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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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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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3answers
850 views

Snake on chest while sleeping?

Now, this is not very common, however I have heard it enough times from people to know that it actually does happen. When sleeping in the open or in an open tent (yes, i know you shouldn't), snakes ...
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3answers
324 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
6k 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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3answers
235 views

What are some simple tasks to teach knife safety?

My younger brother (14 years old) has recently expressed interest in joining my outdoor escapades (hiking, camping, backpacking, etc). As part of this interest, he has asked me to teach him how to ...
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2answers
308 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 ...
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2answers
522 views

Leader injured during multipitch trad climb, what to do?

I've been working on improving my self-rescue skills, but the skills I've learned so far seem to pertain mostly to single-pitch climbing. For example, a lot of people emphasize knowing how to escape a ...
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3answers
452 views

Urbex question: How to protect myself from asbestos?

During some Urbex explorations sometimes I'll encounter a building with an asbestos warning. Is there any way that I can safely explore these buildings? Would Just something like a surgical mask and ...
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1answer
208 views

Why are these acceptable and safe anchors?

Everyone knows redundancy is chief when building climbing anchors. However, I have seen several types of anchors that don't appear to be fully redundant due to a single ring providing the master ...
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2answers
205 views

Cutting snow steps on slopes

In many of the mountaineering expedition books that I've read, there are references to cutting of snow steps on slopes. What is the advantage of cutting snow steps? Why not use crampons and do a ...
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2answers
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What precautions should I take when hiking among herds of elk?

During certain times of the year, some of the hiking trails near where I live wind through herds of elk standing on or near the trails. What precautions should you take when hiking among elk?
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1answer
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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 ...
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3answers
205 views

Should I always take a hard hat if I go scrambling?

Should I always take a hard hat if I go scrambling? Scrambling (also known as alpine scrambling) is a method of ascending rocky faces and ridges Quite often when I'm out on ridges in the UK, I ...
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2answers
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Lowering off from anchors vs. rappelling after a climb?

What is recommended after finishing a sport climb--lowering off from the anchors or rappelling ? Rappelling preserves the hardware better, but is usually thought to be more dangerous since you take ...
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1answer
646 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 ...
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1answer
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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?
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1answer
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“Tag line”/“pull cord” for multipitch trad: what kind and when needed?

I normally climb with a single 10 mm x 60 m rope. On some multipitch trad climbs, I don't expect to have to rappel off, but I might have to in an emergency. Many people carry a special-purpose 6 mm ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
165 views

Dealing with large runouts during sport climbing

I was doing a sport climb recently where there was a pretty good distance between bolts, resulting in long rope runouts. Falling before the next bolt could easily cause a person to deck on a ledge. ...
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1answer
292 views

How frequent are polar bears inland in the Mealy Mountains and English Mountains in Labrador?

I am considering a trek in August/September in the Mealy Mountains and English Mountains in Labrador (Canada's newest National Park; for info see 1, 2, 3). However, I am worried by the prospect of ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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What are the Pros and Cons of Trekking Solo?

I was going through this amazing post here at TGO which talks of trekking solo. As far as I know of TGO culture, this question here might sound a really opinion-based question, or rather a too broad ...
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Anchor without cordelette?

I have the John Long book on climbing anchors and also a couple of others that describe the subject more briefly (Pesterfield, Traditional Lead Climbing, and Freedom of the Hills). When it comes to ...
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3answers
279 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
374 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 ...
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2answers
485 views

“Used” top rope when bouldering

My friend and I often boulder around my home instead of driving to the local area, and when attempting some more challenging features, such as overhangs and slightly taller cliffs, we would feel ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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347 views

Is it really that unsafe to touch a stranger's wound?

I am about to participate in a first aid training workshop. Before I do so, I am supposed to pass an online first aid course. While going through the course, I came across this section about applying ...
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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 ...
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1answer
329 views

Why are unequalised anchors acceptable for fixed-point belay systems used while ice climbing?

The Association of Canadian Mountain Guides demonstrate Fixed-Point belay systems in this video. Fixed-point belay systems as demonstrated make no effort to equalise the loading on the two anchors, ...
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951 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 ...
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3answers
205 views

Which buoys and markers should I look out for when kayaking (or other water-recreational sports)?

I live near the ocean (South Shore MA) and am new to kayaking. So far, I've paddled in streams and rivers that connect to that ocean. My last kayaking adventure involved me being oblivious to boaters ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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3answers
379 views

How do I Eskimo roll a kayak?

If I am whitewater or sea kayaking, it is possible that my kayak will get overturned leading to a live or death situation. I've heard that it is possible to roll the kayak so it is right side up ...
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1answer
106 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 ...
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1answer
402 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), ...
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1answer
202 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 ...
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1answer
147 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). ...
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1answer
127 views

Bolt Conditions at the New River Gorge

I am getting back into sport climbing and I am planning a trip to the NRG. I get very nervous about safety issues in regards to climbing, almost to the point where I don't want to start again. One ...
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3answers
247 views

What are the most frequent crimes perpetrated by people against people in the Great Outdoors?

This question is prompted by two comments on this site: Sue, in What are these bulges? Are they harming the tree? and Erik, in What are the dangerous animals in Southern Nevada (1) Sue: "Have you ...
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Belaying two seconds?

I'm planning on doing some Grade III scrambling/low grade multi-pitch climbing this weekend. Normally just me and my girlfriend would do this kind of thing, I'll lead she'd second. But I'm thinking of ...
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3answers
757 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, ...
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2answers
780 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 ...
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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 ...