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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4
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2answers
255 views

Is there a best practices guide online for rock climbing safety?

I've recently started sport climbing outdoors and was looking for some definitive safety information published by some reputable organization (i.e. American Mountain Guides Assocation, AMGA), but I ...
41
votes
14answers
15k views

How can I tell if I am dehydrated or have low electrolytes (need salt, etc.)?

How can detect, in the outdoors with minimal equipment, if I am dehydrated or need electrolytes? Update Some background: I get overheated very easily, possibly because I don't sweat as much as most ...
8
votes
1answer
470 views

Taking Aspirin in higher altitudes

Reading this answer and especially the comments leads me to questions: Should one use Aspirin in high altitudes? Should one use it as a precaution or only when actually getting headache or other ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
305 views

Buoyancy aids ratings

I recently brought a buoyancy aid to use when kayaking. One thing I noticed when purchasing it though was the 50N rating. All buoyancy aids I looked at seemed to have a 50N rating and I vaguely ...
8
votes
2answers
297 views

Foam vs hardshell climbing helmets?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of climbing helmet design (foam or hardshell)? Foam Hardshell PS: I do not intend to compare them by how much they cost.
14
votes
3answers
306 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
501 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What wild animals are there in California that can be dangerous or create hassles, and how do I avoid problems with them?

What wild animals are there in California that can be dangerous or create hassles, and how do I avoid problems with them?
14
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How to fix a leak in a fibreglass kayak?

I have got an old kayak from a friend of mine who no longer needs it. As he told me, there are 3 leaks in that Kayak, one of them is very visible being a coin-sized hole (:D). The others are pretty ...
9
votes
3answers
220 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
694 views

Why do flies try to get in my eyes all the time?

I have flies always trying to get in my eyes and I wear glasses. The flies just fly right into my eye and it stings from where my eyes are dry. Why are they attracted to my eyes?
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Reacting to tornado warnings while camping with no buildings nearby

This afternoon there was a tornado warning - TAKE SHELTER IN A PERMANENT BUILDING IMMEDIATELY - for the west half of Algonquin Park issued through the usual channels including Twitter. I believe by ...
6
votes
3answers
678 views

Makeshift Stretchers

I recently read in a local organization report log that a group of inexperienced and stranded hikers gambled up a route and had to take a risky way down the hill. In the process, a guy got badly ...
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 ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

Can groundwater still be consumed if after boiling the water turns brown with an oily substance floating on top?

This weekend we went "pole camping". A pole camp site (dutch link only) is a camp site offered by the departments of forestry in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is very basic. What is offered is a ...
7
votes
2answers
759 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), ...
9
votes
2answers
550 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
313 views

Swimming across a strong current

Recently I had been to a hike where I had to cross quite a large stream. And I am not so good at swimming either. So after judging the possible depth, I could figure out that I can get across swimming ...
8
votes
3answers
836 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, ...
11
votes
1answer
362 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, ...
7
votes
3answers
209 views

Gloves for knuckle protection that can get wet but not necessarily waterproof

I am looking to replace my NRS creeking gloves that I use for kayaking "bony" rivers and creeks where rock contact is a real possibility. The problem that I have with them is that the seams are not ...
6
votes
1answer
59 views

Dangers of currents for windsurfers

Can sea currents be dangerous for surfers? How common would this be? Should I ask locals about currents before surfing at a new spot?
2
votes
1answer
57 views

What routes in the Canadian Rockies have minimum group sizes (and where can I find about those)?

I like to be alone in the wild. I know it's not the wisest thing to do, but I do it anyway (and I'm not the only one). Today I learned that some routes in Canadian national parks may enforce minimum ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it safe to cut a climbing rope in half?

I recently bought a 70 meter climbing rope from REI because it was a great price on the outlet. Last weekend I used it for the first time in the Texas hill country, where 99% of routes need a rope ...
10
votes
3answers
539 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Rappelling with an injured arm

Is there a specific method which would help one with an injured (say, broken) arm to rappel down a rock? It is very much possible that one may hurt his / her arm for some or the other stupid / major ...
10
votes
1answer
327 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
722 views

Sizing up high altitude boots

I currently use La Sportiva WildCat Trail Running Shoes size 43 for trail running/light hiking and Nepal EVO's size 44 for Ice Climbing and Alpine adventures. The Nepal EVO's fit me perfectly with a ...
13
votes
3answers
420 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
214 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How to estimate is the branch thick enough to stand on it?

Some geocaches are placed high on trees: You need to climb there to log. But standing on too thin branch can be very dangerous. Is there a formula to estimate how thick must be a branch of a ...
5
votes
2answers
99 views

Safe looking for caches in hollows

Caches are very often hidden in hollows. Generally any tree with more or less visible hollow is a very probable geocache hide. Often you can't easily look into that hollow because it's deep or ...
10
votes
2answers
217 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Factors to be considered and prepared in case of unavoidable bivouac

There are numerous situations when mountaineers may have to bivouac. A few of them are exceptionally not advised but unavoidable at the same time. I was going through the details of the ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Carry compound bow on back

I'm new to hunting. Last time I went, I found myself needing to go up or down relatively steep slopes with a little bit of snow. For that kind of terrain it's nice to have both hands free to catch ...
7
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
784 views

During a safety stop, how do I avoid my feet floating up?

On my last couple of dives, I've noticed that my feet tend to float up during the 5m / 3 minute safety stop. It seems to be more of an issue when doing a safety stop using a line to ascend, but I've ...
4
votes
2answers
94 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
150 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
804 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 ...
11
votes
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 ...
16
votes
4answers
821 views

Walking up the slopes. To walk brisk or to walk slow?

This question has been eating my head for quite some time now. I trek often and most of the treks involve climbing up to a peak or something similar. I usually carry heavy loads of around 13-15kgs on ...
9
votes
2answers
373 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
195 views

Trekking solo in South Africa

This is an almost similar question to this one: Trekking solo in Western Ghats, India I have read a few blogs about people and their solo trekking experiences. At the first glance at it, 'whether to ...
4
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...