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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39
votes
8answers
5k views

What is the safest way to purify water?

There are a number of ways to purify water, off the top of my head we have filters, iodine, and boiling. Clearly each has some advantage/disadvantage (iodine tastes terrible, boiling takes time). ...
7
votes
1answer
131 views

Freezing fingers and toes

When I work outside in near zero degree temps and mittens or gloves are too cumbersome to work with my fingers get so cold they ache. My toes may get cold and ache as well depending on how long I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

Effective measures to minimize the damage due to Snow-blindness?

I was reading the novel: No Way Down by Graham Bowley, which is a detailed account of August 2008 K2 tragedy. There was a survivor named Wilco Van Rooijen, who eventually was rescued up somewhere ...
10
votes
1answer
140 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
292 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 ...
8
votes
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
559 views

Do leeches have a preference?

So I did a hike in a forest infested with leeches. I ended up with quite a few leech bites (around 20). But, at the same time, another hiker got just one bite! We both were wearing similar shoes, ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Can pregnant women parasail?

My wife and I, are going to a a location full of beaches. My wife is 4 months pregnant and she wants to do a para-sailing session. They take off from the beach, fly over the sea for 5 minutes and ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

What fall factor will cause me to hit the deck with a typical dynamic rope?

Say I'm leading on a single-pitch climb, or the first pitch of a multi-pitch. The maximum fall factor I could theoretically have without hitting the deck is 1, but that's with a static rope, which of ...
5
votes
1answer
69 views

Is a mother bear more defensive during early summer compared to late summer and autumn?

According to the Wikipedia page on Grizzly Bears, Mothers defending their cubs are the most prone to attacking, being responsible for 70% of fatal injuries to humans. Is there any seasonal ...
15
votes
1answer
302 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, ...
12
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
338 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, ...
23
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
82 views

How to realize/judge/assume if one has now fully acclimatized?

I have an expedition planned in Himalayas, around the Mt. Kanchenjunga region. I believe at higher altitudes, apart from preparation (both physical and psychological), one has to be sure about a ...
6
votes
3answers
952 views

Knot for Joining the ropes of different thicknesses

As, I have been using a Double Fisherman's knot to join the two ropes. With some physics that I know, in Double Fisherman's knot the same amount of pressure (stress) is applied over the two turns of ...
-2
votes
1answer
202 views

Could I have a postmortem on this suburban raccoon encounter?

I know this isn't Great Outdoors in the sense of planning a vast trek and seeing vistas, but I wanted to ask for a postmortem on an unwanted great outdoors encounter in the suburbs. I was getting ...
6
votes
2answers
162 views

What to do when a black bear got a hold of an open bear can?

When an adult black bear without cubs in sight got a hold of an open bear-can, is it advisable to try to scare him/her away (with noise, or by approaching him/her as a group?) I am asking both for ...
9
votes
1answer
305 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), ...
10
votes
2answers
888 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
321 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
406 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. ...
10
votes
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?
9
votes
1answer
178 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
471 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
188 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
102 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
384 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
225 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
votes
1answer
323 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
668 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
118 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
997 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, ...
16
votes
2answers
369 views

Can I sail a raft on a European river with commercial traffic?

I'm thinking about sailing a part of the Danube, alone, on a self-built raft. I have no experience sailing rivers on any serious basis. I'm considering a raft for a number of reasons: It's cheap. ...
17
votes
3answers
453 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
854 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?
9
votes
3answers
196 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
77 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
721 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
790 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
425 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
284 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
451 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
1k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
277 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
194 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
265 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 ...