Questions tagged [safety]

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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23
votes
4answers
10k views

Are bears attracted by Lotions and Perfumes?

Bears are mostly attracted by smell of food. That is why we are supposed to keep the food items in airtight and sealed packs or preferably finish up all the food (cooking and consuming) far away from ...
6
votes
1answer
246 views

How do I tell if a glacier is safe for crossing?

Sure you have to look out for crevasses which is nicely explained here: How to detect a crevasse on a glacier. But what else does one have to consider when trying to cross a glacier? Some glaciers ...
60
votes
10answers
13k views

What is the safest way to purify water?

There are a number of ways to purify water, off the top of my head we have filters, iodine, and boiling. Clearly each has some advantage/disadvantage (iodine tastes terrible, boiling takes time). ...
10
votes
2answers
785 views

Is it safe spending night in wild boar territory?

I live in Berlin, Germany and in the last couple of years it's been know as 'wild boar capital' since there are lots of wild boars in the surroundings. I wanted to start camping and bushcrafting and ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

What equipment do I need for overnight water trail in a kayak?

My wife and I are avid inland, freshwater kayakers - both on calm lakes and up/down rivers and streams. We have only done day trips. We are also moderately experienced backcountry campers. Now we ...
8
votes
6answers
887 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

How to tell whether a particular pair of sunglasses will effectively protect your eyes?

This detailed paper https://www.aoa.org/Documents/CRG/Blue%20Light%20and%20Eye%20Damage.pdf from the American Optometric Association details the various types of short term (i.e. snow blindness) and ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

When slack lining between trees, how big should the tree trunk be if the line is 15 meters, person is ~150 pounds?

When slacklining between trees, how big should the tree trunks be? Followup question: I'm writing to ask how big the tree trunks should be exactly if I only have a 15meter line and I'm only walking ...
-3
votes
1answer
809 views

Could I have a postmortem on this suburban raccoon encounter?

I know this isn't Great Outdoors in the sense of planning a vast trek and seeing vistas, but I wanted to ask for a postmortem on an unwanted great outdoors encounter in the suburbs. I was getting ...
4
votes
1answer
167 views

Tradeoffs between different stopper knots

Because a number of accidents have occurred when a climber was lowered or rappelled off the end of a rope, it is wise to tie a stopper knot in the end(s) of the rope. My question is what stopper knot ...
32
votes
7answers
7k views

When will a rattlesnake strike?

There are a few questions about how to avoid rattlers, and what to do if you're bit, but at what point does a rattler actually strike? I had my first rattler encounter ever yesterday, just out in ...
22
votes
9answers
7k views

Under what conditions does heating a 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

“Large” eye of tie-in knot: dangerous?

There's a dispute in my climbing group whether a "large" eye of the tie-in knot can be considered dangerous. While I don't see a problem with a loop that is about 10 cm across, others argue that the ...
31
votes
3answers
3k views

Surviving a forest fire by starting another fire

Awhile back I heard on CBC radio about a man who got trapped in a forest fire (surrounded on all sides) and survived. The way he survived was so ridiculous that he was brought to court and almost ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Snake dangers while hunting in the desert?

I plan to start doing some hunting in the greater southern Nevada Mojave desert (say within a 2 hour drive of Las Vegas). I know that while hiking, there is some "safety" from snakes because you are ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

What to do if woke up in a tent hearing a bear/boar or something else close by?

What should I do if I am in a tent, have been sleeping, and was woken up by the sounds of some large animal quite close to the tent? Just hearing some branches broken by presumably something large. ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

Bear spray vs. rifles against polar bears?

In Svalbard, the arctic archipelago administrated by Norway, anyone leaving Longyearbyen is required to carry a rifle for their own safey. For grizzly bears, Wikivoyage recommends that Bear repellent ...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

Descending a dry grass slope with serious inclination and exposure

This post here mainly talks about Ice slopes I reckon. The region where I live, we don't have Ice slopes, but we have lots of grass slopes. Usual threat is a slope, probably a good 100 m, no bolt to ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

How dangerous are wild horses?

In some parts of the western United States there are herds of wild horses. How dangerous could a herd be to a human on foot while hiking or backpacking? If they are dangerous how should a human ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Does inside vs outside make a difference in a bowline on a bight?

This question asks whether the bowline knot is better with the tail inside or outside the loop. When climbing and tying in with a bowline on a bight, does it make a difference whether one starts ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Staying safe from hunters while hiking in France

This question is specific to France, as different countries have different hunting cultures and regulations. There have been a number of highly publicized accidents in France this year (1, 2, 3). ...
8
votes
1answer
378 views

What safety concerns are there about automatic belay machines?

I have just tried using an automatic belay machine in an indoor climbing gym. I didn't receive any specific safety training, but it seems to be straightforward. So what safety concerns should I pay ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

What factors lead to one firearm being louder than another?

Related to this question, firearms make different levels of noise depending on the firearm in question and the choice of ammunition. What factors cause one firearm to be louder than another?
4
votes
2answers
425 views

How should regular Appalachian Trail hikers interpret this weekend's attack?

This past weekend, there was a fatal attack on the Appalachian Trail My girlfriend and I are planning a section hike of the AT through the White Mountains of NH and partly through the Maine section ...
5
votes
1answer
334 views

How would you protect yourself from Rocky Mountain Goats?

After finding out that Rocky Mountain Goats have killed one person and have been known to harass hikers, how would you protect yourself from an aggressive goat? In most cases I would guess that simply ...
9
votes
4answers
469 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
9k views

How safe is the bowline knot in different situations?

The bowline knot (picture below, source) has a great reputation as a very safe knot. Is it really completely safe in all situations and loads, or are there use cases where it may fail?
8
votes
3answers
498 views

Can a gun spontaneously fire?

There is a news story out this week, (The end of April, 2019) about a school resource officer's weapon discharging while in his holster. In my experience as a gun owner and hunter, it's hard for me ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
887 views

Avoid swimming into climbing plants/creepers

As far as I know there is a danger of swimming into "climbing plants/creebers" in lakes. This can bring you in an extremely dangerous situation where you tangle up more and more cause you panic. Am ...
15
votes
3answers
13k views

What are other possible make-shift alternatives for chalk powder?

Climber's life rely heavily on equipment. Having all the necessary equipment for simplest of climbs is a must. But, if at all I forget to bring the chalk powder along, what other alternatives I have ...
8
votes
2answers
247 views

Alpinism without short roping?

I am looking for a way into alpinism. The most common route I've found is signing up for a multi-day guided group course in a place like Chamonix, culminating in a small summit like Petite Aiguille ...
7
votes
1answer
364 views

What is the mortality rate of Mt St. Elias?

Mt St. Elias is a mountain on the border of Canada and Alaska. I believe it has the fastest relief from sea level of any mountain in the world. I've read somewhere that it has a higher mortality ...
5
votes
2answers
502 views

Can you tell if a waterfall is slippery based on how it looks?

Take for example the picture below, taken in the Erawan National Park. The surface of the waterfall is a shade of white, maybe from calcium(?) and it actually very coarse. Even though it's somewhat ...
42
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
538 views

When did wearing a helmet become the norm for climbing?

This is going out primarily to those who have been climbing for 20yrs + Back in the day, helmet use was optional and not particularly popular. These days, things seemed to have taken a dramatic change....
15
votes
6answers
76k views

Is it safe to drink out of a rusty thermos?

I've got a thermos for coffee and/or water storage that I use on hikes and for bike touring since it keeps things hot for hours. However, it seems like the inside is rusting a bit. Is this safe to ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

How do locals (short of drilling) determine that lake ice is safe for skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, skiing?

This question is not a duplicate of either (1) Ice skating on a frozen lake -- how thick should the ice be?, which only asks how thick the ice should be; or (2) How to determine the thickness of ice?,...
0
votes
2answers
810 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
votes
1answer
338 views

Do ultrasonic dog repellers actually work against strays and other loose dogs?

In answers to a recent question, ultrasonic dog repellers were suggested as a means of self defence against stray dogs rather than weapons. I'm also concerned with loose farm dogs, and live somewhere ...
12
votes
1answer
486 views

Are bears more attracted to menstruating females?

People have speculated that women hiking in bear country during their menstrual cycle might increase their chances of a bear encounter. Is this true? What can be done to minimize risk? Related ...
61
votes
15answers
28k views

How can I take keys with me while swimming?

I was recently crossing a lake that is commonly used for swimming and recreation. When I was swimming back to the shore, I was constantly nervous that my bag would be stolen, along with the keys in it....
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the Pros and Cons of Trekking Solo?

I was going through this amazing post here at TGO which talks of trekking solo. As far as I know of TGO culture, this question here might sound a really opinion-based question, or rather a too broad ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Ski setup for skijoring

I was born on ski's and switched to snowboarding and now on the return to skiing. However I intend to do both downhill and skijoring in the next season (skiing with my dogs) I am having trouble ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Specific Chinese carabiner QA?

Several offshore sailors are considering the use of specific Chinese locking carabiners with personal tethers, to keep us attached in violent conditions. Specifically... https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

How much experience is needed for crossing the Mendenhall Glacier?

I'm planning a backpacking trip to Juneau with some friends next summer and was interested in taking the North Ridge route to Bullard Mountain (see: https://www.summitpost.org/bullard-mountain/930372)....
12
votes
3answers
480 views

What to do when one point in a climbing anchor breaks?

Climbing anchors usually have 2-3 redundant protection points, which distribute weight. So if one point breaks, this will not be a catastrophic failure. However, what should I do in practice if this ...
5
votes
2answers
562 views

What is the minimum amount of gear that would allow one to ascend a climbing rope?

If you had a climbing rope anchored above you on either a sheer cliff or a really steep incline, what is the minimum amount of gear that a person would need to ascend the rope without assistance from ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Distel Hitch vs Prussik

The Distel Hitch and Prussik both appear to be slide and grip knots, used for ascending a climbing rope. I have heard of people using Prussik many times more often than Distel Hitch. Which is a ...

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