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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1answer
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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
100 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
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2answers
229 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
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1answer
93 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 K2-Tragedy(...
7
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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
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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
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2answers
873 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
95 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
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1answer
153 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
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2answers
817 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
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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 ...
17
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4answers
852 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
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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 ...
3
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1answer
202 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
6k 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 ...
15
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3answers
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Are bears attracted by Lotions and Perfumes?

Bears are mostly attracted by smell of food. That is why we are supposed to keep the food items in airtight and sealed packs or preferably finish up all the food (cooking and consuming) far away from ...
15
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3answers
1k views

How safe is sleeping in bear country?

We have recently hiked in Slovakian mountains where bears live. I’m not too concerned about the bears during the day, as we make enough noise to avoid an encounter. But I am not sure about sleeping ...
3
votes
1answer
144 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 ...
10
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1answer
946 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, ...
17
votes
2answers
451 views

Micro-Fractures in Climbing Equipments

I have always been very careful while handling climbing gear. Last year while returning from an expedition, I met a group that was returning from a tough-looking climb. They were selling off a few of ...
11
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2answers
1k views

What are the first aid precautions to be taken in case of a snake bite?

I'll be trekking through a dense monsoon forest which has a sizable population of king cobras and vipers. I'll be at least 5 hours away by walk to the nearest human settlement and another 1-2 hours by ...
5
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Venomous/Semi-Venoumous Snakes at Higher Altitudes

When we camp in rainforests or even country side forest, we are supposed to be very careful about Reptiles, especially Snakes. In India out of the many venomous snakes, I have found Pit Vipers to be ...
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1answer
320 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 ...
7
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3answers
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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 ...
23
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7answers
14k 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
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 ...
19
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6answers
1k views

How safe is it to hike alone?

Should a woman legitimately fear to be assaulted or raped on popular backpacking trails in the US when hiking by herself? How common are attacks of that nature? How does it compare to residential ...
7
votes
2answers
222 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
428 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), ...
13
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2answers
636 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. ...
16
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2answers
487 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, ...
10
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1answer
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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
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1answer
244 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 ...
16
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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 ...
4
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1answer
324 views

Precautions needed to be taken regarding bee hives (honey) during Climbs

I am a regular climber and a hiker. Having an experience of more than 600 hikes and around 30 technical climbs, I have realized that during rock-climbing, the climbers are bound to face Honeybees ...
13
votes
7answers
6k views

What are the odds that I stand a chance against Wild Boars?

I have been trekking and camping since last 6 yrs. I have over 600 hikes and about 30 technical rock climbs under my belt. We often tend to camp up in forests, and at our sides, wild boars are pretty ...
7
votes
1answer
158 views

How can you tell if a rocky outcropping (lookout) is 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
3answers
209 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 (...
15
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3answers
740 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
703 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 fisherman'...
7
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2answers
465 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
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3answers
3k 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 ...
10
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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 ...
6
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6answers
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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 ...
9
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3answers
436 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 ...
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 ...
25
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9answers
80k views

How to warm up your cold toes and fingers?

In winter your hand and feet (especially toes and fingers) may get painfully cold or you may even stop feeling them. How can you warm them up? This usually happens, when it's below 0°С or when it's ...