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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8
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2answers
7k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
177 views

What safety precautions should I take on the Appalachian Trail?

I plan to do a short hike (3-4 days) on the Appalachian Trail in September in Connecticut. What safety precautions should I take? What wild animals (and wild people) could I encounter?
3
votes
3answers
192 views

Is it safe to cook food during a hike (on trail) when bears are possibly around?

I'm going to the Rockies (trails in Jasper and Banff). Would it be safe for me to cook food while on the trail? Won't bears be attracted towards the smell of the food?
10
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

What do you hang on 1/4" bolts while rock climbing?

So 1/4" bolts, although not suitable for free climbing protection, are apparently still used for aid climbing to hold body weight, and for alpine rappels. What I want to know is, what do you use for ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Trail gun for protection against bears

Choosing a trail gun is proving more challenging than I would like. What handgun calibres are powerful enough to provide some protection against aggressive bears? I want something manageable ...
13
votes
2answers
570 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

Is the “rattlesnake line” higher now in the Sierra than it used to be, decades ago?

Decades ago, the rule of thumb was that there were no rattlesnakes above 9,000 feet in the Sierra. I don't remember what the authority for this was. It is definitely warmer in the Sierra now than it ...
6
votes
2answers
129 views

When can a glacier be crossed without special gear (axes, crampons, rope, etc.)?

As a child, I remember walking with my family over the Gornergletscher to reach the Monte Rosa-Hütte. I remember the same for crossing Vadret da Diavolezza. In both cases, we did not have crampons ...
6
votes
1answer
170 views

Where to almost wild camp in the Ardennes?

Wild camping is not permitted in Belgium, but I heard about places where this is allowed. Well itś not exactly wild camping but almost. Where are these places? are there any hiking trails associated? ...
6
votes
3answers
149 views

Can I use a tent in bear country, if I ate food in it over a year ago?

In bear country, we are told, never eat food in your tent. I no longer live in bear country but I may return in the future. If I eat food in my tent now, does that mean that, from a bear's point of ...
44
votes
4answers
24k views

Is drinking urine safe?

We've all heard stories about how people saved their lives by drinking their urine. Is drinking urine safe when there are no other water sources available? Can I filter it with a water purifier?
7
votes
2answers
803 views

Climbing Mt Kazbek in Georgia

Could you please help me decide whether a "team" of two people needs a guide on their attempt to climb Mount Kazbek from the Georgian side? My doubts come from a passage from this site (in Polish), ...
8
votes
1answer
730 views

What level of UV protection is recommended for glacier travel?

What level of UV protection is recommended for glacier travel? For example, I have sunglasses which says 40% UV layer. Will this be ok for glacier trekking, or do I need glasses with higher level of ...
10
votes
3answers
312 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 ...
23
votes
7answers
12k views

How dangerous is a band of coyotes to a lone, unarmed human?

There's a delightful thrill to the call of a band of coyotes when you're alone in the dark woods. Do they present a danger? That is, have healthy coyotes (that is, not rabid) been known to attack or ...
8
votes
1answer
245 views

When should you remove old pitons?

We were up above the treeline below the final climb to a scarcely visited cave and discovered an old rusty piton with a length of weathered webbing tied to it. It was obviously there as a safety for a ...
13
votes
2answers
314 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
votes
2answers
302 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
272 views

How to use an avalanche shovel as a snow anchor for a belay?

Avalanche shovels come equipped with holes in the blades for use as rescue sleds and making anchors. I've got plenty of my own ideas, but I'm looking for any documentation provided by manufacturers ...
9
votes
1answer
134 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
49 views

What is the best rope material to use for climbing protection? [duplicate]

I've been doing some research on what type of cord to use for resligning some hexes, and I found something very surprising here. Basically, the paper seems to suggest that while the tensile strength ...
7
votes
1answer
829 views

Sleeping Bag Damp for long time - risks of use?

I have just pulled out a bag of old hiking gear to discover that the storage bin had a leak and floor had 2 inches of water. My sleeping bag, a Jungle Snugpack, had been partially submerged and has ...
13
votes
5answers
10k 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 ...
12
votes
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
428 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
5k views

Why do many climbers appear to not trust their belay loops?

The belay loop is the strongest part of the climbing harness, so why do so many climbers not trust it? It’s very common to see climbers backing up their belay loop with a separate piece of webbing or ...
12
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
179 views

How do I make sure my cliff-diving location is safe?

I like cliff-diving, but I am always scared that there might be a rock hidden in the water. If it is a popular spot, then I just trust that someone has already done the work, but what if I am going ...
11
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How effective are pen launcher bear bangers compared to bearspray?

So pen launcher bear bangers have apparently been around for quite a while, the training video for Truflare looks like something from out of the 90's, but they don't appear to be very popular, and I ...
9
votes
2answers
559 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What type of rope should I use for roof work?

Am going to do some repairs on my roof, (not a climber). not sure regarding the type of rope I should get? Also, any advice as to how to secure the rope to my harness?
7
votes
1answer
94 views

Best sun protection for swimming

When I am going swimming in the pool my skin gets tanned due to sun. Which SPF value is suitable for my purpose? Should I go for some specific ingredient, so that the lotion won't dissolve in ...
7
votes
2answers
543 views

Continue a hike when legs start cramping

Yesterday I was hiking in partly deep snow where postholing was inevitable. I had no problems until one moment when I was getting cramps in the femoral. Luckily it was close to the end of my tour and ...
10
votes
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 ...
13
votes
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
votes
6answers
13k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
650 views

Why should I carry a snow anchor?

I regularly see online that on expeditions snow anchors are strapped to the side of the backpacks. This is typically an item like the upper on following pic: I never saw this in the Alps by myself. ...
9
votes
2answers
616 views

Reliability of snow bollards

I just discovered there is a way to rapell (e.g. for crevasse rescue) without any equipment building a snow bollard: How is this done in the best possible manner? What do I have to look for in ...
11
votes
1answer
373 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, ...
10
votes
3answers
567 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
407 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
231 views

Chaining locking carabiners

Googling seems to show that the conventional wisdom is that it's not a good idea to chain carabiners together: Another thing to avoid is chaining carabiners together to lengthen a connection in ...
6
votes
1answer
289 views

Is there a recommended safety standard for crampons?

I follow an outdoor group on facebook and one of the guys on it asked about these crampons on ebay They look very suspicious, they're a little too cheap and don't seem to fit very well, etc. They ...
12
votes
3answers
460 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it a bad idea to dry clothes by the fire?

Is there too great a chance of accidentally setting your only pair of undies on fire? What about putting the undies on a hot rock? Or would the rock explode ...
6
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
680 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 ...
10
votes
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 ...