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Questions that discuss about precautions need to be taken for ensuring the safety in various outdoor activities that are in scope of The Great Outdoors should be tagged with this tag.

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how high does a fence need to be to prevent European brown bear to climb it?

An entrepreneur is planning a campsite-hotel in Romania, with a full outdoor gourmet restaurant attached, with an outdoor kitchen. There will be no cabins or other living structures, only tents and ...
3
votes
1answer
301 views

Will the Trailhead Registry burn in a forest fire?

I posted an answer for a recent question about a forest fire that started after your hike began, that said: Presumably you registered at the trailhead, and you have a friend who knows where you are....
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5answers
7k views

What to do if you are above timberline and your descent is cut off by a large forest fire?

The situation: you are backpacking and are above timberline. Streams are ubiquitous, you are well equipped so exposure is not a problem, the entire party is uninjured and healthy. But a large, ...
12
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1answer
248 views

Relative risks of various outdoor activities?

I got into a 'discussion' with the vice principal of the school I work at. He was worried about the dangers inherent in our fairly extensive outdoor program. I pointed out to him that an analysis of ...
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1answer
91 views

Is there any evidence that black bears (or other large predators) are indifferent to, or acutally repulsed by, the scent of humans?

I am hoping for more than anecdotal evidence about the negative effects on black bears of the human scent -- ranging from meh to Yecch. This question is prompted by two anecdotes I have to offer: (...
2
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1answer
95 views

Emergency use hydration products - effectivness vs cost

My medical kit already has some MRE style clean water bags, purification tablets, as well as OTC anti-diarrheal pills at the ready. However, now, I am researching what options there are for hydration ...
15
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4answers
2k views

Is clipping onto the rungs of a via ferrata bad practice?

I did my first via ferrata this weekend and noticed there were often long vertical distances separating the cable anchors. At times this length was around 10m. This meant that a fall before reaching ...
8
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4answers
4k views

Titanium Carabiner: what is its ideal use case?

I have the specs of a pretty interesting carabiner. It's made from titanium, it's lightweight and strong. These seem to be great attributes, but there are two caveats. It is pretty expensive ($50). ...
10
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4answers
222 views

Does body need to re-acclimatize after a few days out of altitude?

We will be in Peru visiting Machu Pichu (altitude 7,972 ft or 2,430 m). Then we'll go down to the jungle (essentially sea level) for 4 days and then to Cuzco (altitude 11,152 feet or 3,399 meters). ...
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5answers
6k views

Under what conditions does heating a backpacking tent artificially make objective sense?

My question is motivated by the earlier question How To Quickly Warm A Tent, which generated a lot of interest, and one of the best comments ever on TGO: All I could think about after reading your ...
6
votes
2answers
247 views

How dangerous is a swarm of bees?

Sometimes, bees will split from a hive, and a bunch of them (including a new queen bee) will swarm, and move to build a new hive. As you can see, there is an awful lot of bees huddled together around ...
3
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1answer
141 views

What are the pros and cons of introducing new safety colors for hunting?

As indicated in Have there been any studies done on how fluorescent pink compares to fluorescent orange?, fluorescent pink is becoming accepted as a new safety color for hunting. Given that we have a ...
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0answers
83 views

Have there been any studies done on how fluorescent pink compares to fluorescent orange?

Its extremely common to mandate that rifle hunters in the United States wear fluorescent orange, some states are now changing the laws to also allow fluorescent pink. The article (April 3 2018) I ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Are elk and deer colorblind to blaze orange/pink clothes?

During rifle season, hunters are required to wear blaze orange (some states also allow bright pink). I have heard that deer and elk are color blind to blaze orange, is there scientific evidence to ...
15
votes
1answer
976 views

How fast does a climbing rope recover its dynamic properties after a fall?

The defining feature of a climbing rope (arguably) is its dynamic properties, i.e. it stops your fall gradually to decrease the peak force. Not exceeding a fixed peak force is a/the integral criterion ...
9
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2answers
135 views

How to secure wild Red Eared turtle eggs from predators?

We have a wild Red Eared turtle laying eggs in our yard. What can we do to keep animals from getting to their eggs? We had a turtle to lay eggs about two weeks ago and the next morning, something had ...
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.
17
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1answer
166 views

Can I use SteriGENE broad spectrum disinfectant on abseil rope?

I work in ecologically sensitive areas in NZ and my ropes routinely get soiled. I have been asked by the Dept of Conservation to clean and disinfect my ropes to minimise the chances of accidentally ...
7
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2answers
2k views

How can I guess if an outdoor expanse contains flammable gas?

As someone who frequents valleys, I was unhinged to learn of Dax Cowart's calamity beneath. What types of alfresco terrain ought I most beware? It obviously can happen only in small hollows in the ...
8
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1answer
138 views

Why is a Reverso not useful when belaying a first that's crossing a Bergschrund?

I started reading Petzl's tech tips for mountaineering. While on the section for Crossing a Bergschrund, specifically in the part for Belaying a leader we have the following warning: Warning: the ...
15
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3answers
2k views

How dangerous is it to rummage the ground in the mountains of Nevada desert with venomous creatures out there?

I made plans to do some hiking in the mountains of Nevada this weekend. I'll have someone there nearby and a hospital is an hour drive away. We thought it would be fun to uncover rocks and even dig ...
5
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1answer
139 views

Is a helmet more important for a belayer or a climber?

Given: - A single pitch climb - Top roping only, belayed from below - Limited number of helmets (assume only 1 for a climber/belayer pair) Is it more important for the belayer to be protected from ...
13
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4answers
323 views

How to deal with keeping a first aid kit inside a hot car?

Excluding parking the car in the shade or carrying the kit in person, what are some solutions to handle emergency car kits in the heat? I am aware medications, ointments, creams, adhesives are the ...
8
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2answers
200 views

How do I safely move around Canada Geese?

I live in an area with a lot of lakes/ponds, with many paths around them. Many humans and dogs enjoy walking on these paths. However, the Canada geese have recently set up shop on the lakes. They don'...
12
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1answer
178 views

Are there reusable inflatable life vests (or PFDs)?

Inflatable life vests and PFDs that I have seen so far are meant to be inflated in emergency (either by mouth or CO2 cartridge). I didn't use them myself but they don't look like they could be ...
7
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1answer
98 views

What is the proper way to ford a shallow body of water in a back country situation?

I was reading about off-roading just now, in particular best practices for conservation and safety, and I ended up on the Wikipedia page for fording. But that page deals mostly with either natural ...
9
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1answer
161 views

How are canvas tents made to be fire retardant?

While reading through this question about adding a stove jack to a canvas tent originally lacking one, I wondered about the feasibility of making an existing canvas tent fire retardant. Is it simply a ...
6
votes
2answers
148 views

What's the proper way to establish a triaxial connection with carabiners?

I love free climbing but have never climbed with ropes. While reading through this question, I realized I would never have thought of these scenarios, but due to the answers on that post, the physics ...
10
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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 ...
4
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1answer
162 views

How dangerous are alligators to people canoeing?

Inspired by this question, how dangerous are alligators to people out canoeing in say the Everglades in Florida? I am sure there is some danger because from time time you here about people winning ...
12
votes
1answer
121 views

Are rolling snow pieces a sign of increased avalanche danger?

In spring conditions it often happens that the upper layer of snow warms up and small pieces of it roll down leaving traces behind them. Like in this picture I have found in the Internet: Given ...
10
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4answers
206 views

Alligator free Mangrove or Cypress swamps in the US?

I often see Mangrove and Cypress swamps on T.V. and I think it might be fun to explore one in a canoe. My wife thinks we might get eaten by Alligators if we try it. I have no knowledge about ...
6
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0answers
118 views

Resources for camping in Georgia (country)

Is there any resource provided by the Georgian government or by any other agencies about the camping in Georgia? I would like to know about the rules and safety aspects. Any resource on these would ...
4
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2answers
143 views

What skills should one learn before attempting paragliding?

Paragliding is the recreational and competitive adventure sport of flying paragliders: lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure. The pilot sits in a ...
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2answers
672 views

Is it feasible that a black bear could kill a man with a single swat?

A recent post said: a black bear can kill a man (or a dog) with a single swat of its paw. I suppose anything is possible. But is it realistic? Has it ever happened? Googling 'man killed by ...
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0answers
91 views

How much weight should I carry for heavy hiking? I'm a 18yo 65kg female (BMI 23) [duplicate]

I want to attempt indefinite survival in the Tasmanian bush, which I have the knowledge and survival tools for. I'm an 18yo female who weighs 65kg and currently is lightly active (light exercise 1hr ...
6
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5answers
223 views

What are the steps you would go through to teach someone how to split logs?

A recent power failure made firewood one of the four most important things in our lives for nearly three days. We had enough in our pile of cut up fallen branches and small logs to keep our cat warm ...
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1answer
148 views

How to mitigate injury when falling into a crevasse?

I've imagined this scenario many times: you break through a snow bridge and fall into a hidden crevasse, how should you react? The fear is, if you're wearing crampons, your foot may snag the ice ...
4
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2answers
219 views

What should I do if I face Elephant?

What should I do if an elephant is annoyed by my presence and if I can't outrun it?
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2answers
191 views

What can I do if I have 24-hour warning of very strong wind gusts (45–50 m/s), but I cannot reach a fixed shelter within this period?

Suppose I get one of those text messages, like the Icelandic authorities send to travellers: ...Wind gusts could reach speeds that are known for blowing cars off the road and even pulling up the ...
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5answers
4k views

Can smoldering logs be transported safely

In my younger/cheaper days, I used to scavenge firewood after the crowds would leave the camping area at the end of the weekend. Generally, this meant grabbing piles of unused firewood from near the ...
7
votes
1answer
187 views

Is freezer bag cooking safe?

Freezer bag cooking refers to cooking by boiling water in a pot, add the boiling water to a zip-lock type freezer bag filled with the meal, placing the filled bag in an insulating cozy, and letting ...
7
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3answers
208 views

Are statistics about the frequency of crime actually useful in determining how safe a trail is?

We have a question here about how common assaults/crime happen to people hiking the Appalachian Trail which I have answered with basically all of the statistics I could find. However it doesn't seem ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Frequency of crime/assault on the Appalachian Trail

I don't think of myself as being a paranoid individual, but I am cautious about people I meet when hiking. For example, if I am eating lunch at a site less than a mile from an infrequently used trail ...
4
votes
2answers
81 views

How to safely descend a slope in high winds?

I went ice climbing the other day at an exposed climb in gale force winds. This place is notorious for wind, and the gusts we were getting that day felt like they were up to the 80-90km gusts range. ...
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2answers
154 views

How to land when jumping off a bouldering problem to minimize injury potential?

A recent question made me wonder: A while ago, there was a nice route in the local bouldering gym with a rather high crux. The repeated jumping-off lead to minor knee pain for a few days. Now, there ...
5
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1answer
140 views

What are the considerations for using chemical heat pads in sleeping bags?

A now-deleted answer to this question suggested using chemical heating pads in sleeping bags at night to provide added warmth. The product suggested is the 'Thermacare ... Fe-loaded material' I ...
9
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4answers
312 views

Is there any evidence that attaching a biner to both seat and leg loops results in a 3-way load?

It is commonly known that loading your carabiner in three directions is bad, as it reduces it's strength. This is apparent when talking about belay stations, as e.g. described in this blog post by the ...
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5answers
27k views

Can I safely eat grass?

A recent comment Cows eat grass, doesn't mean you can! got me thinking. Corn, wheat, rice, etc are all grass that we eat regularly. I am not sure the human race could survive on the planet ...
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1answer
1k views

Can I eat raw acorns?

I know that they are full of starch and fat. I also know that deer and boars eat them. Is it safe for a human to eat them?