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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 ...

9
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2answers
204 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
votes
2answers
121 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
votes
1answer
128 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
68 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
votes
5answers
237 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
votes
1answer
129 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
votes
1answer
156 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
votes
1answer
131 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
votes
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
votes
12answers
23k 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
254 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
votes
3answers
3k 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
312 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
votes
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
180 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
646 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
votes
1answer
4k 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
196 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
507 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
860 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
707 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
197 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
530 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
221 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 ...
36
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
votes
1answer
149 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
votes
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
238 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
3k 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
votes
2answers
203 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
votes
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
votes
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
986 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
votes
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
138 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
796 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
votes
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 ...
24
votes
1answer
22k 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
votes
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
votes
0answers
88 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

How dangerous is it to walk with wet feet in cold terrain?

Let us say we have around 0 degrees celsius and I have wet feet and I am in the middle of nowhere (let us say 2 days away from any civilisation). On the one hand people say it is no problem to walk in ...
2
votes
1answer
209 views

What is the knee pain beneath and under the kneecap from hiking up and down inclines? [duplicate]

I've been walking for exercise for four years now, with no problems. Now I've moved to a hilly location, and I thought the inclines, up and down, would be a great addition to my flat land walking. ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How much side protection should sunglasses have?

I have noticed that most sunglasses leave quite a bit of gap on the side and only cover the "front" of the eyes. Does this give adequate UV protection, or are these types of sunglasses mostly "fashion ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...