
125 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
145 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
970 views

How to fix a leak in a fibreglass kayak?

I have got an old kayak from a friend of mine who no longer needs it. As he told me, there are 3 leaks in that Kayak, one of them is very visible being a coin-sized hole (:D). The others are pretty ...