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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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
780 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
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?
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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 ...
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1answer
959 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, ...
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1answer
247 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
941 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
819 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
382 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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3answers
273 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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3answers
739 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
437 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 ...
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2answers
644 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 ...
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3answers
411 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
577 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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2answers
352 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.
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2answers
173 views

Can Grizzlies climb trees?

I continue year of the bear with more trees. Can grizzly bears climb trees?
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2answers
400 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
200 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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3answers
1k 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
405 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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3answers
251 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
429 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
409 views

Donating blood at higher altitudes and Acclimatization

While I was re-reading this question where there is a lot discussed about impact of higher altitude on the physiology, acclimatization and things around it. Though, I have had put in an answer in the ...
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1answer
245 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
166 views

How effective is wasp spray on bears?

I've been hearing that a lot of people are recommending wasp spray as a bear repellant. Proponents argue it has a longer range, and is more accurate to aim. How effective is wasp spray as a bear ...
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2answers
88 views

I've been out of the water for a little over a year; what should I focus on refreshing before I dive again?

I've been scuba diving for several years, but it's been a little while now since the last time. I last dove in the summer of 2014, and I'm traveling to Chile next month and am hoping to go diving ...
9
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1answer
222 views

Keeping safe distance while scrambling

On an easy but long scramble, 30 to 45o incline, un-anchored, what should be the safe distance between two people? Should the better person be ahead, or be behind supporting the other just in case?
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1answer
197 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
791 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 ...
9
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1answer
285 views

How can I tell when pemmican has spoiled?

Following this video I have made pemmican. When making the pemmican I used a food processor instead of rocks (because I'm lazy). I handled it with care, and according to this handbook, this stuff ...
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1answer
184 views

Are climbing harnesses tested for upside down falls?

Does anyone know if standard climbing harnesses (not chest harnesses) are actually rated (e.g. tested and certified) for use in upside down falls? Obviously falling upside down is a bad idea, and we ...
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1answer
142 views

Is there statistical backing for asserting the wilderness is safer than the highway?

My brother once told a concerned parent (whose son he was taking hiking in the "wilderness" (John Muir trail) for a few days) that the most dangerous part of the trip would be the drive there and back....
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1answer
136 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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4answers
282 views

Bouldering beside the freeway

Hello I have a question that I ask myself every morning when I commute to work. I live New England and I take the I-95 south from New Hampshire to Massachusetts every weekday. During my commute I ...
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4answers
509 views

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
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 ...
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3answers
674 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. ...
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3answers
209 views

One-sided overhand bend

Why is the one-sided overhand bend also called the European death knot (EDK)? Is it safe for climbing and mountaineering purposes?
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4answers
245 views

Any tips to prevent theft while tent camping alone in a caravan park?

This summer. I will be camping on my own at a coastal caravan park located between 2 towns. In terms of safety (theft) and other things, what do you advise?
8
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1answer
129 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 ...
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2answers
482 views

What is the best way to break up a fight among dogs on a sled line?

Fights happen. Sled dogs have personalities that aren't always compatible... Is there a technique to breaking up a fight that will minimize risk of injury to both me and my dogs?
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2answers
308 views

Any dangerous animals attracted to fire?

While we are out in the wild it's good practice to keep a fire up to hold back several kinds of dangerous animals, isn't it? I wonder if there are any (for humans dangerous) creatures out there which ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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3answers
131 views

Canoeing in a thunderstorm

What are your chances of getting struck by lightning in a canoe? I've done a lot of canoeing on stormy lakes before, but when the thunder comes what is the real risk of getting struck by lighting? ...
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2answers
270 views

Should I run if I come across Hyena?

Question prompted by: Should I run if I see wild dogs? Since Hyenas physically resemble Wild Dogs, more or less, is the advice in that discussion applicable for encounters with Hyenas too? Are there ...
8
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1answer
733 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 ...
8
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1answer
247 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 ...
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2answers
147 views

What causes these shallow indentations in cheek of axe head?

On a new Hults Bruk's Kisa axe, the cheek isn't entirely smooth and has shallow indentations in it. The blade is nice and sharp, whole thing feels sturdy. Where do these indentations in the cheek ...