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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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 ...
15
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1answer
328 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, ...
14
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4answers
1k views

Is it safe to be in a vehicle during lightning/thunderstorms?

Recently a friend and I were offroading in the local mountains and while ascending a trail a storm blew in. We were out in the open near the top of the mountain when lightning started. We weren't sure ...
14
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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 ...
14
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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 ...
14
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3answers
306 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 ...
14
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3answers
568 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 ...
14
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1answer
6k 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?
14
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1answer
607 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 ...
13
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5answers
9k views

Prevent mosquito bites: insect repellent patch or just eat vitamin B1?

I'd like to use natural malaria prevention. Insect repellent patch seems to be very promising. One patch contains 75 mg of B1 and covers 36 hours. However, it's not very cheap. Many other travellers ...
13
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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 ...
13
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3answers
390 views

What precautions are needed for caving

I have been hiking/mountaineering for quite a few years now. But, I have never been into a deep cave as yet. We are planning to explore a natural cave that we'll have to rappel into. The cave is ...
13
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6answers
10k views

Is it safe to drink out of a 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 ...
13
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5answers
2k 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?
13
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3answers
427 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 ...
13
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2answers
511 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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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 ...
13
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2answers
608 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 ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Mountaineering / glacial traverse: rope-up or go it alone?

When crossing a glacier (or other mountaineering activity for that matter) I've heard that roping everyone together without having a fixed anchor is falling out of fashion since more often than not if ...
12
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3answers
8k 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 ...
12
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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
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5answers
836 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 ...
12
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4answers
1k views

I found a Deer Tick on my friend and removed it, what should I do now?

While camping with some friends in Anywhere National Forest, I found a deer tick on a friend. After removing it with tweezers, is there anything else I should do? Should we abandon our trip ...
12
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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 ...
12
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2answers
346 views

What should one do when get a cramp while swimming?

I'm not a really good swimmer. While swimming casually, when I get a cramp in my thighs or toes, it definitely makes me panic a bit and hampers my swimming in a bad way. What should I be doing if I ...
12
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3answers
789 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?
12
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2answers
760 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 ...
12
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2answers
214 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 ...
12
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2answers
279 views

How to go about replacing sport climbing bolts?

There has been handful discussions about How to fix a bolt on a climbing route. But there seldom any point made about How the one should go about when removing/replacing the bolts. When to decide in ...
12
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2answers
193 views

Reference request: books on self-rescue while climbing

Can people recommend books or online resources on self-rescue for roped climbing? As a beginning trad leader, I think I should have a basic understanding of topics like how to escape a belay and how ...
12
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2answers
1k views

What are the advantages / disadvantages of a rock climbing hat made from hard plastic to one made out of carbon fiber?

What are the advantages / disadvantages of a rock climbing hat made from hard plastic to one made out of carbon fibre? I have done a Google search already, but wanted some pointers with people who ...
12
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2answers
4k 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 ...
12
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2answers
960 views

How do I inspect a climbing rope?

It is imperative that climbing ropes are in excellent shape so they don't split while someone is climbing. How do I properly inspect the rope when I'm about to start a climb?
12
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4answers
345 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 ...
12
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2answers
3k views

Is it safe to sleep for more than 16 hrs a day at altitudes above 6000m?

I am planning for a trek at the Advance Base Camp or if possible up to Camp II of Saser Kangri. The region is so deserted of people and expeditionists/mountaineers that there are usually only two to ...
12
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6answers
5k views

What are the odds that I stand a chance against Wild Boars?

I have been trekking and camping since last 6 yrs. I have over 600 hikes and about 30 technical rock climbs under my belt. We often tend to camp up in forests, and at our sides, wild boars are pretty ...
12
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2answers
1k 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 ...
12
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3answers
361 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 ...
12
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2answers
210 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 ...
12
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2answers
128 views

Descending a dry grass slope with serious inclination and exposure

This post here mainly talks about Ice slopes I reckon. The region where I live, we don't have Ice slopes, but we have lots of grass slopes. Usual threat is a slope, probably a good 100 m, no bolt to ...
12
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2answers
238 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 ...
12
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1answer
371 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 ...
11
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3answers
543 views

How to detect a crevasse on a glacier

When you're walking in a roped party over a glacier, how can the leader detect crevasses? Sometimes it's possible to walk existing tracks, but even then it's possible to have a crevasse fall. What ...
11
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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 ...
11
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2answers
492 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 ...
11
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2answers
252 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 ...
11
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2answers
595 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 ...
11
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1answer
673 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 ...
11
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1answer
63 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 ...
11
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1answer
146 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 ...