Questions tagged [emergencies]

This tag is for the questions that discuss Emergency situations occurring during an Outdoor activity. The term "Outdoor" should strictly be taking in what is in the scope of The Great Outdoors StackExchange.

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22
votes
4answers
65k views

Can I shoot a bear in self-defense?

Can I shoot a bear in self-defense? Will I face fines and jail time if I do?
9
votes
1answer
396 views

Dialing an emergency number in a foreign country using a satellite phone

I'm getting an Inmarsat phone for my time around San Pedro de Atacama in Chile to help me with emergencies. What number do I dial if I have an issue? I know 133 is the emergency number, but I don't ...
4
votes
1answer
566 views

Are aluminum foil and emergency mylar blankets equally effective as heat reflectors/insulators

Are aluminum foil and emergency mylar blankets equally effective as heat reflectors/insulators or is one better than the other? And if there is a difference, what's causing it?
0
votes
4answers
781 views

Nails in an emergency/survival kit

After reading this question about emergency kits, I noticed that no one mentioned nails. Why shouldn't we include 10 or 12, common 6d (2", 6 penny) nails in the kit? Ten 6d nails weigh about an ...
16
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5answers
13k views

How do I catch fish with fish hooks but no bait?

As most survival kits come with fish hooks, I am wondering how do I catch fish without any bait?
68
votes
8answers
5k views

What are essential items in an emergency kit?

What are must-have items in an emergency kit for a multi-day hiking trip?
23
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8answers
9k views

What format should I use to report my location to emergency responders?

Suppose I am out in the wilderness and an emergency arises. I have an accurate fix on my location (from GPS, map and compass, astronomical observation, etc...). I manage to get in touch with ...
12
votes
4answers
414 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, ...
9
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
837 views

What qualities to look for in a good emergency whistle?

I've always been taught to keep a whistle on me in case of emergencies - it makes sense since it's small and lightweight but could really help in an emergency. However, something I've never really ...
26
votes
4answers
30k views

Which side of an emergency blanket should I use?

A common emergency blanket has two sides, one is orange and the other silver. Which one should I keep on the inside?
18
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4answers
7k views

How can I contact emergency services in the US via the internet?

At this very moment, I'm out in the woods typing away on my laptop. I have an internet connection, and my phone can use that connection to send text messages, but I have no voice phone service. How ...
20
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4answers
4k views

Should one remove their boots in an emergency bivvy situation?

Is there an argument for removing your boots to prevent frostbitten toes. Lets say you are at 4000m in the winter in a snow cave with no sleeping bag and frostbite is probable, but death is unlikely. ...
35
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3answers
4k views

If I cross paths with a bear, what should I do?

If I'm out hiking, and I come around a corner and stumble upon a bear, what's the best course of action to take to minimize the chance the bear will act aggressively? Do different types of bear (...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Does anyone have an account of someone using a survival tin in a survival situation

I have read several books about survival and outdoor field craft skills. Many of these books suggest building a survival kit out of an Altoids tin or something similar. These kits include very basic ...
4
votes
1answer
108 views

Can I place emergency calls on a FirstNet cell with a standard cell phone?

Recently I was part of a wilderness SAR training event where there were drone-based FirstNet cell tower deployed to provide emergency personnel with cellular communications in remote areas. Perhaps ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

Group protocol should the group become separated

A small group (2-10 people total) is travelling in a wilderness area. For whatever reason a person or a couple get separated. What is the best strategy for the lost ones? What is the best strategy to ...
97
votes
14answers
41k views

My car broke down in Siberia. What do I do now?

Some time ago, while driving on a snowy road, someone told me a kind of horror story. It involved a guy who was driving alone with an old car on an overland road in Siberia during winter, so the ...
19
votes
3answers
480 views

Is it practical to get a satellite phone for communication from remote areas?

When going into remote areas, it would be great to be able to communicate with the outside world, for emergency purposes or just to be able to call home on long trips. Is it practical for an average ...
12
votes
4answers
7k views

How much flotation does a canoe need?

Yesterday for the first time I turned my canoe over, then I tried to get back in it. I have been thinking about adding a sail to my canoe and now that I know a bit about sailing, I know I need to ...
3
votes
3answers
733 views

How to escape a cave in an emergency situation?

I have been doing a lot of cave climbing recently. So I am not talking about your average tourist cave, I talk about real miles deep labyrinth like caves, where nature never thought of humans getting ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

Emergency Call Madagascar Satellite Phone [duplicate]

I will go to rural areas in Madagascar and have an Inmarsat satellite phone. Does anyone know which number I can dial with this phone in an emergency? I already know that 117 is the local emergency ...
23
votes
5answers
45k views

Can you eat pine needles in an emergency?

If you are in a survival situation in the woods and really hungry, and you are unsure about which plants are edible, can you eat pine needles?
6
votes
2answers
731 views

Under optimal conditions, how far could an emergency whistle be heard?

Whistles are often used for emergency signalling, it would be good to know how far that signal can travel and still be recognized. There are plenty of factors that would affect the distance, so how ...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

What to do if someone gets impaled in the stomach?

Background: This question is motivated by an accident that happened to my sister in a very rural area. She was on a fence and fell onto a t-post which basically impaled her, but which fell out by the ...
23
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4answers
1k views

What pattern for casual planes should a castaway create on a desert island?

This answer has inspired me to a question: say you are a castaway on a desert island. There might be a plane flying casualy but you can miss it. So you want to create some pattern (e.g. put some ...
13
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2answers
813 views

Good ways to avoid snakes when hiking?

I'v been told that walking with a heavy foot-fall will deter snakes. Is this really true?
34
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6answers
7k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
221 views

What is the expected flowrate of a bucket brigade?

A naive estimate of one gallon bucket a second is 60 gal/min for a well staffed and equipped line, but is there any data on how much water can be moved by bucket in less than ideal conditions? ...
10
votes
5answers
404 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 (...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Can you use an Iridium phone with a SIM but with no active plan to place an emergency call?

It seems that you can't use an Iridium handset to place an emergency call without a SIM card (which seems to be more a commercial than a technical issue). What I'm wondering is whether an "expired" ...
4
votes
1answer
417 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 ...
42
votes
6answers
22k views

What essential items should go in a small first aid kit?

Another question asked what survival equipment should be carried in an emergency kit. But very little was about medical or first aid supplies (band-aids, gauze, tylenol, moleskin, etc). What items ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

Falling into an ice cold body of water

I've never been hiking in such extreme situations, but if in the situation in the question, i.e. you're hiking in very cold weather and someone falls in (let's say so pretty much their whole body is ...
6
votes
1answer
516 views

If I lose my compass, what is the easiest way to identify and follow a heading? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can you navigate without a compass or GPS Obviously we all carry a compass and a map when we go trekking, but if I lose them but know I need to get back to my car two days ...
1
vote
1answer
246 views

What are some emergency water purification methods? [duplicate]

If you're lost in the wilderness (and you've foolishly left behind your handy dandy water purification tablets and water filter), what are some of the best and safest ways to purify water? What do you ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

How do you make a snow shelter?

Sometimes when mountaineering, there may be an emergency situation which leaves you in bad weather with no or damaged shelter (such as returning from a summit attempt or after a wild and crazy storm). ...
8
votes
1answer
558 views

Is there a Polish mountain rescue organisation?

I was talking to a friend on my lunch today about visiting the Tatra mountains in Poland and he said that an issue was the lack of mountain rescue if you get into trouble. Is this true, there is no ...
16
votes
4answers
546 views

Are there any specific guidelines for edible plants in North America?

I know there are dangerous plants and fruits to eat, but are there any basic rules one can use when in an emergency situation that apply to all safe foods? The 'rules' don't necessarily have to apply ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

What is a good knife for survival in a forested environment? [closed]

What style/size of knife would be most useful in a survival scenario in the forest?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to generate white smoke in the wilderness?

Fictional Scenario - Suppose you are out camping and are stuck somewhere. You want to create a signal of white smoke to attract help. So what are the naturally occurring substance which when burnt ...
29
votes
5answers
10k views

Modern equivalent of a flare gun?

This summer I will be taking a rather inherently dangerous multi-day hike by myself. I was considering buying a flare gun since I will be out of cellular range unless there is something more modern ...
20
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the risk of starting a forest or wildland fire with a flare gun?

When firing a flare gun in the air, what is the risk of accidentally starting a forest or wildland fire? Does the flare go out completely before it touches the ground?
6
votes
1answer
435 views

Is there a safer way to use a flare in a wooded area?

This answer on another question says that there is a risk of causing a forest fire when using a flare. Is there a recommended/safer way to use flares that lessens this risk, in the event that someone ...
11
votes
5answers
8k views

What is the best rope to have in a survival situation? [closed]

What rope would be most helpful/versatile in a survival situation?
38
votes
4answers
4k 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?
15
votes
1answer
5k views

How do you get back in canoe, by yourself?

Getting back in a canoe is not as easy as I thought it was going to be. I also learned that Extra Flotation might be needed So if I am alone in the middle of a body of water, how do I get back in? ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

I can't get floating in my canoe again, now what?

Canoes are known for tipping over, most come with enough flotation so they won't sink. Stock flotation is often just for neutral buoyancy, adding flotation is an option but if I have not done that, ...
25
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I signal for help in the wilderness?

What are some different ways I can signal for help in the wilderness? I'm looking for methods that apply in all seasons, particularly in the mountains, with forests or meadows & plateaus.
9
votes
2answers
212 views

How to improvise a signal mirror?

If I'm out in the wilderness and I don't have a signal mirror, what other objects could I improvise to work similar to a signal mirror?