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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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
304 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
218 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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4answers
752 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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2answers
244 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 well!...
12
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1answer
169 views

Precautions when walking through area of crocodiles

Unlike other places, in India, the region where I stay and trek, we don't have warning boards stating the crocodile threats/warnings. I have been wandering in the region for almost a decade now and ...
12
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1answer
112 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 ...
12
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1answer
412 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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6answers
2k views

How safe is drinking distilled water?

Are there any adverse effects of drinking distilled water (possibly obtained melting snow or using other survival techniques like a solar still)? Maybe dehydratation, diarrhea...? Some people even ...
11
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3answers
755 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 ...
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3answers
495 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 ...
11
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3answers
1k 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 ...
11
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3answers
5k 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
578 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
346 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 ...
11
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1answer
378 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, ...
11
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2answers
2k views

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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2answers
873 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
1k 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 ...
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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
213 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. ...
11
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1answer
151 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
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5answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
10
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2answers
882 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 ...
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4answers
2k views

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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6answers
6k 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 ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
10
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2answers
93 views

Safety precautions for a spotter for his/her own safety

What are the measures to take to ensure the safety of the person who is spotting a climber?
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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
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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 ...
10
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2answers
422 views

Safest months to hike in Colorado

I've read that the summer months (June, July, and August) are the safest months to hike in Colorado because these are the least-likely times to run into ice patches that can't be crossed with normal ...
10
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3answers
331 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 ...
10
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2answers
786 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 ...
10
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1answer
278 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 point....
10
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3answers
9k views

Best rope for a rope swing

A few years ago I, er… a friend of mine, put up a rope swing in a nearby park. It's in a large eucalyptus, about 25 metres high, and is much loved by many local kids – and parents. Originaly I just ...
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3answers
595 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 ...
10
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2answers
223 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 ...
10
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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
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3answers
214 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 ...
10
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
10
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1answer
749 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 ...
10
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1answer
1k 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?
10
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1answer
3k views

“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 ...
10
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1answer
246 views

Monkeys and Rock Climbing

Monkeys are funny, as well as dangerous. I have already asked a question about how one should go about camping where there are monkeys around: Camping and Monkeys. The best advice would be to avoid ...
10
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1answer
340 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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3answers
1k views

Can I use one helmet for both kayaking and skiing?

I am doing little kayaking and just a bit more skiing (the seasons for both are very short where I live). Both of these need helmets, but I feel reluctant to buy 2 items, each of which will see little ...