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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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 ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
216 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 ...
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2answers
448 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 ...
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2answers
536 views

What are the dangers of descending/rappeling very quickly?

Sometimes when descending with a GriGri, I get the urge to pull hard and zip down the line. Safe reasoning returns and I continue descending with a safe, steady pace. However, I would like to know ...
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1answer
826 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 ...
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1answer
200 views

How to achieve a climbing anchor that can withstand an upward load?

Commonly when setting SARENE-SA trad anchors on multi pitch routes the only protection available are nuts/wires. Additionally, there is very rarely an option to place a nut to protect against an ...
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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 ...
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2answers
761 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), ...
7
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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 ...
7
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1answer
157 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 ...
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1answer
93 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
506 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 ...
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3answers
3k views

Can I mix fuels when using the MSR whisperlite international stove?

I have an MSR whisperlite international stove. Can I mix fuels when both require the same jet? Background: When backpacking I often just carry one fuel bottle, filled with white gas. On my last trip ...
7
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1answer
382 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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
170 views

Distel Hitch vs Prussik

The Distel Hitch and Prussik both appear to be slide and grip knots, used for ascending a climbing rope. I have heard of people using Prussik many times more often than Distel Hitch. Which is a ...
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3answers
195 views

Is the keeper wire loop on a tubular belay device necessary?

The Reverso 4, ATC Guide, and others all have a keeper wire loop for carrying. However, the wire seems unnecessary -- one could simply cut it off and carry the device using the large hanging eye or ...
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3answers
679 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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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1answer
280 views

Can urinating around camp attract wildlife?

As far as I know, it's generally a good idea to pee a fence around your camp. Don't know if it makes any major differences but ... It is true urinating around your tent will keep some critters ...
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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 ...
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2answers
280 views

What is the correct way to attach a rope to a harness with carabiners? [duplicate]

So you know how when you're belaying you clip in to the belaying loop, and when your climbing you tie in to the two loops the belay loop is stiched through... When you're climbing, what part would you ...
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2answers
157 views

Protect yourself from a lightning strike

We are in the great outdoors and a massive thunderstorm will be over us soon. What steps to take to be save from a lightning strike? This question is not "am I save in my tent" etc. You are in a ...
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2answers
202 views

How to deal with Serbian scorpions?

I always wanted to visit Balkan region, but I'm affraid of scorpions. As far as I searched there's plenty of those terrifying creatures, but none of species I found was poisonous. So I have two ...
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2answers
571 views

Most common avoidable reasons for climbing accidents?

What are some of the common things people do that are avoidable and contribute to accidents and injuries when climbing?
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1answer
119 views

How to go about a long traverse with just Undercut holds?

I just recently got information about an easy climbing route. I am not sure about the grade though. The only part the worries me is a traverse, which is exposed. And long traverses have always been my ...
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3answers
146 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 ...
6
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3answers
204 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 ...
6
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3answers
129 views

How can I safely wade through swamps/bogs?

It looks like I may be able to spend couple months from March in Newfoundland. During my last trip I noticed a great number of hauntingly beautiful bogs, right by the road - thus one could ...
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1answer
153 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? ...
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2answers
228 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 ...
6
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1answer
90 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
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1answer
80 views

What is a safe distance for large, non-predatory wildlife?

When visiting areas with free-roaming wildlife such as American Bison and Texas Longhorns, there are numerous signs warning about keeping a safe distance. They don't, however, actually specify the ...
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1answer
285 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 ...
6
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1answer
118 views

Is a portable jump starter dangerous?

Like many campers, I bought a portable jump starter, which contains liquids and gases. In what situation does it get dangerous? Can I simply carry this portable charger along with all my camping ...
6
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1answer
114 views

Camping and Monkeys

Monkeys are funny, as well as dangerous sometimes. What precautions to I need to take when I am camping (under unavoidable circumstances) in a region where there are monkeys? EDIT: Referring to ...
6
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1answer
128 views

What are the dangerous animals in Southern Nevada

I'm from Florida and I've only ever hiked in the Southeast US. I don't know if I'm blind, but I can't find a listing of dangerous animals and their profiles. I tried Nevada Dept of Wildlife and ...
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2answers
724 views

How to choose a class of rapids for a variety of skill levels?

I've been whitewater rafting (and inadvertent whitewater canoeing ;) a couple times, and I'd like to get a bunch of friends together to go with me. I'd bring enough people to fill a raft (5 or 6), but ...
6
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1answer
141 views

How safe is it with Grizzly bears when hiking in the Rockies near Calgary, Alberta?

I am attending a conference in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and afterwards I am considering going for a 3-day hike somewhere around Turbine Canyon[1], 3-isle[2] or Aster Lake[3] in the Rockies. How safe ...
6
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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?
6
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1answer
57 views

How effective are mosquito repellents for people who are mosquito magnets?

This question asks "What type of mosquito repellent is the most effective?". It's a great question. Now that we may have an idea about what is best to use, I want to know how effective are even the ...
6
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1answer
176 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?
6
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1answer
137 views

Tips for camping in the territory of elephants

I have recently planned to go for a long trail that passes through a territory that is known for elephants. While speaking of camping overall, I know what basics should I be following, but are there ...
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3answers
2k views

How to belay on top of a pitch

When doing a multi-pitch and you reach a belay station (the top of a pitch) you can choose between belaying the lead climber from the body (like you do e.g. indoors where you aren't doing ...
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3answers
961 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 ...
5
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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 ...