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Questions tagged [health]

Questions related to staying healthy or dealing with health issues during outdoor activities. Answers given here are not intended as a replacement for professional medical advice. Please do not use this tag to ask for specific medical advice. A Dr should always be consulted to confirm any advice ...

10
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1answer
888 views

Guidelines to reduce risk of exposure to, or infection from Naegleria fowleri? (brain-eating amoeba)

Deaths from the "brain eating amoeba" Naegleria fowleri are fairly rare but each is highlighted in the press, as headlines containing brain eating beget clicks. While it's not yet understood why this ...
6
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2answers
140 views

How to improvise a pair of tweezers in the wild?

From slivers caused by chopping wood, thorns from plants, or bee stings there have been times when out in the woods when a pair of tweezers would come in handy and none where on hand. Are there are ...
2
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2answers
262 views

Internal (unseen) damage from a 40ft climbing fall [closed]

I am aware that the statistics regarding a 40ft climbing fall, which result in "decking-out" are not favorable. I survived such a fall only recently. Major injuries seem to have only been a broken &...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Is it possible get a rash from poison ivy but not poison oak?

Both poison ivy and poison oak can cause a red rash on the skin due to an allergic reaction to the chemical urushiol in their oily sap. I've heard people say that they are allergic to either one or ...
9
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2answers
217 views

What is the impact/risks of high altitude walking on individuals suffering from High Blood Pressure?

Setting aside the benefits of cardiocavascular exercise in general, what are the risks to hikers/climbers with high blood pressure at various altitudes? Is there an upper ceilling/threshold that ...
9
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2answers
127 views

How to recover from muscle pain during the midst of a multi-day hiking?

When I go on for a multi-day hiking ( say, 7 or 8 days), my leg muscle will get painful in the middle of the hiking ( say, at the 4th day). Usually the muscle pain will take 5 days to heal, but I ...
4
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1answer
131 views

Is it okay for a duck/splay footed individual to rock climb?

If an individual walks with a pronounced duck-footed (splayed) gait, and is actively trying to correct this, is there any harm for the individual to begin rock climbing. I feel like a lot of edging ...
10
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4answers
3k views

Can I use ear plugs while ascending or descending a mountain?

Can I use ear plugs to block out noise or will my ears need to pop because of the altitude? I don’t want to get sick by using the ear plugs.
0
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1answer
71 views

Gymming v.s Outdoor sports, which is better? [closed]

I have been in a dilemma, whether to opt for gymming or to go out to play some sports in my free time. Both seem to be potential components to improve your health. But which one must one prefer over ...
10
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5answers
245 views

Is it possible to acclimatize to a cold weather in a short time?

On some of my Himalayan treks I've seen people who wear shorts or wear single layer of clothing and shiver due to the cold weather (most of these people live in a tropical climate). When I've asked ...
8
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1answer
136 views

Should one deliberately eat more and put on weight before going on long treks?

Recently I saw a podcast of Alex Honnold with Rich Roll where Alex speaks about deliberately eating up and gaining weight before going on an Antarctic expedition (I'm assuming this is because of the ...
5
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1answer
164 views

Using Camphor (Icy Hot) in the winter for warmth

Some products like 'Icy Hot' contain a substance called 'Camphor' that can make your skin feel warm when applied. It is cold out today (1°F or -17°C). I have been making short trips out to ...
9
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1answer
134 views

Is acute mountain sickness repeatable?

Several month ago me and my climbing partner were climbing a mountain over 7000m. In first few day my climbing partner got AMS. It was high-altitude pulmonary edema (he felt very bad, he had strong ...
28
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4answers
6k views

Could a tick make several test bites in a circle?

I got my first tick bite recently, on the top of my foot. The tick was latched on. There was a circle of small dots around the tick and a slightly bigger red area close by. They were all there from ...
43
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12answers
24k views

Should overweight people ever climb?

I used to be a regular climber, and unfortunately I have put on some serious weight over the last 4 years, and I have not been able to climb as much as would have loved to. While, I am still working ...
8
votes
2answers
256 views

How long until I develop immunity to stomach flu / travelers' disease?

I was in Nepal two years ago and got the stomach flu. Last time I was only in Kathmandu and Pokhara and didn't do any trekking, so it was not critical, although it was very unpleasant. Two years ...
14
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3answers
4k views

Hiking and climbing in smoky areas

This Fall, there are a lot of large fires burning in the pacific northwest of the US and the air quality on many trails and mountains is poor as a result. This makes hiking and climbing unpleasant, ...
8
votes
2answers
444 views

How can I care for a wound that will be immersed in water?

I got a fairly bad cut on my leg, not quite bad enough for stitches but will probably leave a scar. I have a camping trip planned this weekend at a lake where we will go swimming and kayaking. I ...
57
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6answers
10k views

How should I prepare my body for prolonged exposure to heat?

Today I hiked for about 4 hours, and I ended up with sun stroke (terrible headache, trembling etc.). The heat was moderate (about 30°C, 86°F in shade), and the way was half in forest. I had a baseball ...
12
votes
2answers
191 views

Can overexertion cause AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)?

Recently I did a trek in the Himalayan region and one of the group members was affected by what we believed was AMS at around 4600m. We had to evacuate the person from there and get to around 4100m ...
19
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3answers
1k views

Does shaving help prevent tick bites?

This one is based on an actual experience - One summer I went on a trail through waist-high grass with a friend. We were both wearing shorts, but my friend had hairy legs, while mine were shaved. ...
10
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3answers
695 views

How can I make sure there are no more ticks around?

I'm back from outdoors and while lying down in bed I noticed a tiny tiny insect walking around on my clothes. While trying to take a picture of it to see if it is a tick, it just disappeared and I ...
13
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1answer
5k views

Why did people rub snow on frozen feet?

If you read old books from cold areas, it's not infrequent to run across the idea of rubbing snow on one's feet when they got frozen or frostbitten. However, subjectively, it seems to me that this ...
4
votes
0answers
40 views

SPF Equivalence [duplicate]

With SPF 30 sunscreen, I am usually protected for an entire day and wont be getting more than a little darker. Now, I am getting low on SPF 30 cream but I have a large supply of SPF 15. Can I just use ...
4
votes
1answer
201 views

What are the pros and cons of greased feet in boots?

I was just reading this answer at Can you keep your feet warm in ski boots on a very cold day? Yes, add fat to your feet. I don't mean gain weight. Just slather it on before putting socks on. ...
3
votes
0answers
94 views

How can I purify non-drinkable water that may have had organisms in it? [duplicate]

I am currently living in the Galápagos Islands. They have no drinking tap water, and the water they provide is not recommended to drink. I got an acute gastroenteritis from it. Here they told me it is ...
8
votes
1answer
574 views

Vaseline or Teflon grease near potable water?

I want to install a deck plate in the top of the fresh water tank of my camp trailer (RV) to allow for cleaning the inside at the start of the season. The product I am looking at recommends "...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why would fatigue cause fever?

I've already experienced this twice. The first time was a year ago, on a hiking camp: on the first day I recklessly went out with one of the best groups there, and while I didn't lag behind, this was ...
9
votes
1answer
937 views

Does acid rain somehow directly harm human beings?

Hiking in the rain often left me with thoughts about acid rain. I wonder if I'm able to recognize it and if yes, how strong the recognizable symptoms are. Are there any direct (forest dieback etc. ...
6
votes
1answer
756 views

Is linen a good or bad choice for underwear when (hitch)hiking in hot and/or tropical weather?

I've recently learned that linen underwear is great against fungal infections that can be contracted in hot sweaty conditions. But elsewhere I had read that the best fabrics against sweaty or ...
11
votes
1answer
198 views

What kind of creme could Ueli Steck be possibly using and why?

Watching this youtube-video I asked myself if Ueli Steck is using some kind of regeneration creme. Most likely nobody will know for sure from the footage but I would be really interested what tricks ...
8
votes
4answers
536 views

What to consider when shopping for prescription sunglasses?

I wear bifocal, multi-focus prescription eye glasses. The top is for long range, and the bottoms allow me to tilt my head a bit to bring nearby objects into focus. Finding sunglasses that clip-on, ...
10
votes
1answer
231 views

Can you pre-identify the risk of severe Altitude sickness?

This BBC news article Mount Everest: Altitude sickness claims third death in four days caught my attention. From what I understand the best cure for Altitude sickness is to get lower, fast. This is ...
37
votes
3answers
4k 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
1answer
127 views

Is a 1960's flask safe to use every day?

I've got a 1960's flask. Can it still be used safely? It's in very good condition with no rust or flaking at all. I've cleaned it well and it seems to be OK.
2
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1answer
156 views

Most common infectious diseases acquired in the wilderness?

People traveling in the wilderness can acquire infectious diseases. These can be caused by organisms such bacteria, viruses, protozoans, or fungi. They can be transmitted through drinking contaminated ...
12
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5answers
1k views

How do you avoid Norovirus on the AT?

Every year on the AT (Appalachian trail) Norovirus sweeps through like wildfire and the problem only increases as trail density increases. What are the best methods for minimizing risk of contracting ...
8
votes
1answer
253 views

When do you need compensation training for bouldering?

Not only, but mainly while bouldering you are likely to push hard moves and strain your body onesided. As a consequence you can pain your muscles, ribbons or tendons. But... How do I know if the ache ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

What respirator should I get for urbex?

Sometimes while hiking/trekking/whatever I practice urbex (in random buildings, factories, farms, tunnels, the usual), and I'm aware of the risks to my health caused by toxic gas, asbestos, lead and ...
12
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2answers
207 views

How can I recuperate between two long walks

I am planning to walk the 87 mile length of the Ridgeway National Trail (South England) in two days at the end of April. I shall be walking about 47 miles one day, from approx 6am to 9pm. I'll be ...
11
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5answers
2k views

What is the most effective means of melting snow with body heat for drinking?

The related question Is it safe to drink snow? tells us that in addtion to then normal considerations for any wild water source, you also need to consider how the snow may tip your metabolism into ...
13
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3answers
6k views

Is it safe to drink snow?

If it snows, is it safe to drink the water when it melts? What sickness can I get from snow? I am in Europe and would like to know for here, but other places would be interesting too.
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How fast do you lose heat in cold water immersion?

This question was prompted by PaulD's question about hypothermia prevention after a falling into icy water. A subsequent answer by Roddy stated that the immediate danger of cold water immersion is not ...
18
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2answers
1k views

What are the different stages of frostbite?

My brother and I were out backcountry sled-skiing yesterday, and my brother froze his feet in his new ski-boots. We were sitting at just above 2000m, my brother had his boots off and was trying to ...
7
votes
1answer
143 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
898 views

How to deal with a tooth infection?

Caries and other similar disease can be a painful threat. It even can be a danger to life if not threatened over several months. An abscess may result from a trapped piece of food, uncontrolled ...
2
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3answers
7k views

In an emergency situation, is it healthy to eat human flesh?

We all know these scary stories where people had to eat their fellow sufferers after a plane crash or something. I don't know if there is even one of them true. I feel like it might result into more ...
34
votes
1answer
26k 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 ...
9
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2answers
167 views

Are there any contaminates that become more toxic when boiled?

The answers at How long does water need to be boiled for to kill all bacteria / viruses? indicates that boiling water kills bacteria & viruses. But boiling does not remove any chemical ...
0
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0answers
97 views

Sharp knee pain when going up and down stairs/bending my knee after my first backpacking trip [duplicate]

This past weekend, I went on my first backpacking trip. The last 5 miles were all straight down hill which caused a lot of knee pain. Now, three days later, I still have excruciating, stabbing pain ...