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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35
votes
8answers
7k views

How to react to cattle charging towards you?

Cattle may get aggressive when threatened, or they might just imitate to be aggressive. I have seen cattle charging towards a person when irritated. How should one react if a cow or bull comes ...
10
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it safe to use a motorcycle helmet instead of a skiing helmet for skiing?

I have a perfectly good motorcycle helmet (one that encompasses the whole head, including the chin) that I never use (I bought it for lessons, but never bought a motorcycle). However, I do not have a ...
16
votes
2answers
417 views

Swimming while in the high seas

When sailing, can the passengers of the yacht safely go swimming while in the open seas? That is, when some miles away from the coast-line.
18
votes
4answers
971 views

How to inspect climbing bolts?

I am most interested in setting up a top rope anchor on 2 bolts side by side. I feel like in this case you almost have to be more careful using bolts for a top rope than sport climbing because in ...
22
votes
6answers
2k views

How bad do circumstances need to be before activating a PLB?

Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) can be carried during outdoor activities to use in case of an emergency. But are there any guidelines on what exactly constitutes an "emergency"? For example, what ...
7
votes
3answers
112 views

What information to leave with your emergency contact?

Coming up with emergency information for a recent trip got me thinking: What information should you leave with your emergency contact? I imagine the answer depends on the length of the trip, ...
10
votes
2answers
424 views

Safest months to hike in Colorado

I've read that the summer months (June, July, and August) are the safest months to hike in Colorado because these are the least-likely times to run into ice patches that can't be crossed with normal ...
7
votes
2answers
424 views

Is there a functional safety difference in types of helmets

From a pure safety standpoint is there a functional difference between a climbing helmet, cycling helmet, etc? Is a cycling helmet actually the safest solution for a cyclist, or would the greater ...
9
votes
2answers
337 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.
9
votes
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
482 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
94 views

Safety precautions for a spotter for his/her own safety

What are the measures to take to ensure the safety of the person who is spotting a climber?
20
votes
2answers
4k views

In a survival situation, should I drink unpurified water?

If I am in a survival situation, is there any reason I shouldn't drink the available water? I am aware of Giardia and cholera. Are these worthy concerns, or are there good enough cures available that ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

How dangerous is it to climb a via ferrata alone?

What are the risks of climbing a via ferrata alone? Would going through very easy via ferratas still pose high risks? Are well visited and easy climbing via ferratas necessarily a great danger? I ...
6
votes
1answer
74 views

How do you patch/repair an inflatable dinghy while still underway?

If you notice a loss of pressure in an inflatable boat/dinghy while underway, how can you prevent or slow the loss? This is most important in full inflatables. Even if you are in shallow enough ...
11
votes
3answers
503 views

What are other possible make-shift alternatives for chalk powder?

Climber's life rely heavily on equipment. Having all the necessary equipment for simplest of climbs is a must. But, if at all I forget to bring the chalk powder along, what other alternatives I have ...
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 ...
18
votes
5answers
929 views

How can you prevent kids getting lost at night while camping?

When camping in more remote areas with young kids, how can you make sure they don't take a stroll and get lost in the middle of the night? We won't be near lights, established "bathrooms", etc. The ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

When will a rattlesnake strike?

There are a few questions about how to avoid rattlers, and what to do if you're bit, but at what point does a rattler actually strike? I had my first rattler encounter ever yesterday, just out in ...
48
votes
10answers
3k views

How should I remove a tick?

If I find a tick on myself or a friend, what is the best way of removing it? I've heard some people say that singeing the tick with a match makes the tick detach and fall off. However I've also ...
13
votes
3answers
174 views

How do locals (short of drilling) determine that lake ice is safe for skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, skiing?

This question is not a duplicate of either (1) Ice skating on a frozen lake -- how thick should the ice be?, which only asks how thick the ice should be; or (2) How to determine the thickness of ice?,...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I inspect a climbing rope?

It is imperative that climbing ropes are in excellent shape so they don't split while someone is climbing. How do I properly inspect the rope when I'm about to start a climb?
9
votes
1answer
168 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
355 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 ...
64
votes
9answers
12k views

Should I run if I see wild dogs?

Wild dogs appear to be dangerous. Should I be running if I come across one, or should I stand fast and defend myself? They are a social animal, so they will be in a pack almost all the times.
33
votes
3answers
2k views

How to treat a severe allergic reaction while hiking?

Suppose you are out hiking, many hours from the trail head and someone has a severe allergic reaction (ie, anaphylactic shock or Anaphylaxis). In this case, what is the best course of treatment to ...
3
votes
0answers
36 views

Lapland UKK hike in late-May

My dad and I are planning to hike the Lapland UKK from Aittajarvi to Kiilopää in late-May (22-30).We are planning to drive from Helsinki to Saariselkä, about 12 hours drive. Is it possible to drive ...
10
votes
1answer
246 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What do life jacket ratings mean (Type I, Type II, etc)?

Looking at flotation devices (life jackets) they are rated Type I, Type II, etc. What do these rankings mean and what type should I by?
8
votes
2answers
138 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
169 views

Precautions when walking through area of crocodiles

Unlike other places, in India, the region where I stay and trek, we don't have warning boards stating the crocodile threats/warnings. I have been wandering in the region for almost a decade now and ...
4
votes
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 ...
34
votes
5answers
9k views

Can I use a bicycle helmet as a climbing helmet?

I have a bicycle helmet that fits well. Can it be used effectively as a rock climbing helmet? Most climbing helmets have a hard shell that the bicycle helmet does not. However, one of the more ...
29
votes
4answers
2k views

If I have to cross an icy, flowing river, what are some ways I can cross safely?

If I'm alone in a survival situation and I have to cross a very cold river that's still flowing, how should I accomplish this safely?
7
votes
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 ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Vetting belayers at the gym?

The other night I went to the climbing gym, intending to look for a climbing partner once I got there. (My usual gym climbing partner isn't available to climb as often as I want to.) The gym provides ...
13
votes
3answers
832 views

Is there a general rule for climbing runout grading?

Climbing route grades in Yosemite Decimal System can be suffixed with an "R" to notify a runout. The Wikipedia entry for a runout is A lengthy distance between two points of protection which in ...
40
votes
4answers
9k views

Is it possible to rappel with only a rope? (No harness, Prusik cord, or other gear)

There may be an emergency situation where I find myself needing to lower myself but with no or damaged equipment. Assuming I only have a rope, can I lower myself to safe ground?
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Is my tent pole a lightning rod?

I have used the Mega Mid tent almost exclusively for hundreds of nights out over the last many years. It's versatile, well ventilated, light... but has this pole sticking straight up the middle. Is ...
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 ...
19
votes
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 ...
20
votes
1answer
3k views

How much sea water can I safely drink?

Anyone who has played in the ocean knows getting a little sea water in your mouth and swallowing it will not kill you. Seawater contains salt. When humans drink seawater, their cells are thus ...
18
votes
4answers
658 views

Why are people so worried about Giardia?

Everyone I have ever been camping with seems to have an unwritten rule never to drink from streams no matter how clear they might seem, for fear of Giardia. I have also heard people telling about ...
13
votes
6answers
20k views

How long does mayonnaise last unrefrigerated in the back-country?

Yes, mayonnaise. It is sold unrefrigerated, and is an essential component of any back-country sandwich. Has anyone reached its limit and had it spoil on them? (I haven't. Of course, I've never had an ...
9
votes
1answer
139 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....
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Is campfire smoke safe for inhalation and cooking?

Is it safe to burn any kind of wood as campfire if you are going to be cooking on it directly? Like broiling a steak on a grill over the fire where the smoke and the flames will touch the meat. Can ...
47
votes
9answers
7k views

What is the safest way to purify water?

There are a number of ways to purify water, off the top of my head we have filters, iodine, and boiling. Clearly each has some advantage/disadvantage (iodine tastes terrible, boiling takes time). ...
8
votes
3answers
205 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?
21
votes
5answers
6k views

Will Black Bears actually follow you up a tree

I always see it pointed out, when discussing how to handle/avoid bear encounters, that black bears can climb trees. Granted, but does that matter? Has there ever been a case of a black bear pursuing ...