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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15
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a large difference in WFA (Wilderness First Aid) programs?

I am looking at taking a WFA (Wilderness First Aid) class and there are a couple of outfits in my area offering it. Namely, SOLO, NOLS, and The American Red Cross. I have heard nothing but great ...
5
votes
1answer
108 views

Should I take my weight into account when buying and retiring climbing equipment?

In this excellent answer to Ideal and Minimal Rope Diameter for Lead Climbing it is shown how the falling weight affects the drops a rope is expected to survive. This led me to the following ...
6
votes
1answer
286 views

Is it safe to use a nylon climbing runner/webbing that has a small fray?

I have a 120cm nylon runner that I want to use to tether me to an anchor bolt while cleaning the anchor. The runner has a small fray (pictures below). Is it safe to use?
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it illegal to walk on single or dual carriageways in the UK?

We're planning to walk / run the entire 275 miles (443 km) of the A5, from London to Holyhead. On Page 5 of the Official Highway Code, it states that: Pedestrians MUST NOT be on motorways or slip ...
5
votes
2answers
820 views

Can an overhand loop be used to shorten nylon webbing as a personal anchor?

Is it safe to girth-hitch nylon webbing through my harness tie-in points and then shorten the webbing via an overhand loop (assume it is too long) and clipping the non-bight part to the bolt in the ...
5
votes
1answer
510 views

Are urban coyotes a danger to small children?

I live in a city in Ontario, Canada. If city coyotes are not showing signs of aggressive behaviour the city does not normally do anything. My concern in my area is that this is a pack of at least 5 ...
20
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4answers
10k views

Can I use one helmet for both kayaking and skiing?

I am doing little kayaking and just a bit more skiing (the seasons for both are very short where I live). Both of these need helmets, but I feel reluctant to buy 2 items, each of which will see little ...
6
votes
4answers
230 views

Should I travel through freezing areas with hot or cold water in my RV tank?

This question is specific to the hot water tank in an RV. In my case it is 6 gallons, propane heated and insulated with the only exterior contact the access panel, as seen in most standard RV's in ...
5
votes
1answer
269 views

Is there any statistical evidence that hunting reduces the likelihood of mountain lion attacks?

There has been some discussion on this question about whether or not hunting would increase or decrease the likelihood of a mountain lion attack. I have seen some websites saying that it does not, but ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Summitting Breithorn in the winter?

I am interested in summitting Breithorn this winter (late January) using crampons and an ice axe. I am in excellent physical shape but I do not have much alpine experience. I have seen mixed reviews ...
28
votes
13answers
7k views

Are there any tips for preventing a vehicle from being broken into while parked at a trailhead?

It is fairly common practice to drive to a trailhead, park your vehicle and then go backpacking for a while. It would be a real bummer to come back from a trip and find that your vehicle has been ...
12
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5answers
2k views

What could possibly go wrong in Sarek?

I want to go hiking in Sweden this summer with a few friends (forming a group of about 5-7 people) for one or two weeks. The goals we targeted were mainly Kungsleden and Sarek. While a hike on ...
25
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6answers
40k views

Will a tent provide some protection from bears?

When camping in a bear country, will a tent provide an additional protection from bears, as opposed to just sleeping outside or in a hammock? Provided I take the usual precautions of keeping any food,...
11
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2answers
569 views

How do you protect yourself against crocodiles when you have no option but to camp on the banks of a croc-infested river?

I am reading Escape Routes by David Roberts. This is a collection of 20 articles ranging from a winter ascent in Iceland to the first descent of a river in Ethiopia, the Tekeze, a major tributary of ...
7
votes
1answer
371 views

Why are stove jacks NOT normally made of metal?

A stove jack allows you to safely extend a stovepipe through the roof or wall of your tent. Our stove jacks are constructed of fire proof 17-ounce [0.48 kg] silicone-coated glass material (18" x ...
40
votes
1answer
45k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
6k views

Where can I test an emergency whistle?

I've just 3d-printed what's supposed to be an ear-shatteringly loud emergency whistle (120 dB at one meter). However, it's apparently somewhat sensitive to printing conditions, because some people ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

What equipment is used to “groom” single track hiking and biking trails?

I've heard of single track hiking/biking trails being "groomed" before to keep them in good condition for users. The use of shovels, rakes, and possibly chainsaws to keep the trails free of debris ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

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

It's 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 ...
19
votes
7answers
53k views

Best rope for a rope swing

A few years ago I, er… a friend of mine, put up a rope swing in a nearby park. It's in a large eucalyptus, about 25 metres high, and is much loved by many local kids – and parents. Originaly I just ...
30
votes
2answers
4k views

At what angle should an ice screw be screwed into the ice?

Recently we were climbing up a glacier with the ice at an angle of around 80°. We were placing the ice screws angling slightly upwards with respect to the slope of the ice wall. However, one from ...
5
votes
1answer
156 views

What rockfall protection equipment are there other than helmets?

We went climbing on a glacier recently. There was one issue which I couldn't find a solution to. While belaying from below (on the first pitch), it was pretty much impossible to protect self from ...
7
votes
1answer
259 views

How can I minimize the risk of tree wells when backcountry skiing?

When skiing in the backcountry (or even in the trees at resorts), what can be done to minimize the risk of getting trapped in a tree well?
31
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10answers
140k views

What are areas of the body which lose heat more quickly, and how can I reduce that loss?

What are the higher heat loss areas of the body and how can I reduce heat loss in those areas?
8
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1answer
1k views

Are grizzly bears attracted by human urine?

I was backcountry camping recently in the Canadian Rockies and there was a sign that said “please don’t urinate around the campsite, it is attracting bears”. Of course, following LNT principles, I ...
1
vote
1answer
199 views

What NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) should one look for in hearing muffs/earplugs for indoor shooting?

Most hearing muffs/earplugs have a noise reduction rating of between 22 to 35 NRR. OSHA says, Impulse Noise: The standard states that exposure to impulsive or impact noise should not exceed 140 dB ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What to be aware of if lightning strikes close to me?

Many questions (and answers) about lightning seem to focus on avoiding being hit directly by lightning but don't consider being close to where it hits the ground. Granted, it may be intentional (ie: ...
13
votes
3answers
291 views

Can I expect a mountain stream to have less water in the morning, even when it is not primarily fed by meltwater?

In late September 2015, I hiked part of the trail in the incredibly beautiful Lónsöræfi in southwestern Iceland, near Vatnajökull. The easternmost segment of the trail requires fording Hnappadalsá (...
6
votes
3answers
545 views

How sophisticated a dust mask can one hope to improvise?

A common improvised dust mask is taking a bandana and tying it over your nose and mouth. I'm asking this question because I'm wondering what else one could add to this set up if anything. First, I'd ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the life expectancy of Propane/CO detector?

NOTE the following is while the camper is unoccupied and stored in my back yard. The Propane/CO detector in my camper started going off randomly a few weeks ago. I thought it was from some random ...
9
votes
3answers
662 views

Is it dangerous to go to Mountains when snow is melting?

This year beginning of May 2018 we with my friend visited Valle Grande in Italian Alps. Begging from 1500 meters there was snow, on the high of 1900m there was pretty deep snow and it was actively ...
16
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3answers
14k views

Is bear spray effective against other animals?

Is bear spray (pepper spray specially formulated to be effective against bear attacks) effective against other animals, especially mountain lions or wolves? Or is there something in it specifically ...
17
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5answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
25k views

How effective are pen launcher bear bangers compared to bearspray?

So pen launcher bear bangers have apparently been around for quite a while, the training video for Truflare looks like something from out of the 90's, but they don't appear to be very popular, and I ...
3
votes
2answers
80 views

Portable canopy leg weights, how heavy?

I was at an event this weekend and noticed that many of the portable canopies had weights on the legs. My Canopy has stakes and rope tie downs, but often the soil is not appropriate for these (to ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How unsafe is this belay technique really?

One person I regularly climb with uses a belay technique that I was taught to be unsafe, so I would like to know just how unsafe it really is. With a classic tube-style belay device, after taking in ...
10
votes
1answer
179 views

Bivouac on glacier: how to be sure not to stand on a crevasse?

When there is no snow cover on the glacier and crevasses are visible, no need to really worry about crevasses. But what about when there is a layer of snow on top of glacier, hiding crevasses, and you ...
4
votes
1answer
355 views

Beginning paddle boating

Assume I am completely naïve of boating concerns, that I know the following: There are things that float and carry stuff across the water called boats. A boat needs something to make it move. Some ...
10
votes
4answers
743 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). ...
2
votes
3answers
280 views

How to deal with changing clothing which was used while cooking as not to attract a bears?

It is said you not only need to keep food at least 30-100 meters away from the tent, which is easy do to, but you also can't sleep in the same clothing which was worn while eating, which can be very ...
2
votes
0answers
519 views

What species of bear are most and least dangerous to humans?

Excluding hybrids it seems like there are eight species of bears. Which are most and least likely to injure or kill a human? Related Do black, brown/grizzly or polar bears ever prey on humans? ...
17
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3answers
18k views

How do you safely cut wood with a knife?

Several people have talked about having single edge knife so that you can cut down small trees. What is the proper way to cut or carve wood with a knife?
15
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2answers
13k views

What is a 'Whitecap' and why should I be concerned about boating in them?

I heard someone talking about whitecaps and how they could be dangerous for boating but I am not sure I understand, what they were talking about. What are whitecaps and why should I be concerned ...
26
votes
8answers
9k views

Are there any natural materials found in the wild that can be used as an effective sunscreen?

There are animals such as pigs and elephants that wallow in mud which possibly serves as protection from sunburn. There are also some plants such as Aloe vera (Aloe vera) and Jewelweed (Impatiens ...
11
votes
3answers
17k views

What type of rope should I use for roof work?

Am going to do some repairs on my roof, (not a climber). not sure regarding the type of rope I should get? Also, any advice as to how to secure the rope to my harness?
23
votes
1answer
2k views

Reacting to a bee attack

We were attacked by Giant Honey Bees (Apis dorsata). A friend and I were ensuring the safety of others and got away with 30 odd stings. We had proper hiking attire, and buffs to cover our faces. ...
4
votes
1answer
352 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....
30
votes
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, ...
34
votes
6answers
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 ...
12
votes
1answer
755 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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