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36

Anybody who has severe allergies which could lead to anaphylaxic shock should carry appropriate medication with them. Typically, that would consist of: An antihistamine (e.g. benadryll) An epinephrine auto-injector (aka "Epi-Pen") Benadryll is available over the counter and you should have it in your first aid kit. Epi is by prescription only (at least ...


25

I've never succeed in "hardening" my feet against blisters, even when I was barefoot growing up. However these things have worked for me Vaseline or (preferably) diaper rash ointment before putting on socks Injinji toe socks (If I double socks, these are always my base layer) These worked on long hikes even when my feet got wet, and even in poorly ...


25

Yes it is possible to sunburn through clothing. Clothing does block some of the Ultraviloet radiation but not 100%. A lot of outdoor recreation clothing is now marketed with treatments that gives additional UV protection.


25

How much sea water can I safely drink? = None If you drink sea water, how much fresh water do you need to drink to off set the sea water you drank? = 2.8 units of distilled water per 1 unit of sea water (to neutralize without adding hydration) The "scientific" answer to this question involves a lot of complex math, human physiology and significant ...


22

If you want a natural solution, try lemon eucalyptus oil. Considering that B1 does not deter mosquitos, any dose you like will be comparable to 75mg (zero effect). However, if we wish to assume it works, you'll want the patch. Eating B1 won't help much. Since B1 is principally excreted in your urine, eating a lot of it would only really help if you ...


19

Talked to my doc today during a visit for something else. It's Iliotibial Band Syndrome. The band of connective tissue that runs along the outside of the knee becomes irritated and inflamed. It's often caused by over-pronation and poor gait which is exacerbated on the weight bearing leg (not the landing leg) when going downhill. Once injured, the only ...


19

If it is clean, fresh snow, it is safe to drink. This is basically drinking rain water. It hasn't had time to pick up pollutants when it is newly fallen. I live in New England, and kids do this all the time. You get taught early to only do this with white snow. Make sure that the snow is actually clean: the longer it sits, and the more urbanized an area is, ...


16

In the core alps (Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Austria), you can drink water almost everywhere directly without filtering. There are only two exceptions: If there is a thing or something like this that forbids drinking it, or if you can see an obvious reason not to drink it, like for example a strange smell or abnormal color. In the other countries in ...


16

I traveled in Cambodia with a doctor who has decades of experience in tropical medicine. On his recommendation, our group: Wore long sleeves and pants at all times, despite the heat. We chose the the lightest materials we could find, but kept our skin covered. Soaked those clothes in permetherin before going. After it dries, it continues to repel or kill ...


15

It depends on precisely how big the kit is. A couple other answers have covered bigger packs, so I'll mention what could be in a much thinner pack. If it needs to be flat and relatively small: Bandages. Alcohol wipes. Gauze pads. A flat pad of athletic tape*. One or a couple small packs of Benadryl Antibiotic ointment (the small, flat packs of stuff ...


15

There are three criteria to be balanced in my thinking on the situation of when and if to activate a call for help to a rescue service: Do you have the skills and training to extract yourself safely from the current situation? Equally important is your assessment of what other means of communications are likely to be available in the timeframe your current ...


15

The short answer is, it varies. The three factors that most influence the UV transmission factor of clothing are kind of obvious: Material: Some materials are better at absorbing UV than others; for example, the paper cited below suggests that polyester absorbs more UV light (particularly UVB) than cotton. Weave: The thicker and more tightly woven a piece ...


14

Are you going to be hiking that high, or in a car for a small bit? Going to 15,000 feet without ever having broken 10,000 feet sounds a bit haphazard, especially if you're unsure of the dangers/how to deal with them. There are several things you can do to help yourself out before your trip. First, acclimate. Don't just run up to 15,000 feet. Try to spend ...


14

It would say it varies to a high degree since the source of the meat and the cut of the meat will be the primary factors in determining how many bacteria (and which type) will be on the surface of the meat. I wouldn't want to trust hamburger or mass market ground meat for even a few hours not refrigerated - so any meats that are mechanically tenderized or ...


14

Seawater is not itself sterile, in fact, it has all kinds of organisms. Salt in a wound is likely to hurt, and saltwater won't be a particularly effective antiseptic. With wound cleaning, it's always a question of trade-offs. It might be better to use less-than-sterile water to clean an extremely dirty wound if infection is otherwise inevitable. However, ...


13

Okay just broke out my kit. Here's what we carry. This may seem like a long list, but it's small. It fits in a ziploc bag (almost). Also, please note that you should pack for your skill set and first aid training. If you don't know how to use a splint, it's wasted and will tempt you to do things you shouldn't. Same goes for sutures. Know how benedryl ...


13

Headaches are common symptoms of altitude sickness. It's a sign your brain is not getting enough oxygen. As with lots of mountain issues it's down to judgement. If the headache is impairing your ability to perform at altitude, then yes, it's dangerous. If you can't concentrate on what your doing then your a danger to yourself and others. Bear in mind, ...


12

The best thing you can do is acclimatize. This means you should adjust your body gradually to the height. This can be done, for example, by increasing the height you're staying at from day to day. Another very important fact that is widely used by mountaineers is that you should always sleeps some meters below the highest point of the day. So for example, ...


12

Around sunrise and sunset, the sun is much less intense. You would get around 5 times less intensity in the first or last hour of sunlight than in the middle of the day. Here is a graph of this effect (It's from a paper, though the paper itself is behind a paywall), and another one which also shows the effect of latitude. Therefore, while you can’t say ...


12

Post-holing has very real risks due to the simple fact you have no idea what lies beneath the surface of the snow until you punch through and bang, scrape or wedge your leg under, against, between or in a hidden tree, log, rock, hole, creek, etc. Some of the risks: Barked Shins: Often you'll post-hole the deepest beside buried logs where the snow might be ...


12

I'll be sticking to the "Descend and the Knee pain" part of the discussion here. Yeah, there is no doubt that a descend definitely make a knee-pain worst. (I am strictly sticking to the point that its not caused solely by descending the mountain). The intensity can vary person to person and that is depending upon habits one has developed over the time. ...


12

Been there, done that, can't remember why it happened.. It will go away in a few days. Eating few apples, or maybe some dry, high-fiber crackers will probably help.


12

The best way to melt snow is to put it in a bottle inside your jacket under your mid layers while you're on the move and let your body heat melt it. Do not place it against the skin, leave a layer or two between you and the bottle. It's advisable to always leave your bottle in your jacket in subzero temperatures, it can freeze if left in your bag. Melting ...


12

Pee on it. To keep the water drinkable, you'd want to have the liquids separated but still have good thermal transfer between them. A well equipped traveller will pick his/her thermos bottle and a condom, pee in the condom (ladies would probably do it the other way around), tie the condom and put in the bottle, fill the rest with snow, cap, wait and drink. ...


11

Normal detergent should be able to break down the poisonous oils in question, it shouldn't require any specialist stuff to remove them. Just be sure of a few things: Wash infected clothes separate from "clean" (i.e. unaffected) ones to eliminate any possible risk of spreading Make especially sure you don't overload the machine - leave plenty of room so the ...


11

Either option is acceptable, particularly since you aren't going very high. There are rare instances where people get Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) or worse even at relatively low altitudes, and these are more common when there is no acclimatization. However, it is very rare for such problems to suddenly arise and not be fixable (through rapid descent). Each ...


11

The wikipedia article on sun protective clothing is very informative. A summary of the relevant parts: Apart from clothing specifically marketed as protecting against the sun most clothing will not block all sun to fully protect you against sunburn depending on circumstances. Some general rules of thumb: Darker clothes provide more protection than ...


11

As found here: "With every 1000 m in altitude, UV levels increase by approximately 10 per cent." Percentages are tricky to work with, so here is a worked-out example. Suppose you start out at sea level (0m), and you climb all the way up to Mt. Everest's summit (8848m). Suppose also that at sealevel, you normally need to apply sun block factor 15. Then, ...


11

This is really up to you, but I think if postholing is enough of a issue it would be good to wear snowshoes. If nothing else, it just makes things easier. One problem of postholing can be sometimes difficulty in getting out. You're not likely to actually get hurt, because "falling" onto the snow isn't a problem when it's deep and soft enough for your foot ...


11

There is no documented scientific relationship between individual blood pressure and AMS. Furthermore, your guide appears to be completely mis-informed as to the mechanics of AMS. The most common symptom of AMS - a roaring headache - is caused by swelling of the brain as the body attempts to make up for reduced oxygen in the blood by pumping harder and ...



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