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 given

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12 votes
5 answers
48k views

Preventing "heat rash" around ankles and shins?

I'm currently hitchhiking in South East Asia where it's of course always hot. I'm getting a rash around my ankles that I've had in the past but never looked into. (The same rash, but on a different ...
31 votes
2 answers
10k views

Is it possible to 'live off the sea'

I've recently become aware of the american 'survivalist' or 'prepper' phenomenon. The general idea seems to be that 'something bad' (exactly what seems to vary) is going to happen, civilization will ...
41 votes
8 answers
7k views

Had to drink untreated water: Any immediate action to avoid getting sick?

In the wilderness yesterday I ran out of water and did not think I could hike out safely at my level of hydration. Lacking a treatment method, I drank 1.5 liters of water directly out of a small, ...
12 votes
8 answers
4k views

How can I cover the upper part of my nose to avoid UV radiations?

I use hat + hood + sunglasses + neck gaiter + UV umbrella to fully covered my face when going outside if too much sun. The problem is the upper part of my nose is not fully covered, e.g.: Larger pics:...
1 vote
2 answers
876 views

What body type/shape is ideal for rock climbing?

I have been looking through footage of some of the top rock climbers in the world today (male & female) and what surprised me is how most of them don't physically look that strong and some even ...
6 votes
4 answers
252 views

Knee injuries prevention using knee protectors

Knee is basically one of the main joints that provides you the ability to walk. There are several ways to prevent or ease the knee pain (see Knee pain when descending a mountain), but I would like to ...
0 votes
2 answers
92 views

Is it true that drinking calcium carbonate or potash can help with stomach acidity? [closed]

Is it true that drinking calcium carbonate or potash extracted from wood ash can help with stomach acidity ? one of my friends told me this but i cant swallow it 😂
7 votes
3 answers
4k views

First aid: alternatives to hydrogen peroxide

** This question may contain medically unsound advice. Be sure you have read the answers and comments before making any medical decisions ** Recently a friend broke her arm while mountain biking and ...
14 votes
3 answers
933 views

How can I prevent plantar fasciitis?

Every year or so I'll end up with plantar fasciitis after periods of time where I've walked a lot. In general my walking shoes are fine and have arch support but occasionally I'll need to use sturdier ...
5 votes
1 answer
347 views

What diseases can be transmitted through skin contact with a dead rabbit?

About a month ago, my youngest son found a dead rabbit in the woods while camping and brought me to the spot to show it. The rabbit looked like it had just died and didn't show any obvious cause of ...
11 votes
2 answers
376 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 ...
47 votes
14 answers
88k views

How to harden feet to avoid blisters on long hikes

I've enjoyed hiking my entire life but I have one huge problem. The skin on my feet is extremely soft and sensitive. I wear good wool socks with properly fitting boots and change socks during long ...
12 votes
5 answers
1k 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
101 views

Is it possible to dive having perforation in ears

I have a perforation in my left ear. Is it okay to do scuba diving? If possible will there be any limitations? It's a perforation in left outer ear. Small in size. If scuba diving is not possible with ...
4 votes
1 answer
300 views

What is the difference between SPF and UPF, if any?

I read on https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sun_protective_clothing&oldid=930941768: A relatively new rating designation for sun protective textiles and clothing is UPF (Ultraviolet ...
38 votes
16 answers
7k views

Other than good shoes and a stick, what are some ways to preserve your knees on long hikes?

My knees aren’t in the best shape, one in particular. I had a rather devastating 13 hour up-and-down hike on day two of a three day hike, and the last day my knees were hurting every step. What are ...
32 votes
7 answers
14k views

Where in the Alps is it safe to drink the water without filtering?

In some places, the Swedish Lappland for example, it's perfectly fine and even recommended to drink water directly from streams. Is it also recommended whilst hiking in the Alps, and if so is it only ...
9 votes
2 answers
382 views

How should a backpack be carried to keep from injuring the spine?

For example, which recommendations should backpackers follow while carrying heavy weights, and should backpack straps be tightened or loosened?
11 votes
3 answers
10k 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 ...
36 votes
1 answer
57k views

What's the UPF of a T-Shirt or jeans?

Many outdoor clothing items advertise themselves with a UPF (Ultraviolet protection factor) of 30 or even 50. How does that compare with a normal cotton T-Shirt or a pair of jeans? Do I have to use ...
3 votes
2 answers
11k 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 ...
7 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
132 views

Post-hike Care and Pain Relief for Blisters and Hot Spots

There are many, many articles and web sites that will tell you what to do if you develop a hot spot or blister while on the trail, and need to perform some field treatment to allow you to get back in ...
7 votes
1 answer
5k views

How to find ticks in your hair?

This TGO answer recommends putting possibly tick-infested clothing into a dedicated dryer, where they will be killed by desiccation. The source used in the answer, the Appalachian Mountain Club, ...
58 votes
6 answers
12k 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 ...
42 votes
4 answers
7k 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 ...
15 votes
5 answers
23k views

Knee pain when descending a mountain

It's been said by a specialist doctor that any form of mountain descent would affect your knee caps. Do old mountaineers have knee problems? Is it related to the way you descend?
13 votes
1 answer
10k 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 ...
19 votes
11 answers
2k views

What are some effective ways of reducing itching from a mosquito bite?

There are a lot of options for trying to prevent mosquito bites (DEET on skin, permethrin on clothing, mosquito nets while sleeping, etc.), but what about after you get bitten? What is the most ...
41 votes
1 answer
48k 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 taking ...
9 votes
2 answers
233 views

Easiest way to preserve a fishing catch - with cooking or pickling

I'm looking for the easiest way to cook or preserve fish at the river or lakeside with as minimal preparation or cooking involved so they can be eaten later. Mainly trout, pike or walleye. Ideally I ...
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

What are the chances to catch rodent-transmitted illnesses while hiking?

Small warning: This question comes from a germophobe point of view, so please keep this in mind while giving an answer. I love hiking, but I'm worried of what kind of germs (read virus, bacteria and ...
31 votes
4 answers
8k views

How do I treat hot spots and blisters when I have no moleskin?

A few times I've been out walking or backpacking and have no moleskin with me. Sure enough, my boots start giving me blisters. How can I prevent or treat hotspots and blisters without using moleskin?...
10 votes
1 answer
937 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
338 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
1 answer
76 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 ...
34 votes
6 answers
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 ...
9 votes
2 answers
268 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
209 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 ...
11 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
10 votes
2 answers
286 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 ...
9 votes
1 answer
1k 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. ...
10 votes
4 answers
5k 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
1 answer
91 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 ...
44 votes
12 answers
40k 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
1 answer
488 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 ...
14 votes
3 answers
5k 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, ...
20 votes
2 answers
39k views

Are Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel truly toxic to burn in a campfire?

For a very long time now, I've believed and taught that burning Rhododendron or Mountain Laurel in a campfire will make you sick because of the toxins in these plants becoming airborne then inhaled ...
14 votes
4 answers
17k views

Where should a band be tied to stop bleeding from wound?

Suppose a leg is wounded (either from a gunshot or a knife) and there is significant bleeding. We see in movies that a fabric is tied around the place of bleeding to decrease/stop bleeding. My ...
21 votes
2 answers
12k views

Raw meat on hikes

When backpacking we often carry raw beef which we have salted and frozen, usually cut into strips that can be easily cooked through. I'm confident that this is good for 24 hours, and I know that meat ...