The art of staying safe, through the treatment but above all the *prevention* of injury and disease.

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7
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1answer
172 views

Can the Swiss Alps be hiked in the winter?

I would like to hike part of the Alps that go from France to Slovenia, but I'm not sure what type of equipment I'll need. I'm wondering if I need to bring crampons; I have Icetrekkers (Diamond Grip), ...
4
votes
2answers
130 views

How to prepare for and survive wildfire?

In some areas, such as the western US, wildfires are common during the summer dry season. "Fire safety" advice usually centers on not starting a wildfire, e.g. extinguishing or avoiding campfires. ...
13
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2answers
240 views

How can I tell if a natural snow-bridge is safe to cross?

In early summer in the high mountains, snowfields may lie over rivers. These rivers may be otherwise tricky to ford, and it can be very tempting to use the snowfield to cross the river. However, ...
8
votes
1answer
535 views

Does having sex in the back-country attract bears or other critters?

As stated in the title: is there any evidence that the hormones etc that the body produces during intercourse increases one's likelihood of encountering a bear in the back-country?
8
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1answer
117 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 ...
3
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1answer
82 views

Is the lookout 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
163 views

How can I report an emergency via SMS text message?

When hiking, I often find myself in areas where cell phone reception is poor or intermittent. Sometimes the signal is not good enough to make a call, but it is still possible to send text messages ...
12
votes
3answers
207 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
324 views

Toproping with two ropes joined by a double fisherman's

The other day we were waiting in line for a popular 200 foot single pitch climb in the valley and the party in front of us was using two 70 meter ropes they had joined together with a double ...
6
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2answers
265 views

If an autoblock inteferes with a belay device will a fireman belay have any effect?

When rappeling I understand the need for a backup--whether an autoblock below the belay device, or a second person providing a fireman belay. My understanding is that using an autoblock incorrectly ...
5
votes
2answers
958 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

When climbing 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 ...
5
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4answers
2k views

What's the problem with electrolyte imbalance and how do I mitigate it?

In the past week I've seen two answers mentioning electrolytes; one about the grand canyon and one in an answer on a question that was actually about wildlife, but where other desert dangers were ...
8
votes
3answers
227 views

Logs & Rocks - Step on or over?

Growing up we were always taught to never step straight over a rock or log because it is a good way to step on or startle a snake that you cannot see. However, on a lot of hiking forums I see it ...
8
votes
1answer
103 views

What kinds of things are the “defensive driving” equivalent to handling campfires?

In What do you do if the fire does get "out of control"?, someone asked a legitimate question, and @berry120 wrote detailed response, and ended with a "tl;dr" saying, " but if the proper ...
20
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9answers
28k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Does whiskey help keep you warm in winter?

It is a rare day that I head out into the winter wilds without a flask of sumpt'n-sumpt'n in my pocket. A nip helps one to relax, can mildly embolden timid skiers in my group, and gives one that fiery ...
11
votes
4answers
985 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?
8
votes
2answers
546 views

Bear spray vs. rifles against polar bears?

In Svalbard, the arctic archipelago administrated by Norway, anyone leaving Longyearbyen is required to carry a rifle for their own safey. For grizzly bears, Wikivoyage recommends that Bear repellent ...
13
votes
3answers
565 views

What do you do if the fire does get “out of control”?

Let's say you are camping with a large group, and someone starts a camp fire. You're away for a bit and come back to find everyone panicking and the fire to be much larger than actually planned (ie, ...
11
votes
2answers
193 views

Trekking in the himalayan region

Which are the better trekking routes in the himalayan region? Also, how safe are the routes? If any of you guys have been around in the region, I would like to know your personal experiences as ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it safe to use denatured alcohol as an antiseptic?

A lot of hikers carry denatured alcohol for cooking. Is there any risk to using it as an antiseptic for cuts and lacerations?
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I mix fuels when using the MSR whisperlite international stove?

I have an MSR whisperlite international stove. Can I mix fuels when both require the same jet? Background: When backpacking I often just carry one fuel bottle, filled with white gas. On my last trip ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

Cheese and eggs on backpacking trips

I have taken some hard cheeses onto backpacking trips quite successfully without spoilage, but I have not dared taking more than I can eat in about 3 days. Eggs I have not dared to take. I am ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it safe to drink out of rusty thermos?

I've got a thermos for coffee and/or water storage that I use on hikes and for bike touring since it keeps things hot for hours. However, it seems like the inside is rusting a bit. Is this safe to ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Additional boating rules in addition to COLREGS?

I had a sailing test a few weeks ago and in it I was presented with the B flag and was asked what it means and what would be the applicable light at night. I know the answer is "carrying dangerous ...
7
votes
1answer
614 views

Is it safe to use a motorcycle helmet instead of a skiing helmet for skiing?

I have a perfectly good motorcycle helmet (one that encompasses the whole head, including the chin) that I never use (I bought it for lessons, but never bought a motorcycle). However, I do not have a ...
10
votes
3answers
518 views

What is the true risk of suffocation from different combustion sources in a tent? (CO2, CO)

Aside from risk of fire (which for this question we will assume has been fully mitigated) what is the real risk of suffocation if one were to use a stove, lantern, or candle lantern in a tent? There ...
8
votes
3answers
375 views

Is there a large difference in WFA (Wilderness First Aid) programs?

I am looking at taking a WFA (Wilderness First Aid) class and there are a couple of outfits in my area offering it. Namely, SOLO, NOLS, and The American Red Cross. I have heard nothing but great ...
4
votes
3answers
488 views

Are 35mm film canisters safe for holding spices?

Some of you may remember 35mm film** and the black cases it came in. I have a few lying around, and have seen people use them as backpacking salt and pepper shakers. I have also heard that's a good ...
12
votes
1answer
220 views

How can I go camping in Nepal and Northern Pakistan?

A group of friends would like to go camping in Northern Pakistan on their own. The only problem is to know some locals who can help us with food and a place to find where we can put up our camps. How ...
4
votes
2answers
272 views

How do people safely trek in polar bear country?

For hiking in polar bear country, this answer cites a page that advices to avoid camping under the stars at all times. Yet people do go trekking on Svalbard, and I don't think the density of huts is ...
6
votes
1answer
209 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
277 views

How do I recognise quicksand and how do I get out if stuck?

This year, a Danish citizen went missing without a trace in the mountains of northern Sweden. It is not the first time; in total, ten people are registered as missing after venturing into the ...
7
votes
2answers
485 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
623 views

Are fires in natural caves/overhangs safe?

I have heard that a fire in a cave or under an overhang can cause a rock collapse, potentially injuring the occupant. Is this a real risk?
14
votes
2answers
500 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
212 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
418 views

How to inspect climbing bolts?

I am most interested in setting up a top rope anchor on 2 bolts side by side. I feel like in this case you almost have to be more careful using bolts for a top rope than sport climbing because in ...
6
votes
2answers
161 views

How do I identify dangerous, marshy land?

At a casual look, grass with a bit of surface water on it can look very similar to a potentially deadly marsh, and in many rural places there can be lots of both after it's been raining! In dry ...
6
votes
2answers
238 views

How to choose a class of rapids for a variety of skill levels?

I've been whitewater rafting (and inadvertent whitewater canoeing ;) a couple times, and I'd like to get a bunch of friends together to go with me. I'd bring enough people to fill a raft (5 or 6), but ...
6
votes
1answer
124 views

How to get started with packrafts?

I love hiking and I'm starting to love longer cycling trips too. I've done combined cycling/hiking trips (cycling to the trailhead of a hike). Last summer I met someone who carried an inflatable raft ...
14
votes
1answer
228 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, ...
24
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
506 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
292 views

Do I need to worry about feral dogs or even wolves if I camp in random areas while hitchhiking in Georgia (the country)?

After almost half a year working in a hostel in Tbilisi, spring has come and it is far warmer than anywhere further west in Europe so I'm going to hitchhike around Georgia with my tent in warm areas. ...
8
votes
1answer
172 views

How can I tell when pemmican has spoiled?

Following this video I have made pemmican. When making the pemmican I used a food processor instead of rocks (because I'm lazy). I handled it with care, and according to this handbook, this stuff ...
11
votes
3answers
428 views

How effective are portable electric fences?

I am worried about bears and wolves when camping so I'm looking at portable electric fences. Are they effective and more importantly just how dangerous are they?
20
votes
7answers
2k views

What is the best way to cross streams while backpacking?

I'm curious of a good technique to cross a stream while backpacking that's above the boot's waterproof line but no higher than the knees. I typically face upstream and use my hiking poles for ...
8
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...