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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9
votes
2answers
818 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
196 views

Protect yourself from a lightning strike

We are in the great outdoors and a massive thunderstorm will be over us soon. What steps to take to be save from a lightning strike? This question is not "am I save in my tent" etc. You are in a ...
20
votes
3answers
562 views

How should I check climbing equipment to tell whether it is still safe to use?

I have, unfortunately, not had the opportunity to go climbing (and thus use my climbing equipment) for a couple years. I know that such equipment, especially the rope and webbing, can degrade over ...
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 ...
16
votes
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 ...
15
votes
1answer
347 views

Is backcountry hiking in northwestern Russia safe?

Is it safe to go backcountry hiking in the Tundra's of northwestern Russia, e.g. the Kola peninsula, such as the Khibin mountains? There is some heavy industry around there; can one safely go around, ...
15
votes
3answers
742 views

Sailing with a child

Inspired by this question on taking an infant sailing, as it is quite different when they can move, I thought I'd ask the same question in respect of a toddler or child. What essential safety ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

Is bear spray effective against other animals?

Is bear spray (pepper spray specially formulated to be effective against bear attacks) effective against other animals, especially mountain lions or wolves? Or is there something in it specifically ...
11
votes
2answers
348 views

How big a fall is a “major” fall?

I answered a question about rope safety with some advice about retiring the rope after a "major" fall. Another user asked me what would constitute a major fall - and I have to admit that I can only ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Leading an inexperienced group

I'm taking a handful (5) work colleagues up a mountain this weekend (Tryfan in Snowdonia). The mountain is a Grade 1 scramble route so it's not overly simple. The group is very inexperienced. I've ...
9
votes
2answers
644 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
244 views

Are bears more attracted to menstruating females?

People have speculated that women hiking in bear country during their menstrual cycle might increase their chances of a bear encounter. Is this true? What can be done to minimize risk? Related ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How to be safe on lake and river ice and what should I do when I fall through?

It's late October and in cold, northern hemisphere climates, winter has arrived, and moderate northern hemisphere climates will follow soon. In my area, small lakes are already frozen and people have ...
7
votes
3answers
724 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
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 ...
25
votes
6answers
3k views

Where in the Alps is it safe to drink the water without filtering?

In some places, the Swedish Lappland for example, it's perfectly fine and even recommended to drink water directly from streams. Is it also recommended whilst hiking in the Alps, and if so is it only ...
23
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do shin splints happen?

I've gotten shin splints on long hikes - once 2 weeks into a hike, and another time 2 months. I wasn't able to determine how I got them though, which has really annoyed me! I get that I could ...
15
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
370 views

What are the critical dimensions to a safe bear-bag?

Many outdoor areas that have bears have bear bag-lines setup for hikers. In situations where the bear-bag line is not there or it is full, what dimensions should I keep in mind to protect my goodies ...
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
459 views

What steps should I take if someone starts sinking?

What are the steps that should be taken if someone you're hiking with starts to sink uncontrollably into say a marsh? What are some good techniques and points that should be used to get them out ...
12
votes
3answers
122 views

Can I expect a mountain stream to have less water in the morning, even when it is not primarily fed by meltwater?

In late September 2015, I hiked part of the trail in the incredibly beautiful Lónsöræfi in southwestern Iceland, near Vatnajökull. The easternmost segment of the trail requires fording Hnappadalsá (...
11
votes
1answer
153 views

Climbing volcanic mountains

I'm planning to climb a few volcanic mountains in Indonesia the coming year. Mostly Mt Kerinci and a few adjoining ones (I'm still making a list of those near by to Kerinci). I believe that most ...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

Technique for lead solo climbing with rope

In the past I saw climbers climb alone on multi-pitch routes only by themselves (but not free solo). What's a correct technique to do this? I know how to do it with two ropes, rope ascenders and on ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What causes an avalanche and can I predict one?

Avalanches are extremely dangerous when mountaineering, winter backpacking/camping, or backcountry skiing/snowboarding. What causes them and is there any way I can predict when an avalanche is about ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
200 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
381 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
411 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
937 views

Do I need to hang a bear cache?

I am considering to get Garcia Machine Backpacker's Cache. According to MEC user reviews, this is the only cache approved in the Adirondack Mountains. Canadian parks, and other places as well, ...
7
votes
1answer
396 views

Does camping in polar bear country require someone to keep guard during the night?

Some animals are big and dangerous and, when hungry, may realise that humans contain a pretty decent amount of meat. I've never hiked in such areas, but they do exist. Photo from Wikipedia, CC-BY-...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How to estimate is the branch thick enough to stand on it?

Some geocaches are placed high on trees: You need to climb there to log. But standing on too thin branch can be very dangerous. Is there a formula to estimate how thick must be a branch of a ...
6
votes
2answers
367 views

What is the correct way to attach a rope to a harness with carabiners? [duplicate]

So you know how when you're belaying you clip in to the belaying loop, and when your climbing you tie in to the two loops the belay loop is stiched through... When you're climbing, what part would you ...
6
votes
1answer
136 views

Camping and Monkeys

Monkeys are funny, as well as dangerous sometimes. What precautions to I need to take when I am camping (under unavoidable circumstances) in a region where there are monkeys? EDIT: Referring to ...
6
votes
2answers
418 views

How can I tell if a wild animal has rabies?

If I am in the wild and encounter an animal that I think might be rabid, how can I tell if it has rabies? An animal that has been running hard, or any number of other things could cause it to be ...
6
votes
1answer
347 views

What are the dangerous animals in Southern Nevada

I'm from Florida and I've only ever hiked in the Southeast US. I don't know if I'm blind, but I can't find a listing of dangerous animals and their profiles. I tried Nevada Dept of Wildlife and ...
6
votes
2answers
580 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?
5
votes
2answers
248 views

Properly dispose of a rabid animal carcass

If while hunting I come across a rabid animal and I kill it, both to end its suffering and to prevent it from spreading rabies, what should I do with the body? I wouldn't want another animal to eat ...
4
votes
2answers
532 views

How much should my toes hurt in 5.10 MoccAsym shoes?

5.10s are known to be more comfortable, softer shoes, but I've also heard they tire your feet out faster. Edging in particular is harder in these shoes because it's your toes' responsibility instead ...
4
votes
2answers
313 views

How much is a major load?

So the UIAA sets a major fall (fall after which to retire your gear) to be a fall factor of 1.77. Now I was wondering what would count as a major load (load after which to retire your gear) ? 50 kN ? ...
4
votes
2answers
268 views

Is there a best practices guide online for rock climbing safety?

I've recently started sport climbing outdoors and was looking for some definitive safety information published by some reputable organization (i.e. American Mountain Guides Assocation, AMGA), but I ...
4
votes
2answers
136 views

What to be aware of if lightning strikes close to me?

Many questions (and answers) about lightning seem to focus on avoiding being hit directly by lightning but don't consider being close to where it hits the ground. Granted, it may be intentional (ie: ...
3
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

What routes in the Canadian Rockies have minimum group sizes (and where can I find about those)?

I like to be alone in the wild. I know it's not the wisest thing to do, but I do it anyway (and I'm not the only one). Today I learned that some routes in Canadian national parks may enforce minimum ...