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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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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2answers
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When to use a static rope?

I usually do sport-climbing so I've never owned a static rope. However, most rope-related Q&As in TGO.SE don't bother specifying dynamic vs static ropes. I've been told that for rappelling (or ...
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1answer
490 views

Tips for camping in the territory of elephants

I have recently planned to go for a long trail that passes through a territory that is known for elephants. While speaking of camping overall, I know what basics should I be following, but are there ...
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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 ...
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Correct and incorrect slip-slap-slide belay technique

This blog has a discussion of the slip-slap-slide and PBUS techniques for taking in rope when belaying. Here is a video demonstrating PBUS. Slip-slap-slide is illustrated on p. 161 of Freedom of the ...
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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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1answer
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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 ...
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Any tips to prevent theft while tent camping alone in a caravan park?

This summer. I will be camping on my own at a coastal caravan park located between 2 towns. In terms of safety (theft) and other things, what do you advise?
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1answer
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Trekking solo in South Africa

This is an almost similar question to this one: Trekking solo in Western Ghats, India I have read a few blogs about people and their solo trekking experiences. At the first glance at it, 'whether to ...
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2answers
94 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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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 ...
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Should I activate my beacon if the road to safety is blocked?

During the winter I travel long distances over 25 miles into forest, lakes, rivers and mountains. I always worry that when it's time to leave I'll find myself trapped by tree laying over the road. ...
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Should a hiker be concerned about wolves in the back-country?

In this question, it was asked whether bear-spray was effective against other animals, such as wolves. I know the old adage that "there has never been record of a healthy wolf attacking an adult" is ...
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Can Grizzlies climb trees?

I continue year of the bear with more trees. Can grizzly bears climb trees?
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1answer
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How safe is it with Grizzly bears when hiking in the Rockies near Calgary, Alberta?

I am attending a conference in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and afterwards I am considering going for a 3-day hike somewhere around Turbine Canyon[1], 3-isle[2] or Aster Lake[3] in the Rockies. How safe ...
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1answer
678 views

How frequent are polar bears inland in the Mealy Mountains and English Mountains in Labrador?

I am considering a trek in August/September in the Mealy Mountains and English Mountains in Labrador (Canada's newest National Park; for info see 1, 2, 3). However, I am worried by the prospect of ...
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How do people safely trek in polar bear country?

For hiking in polar bear country, this answer cites a page that advices to avoid camping under the stars at all times. Yet people do go trekking on Svalbard, and I don't think the density of huts is ...
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Will Black Bears actually follow you up a tree

I always see it pointed out, when discussing how to handle/avoid bear encounters, that black bears can climb trees. Granted, but does that matter? Has there ever been a case of a black bear pursuing ...
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What to do when a black bear got a hold of an open bear can?

When an adult black bear without cubs in sight got a hold of an open bear-can, is it advisable to try to scare him/her away (with noise, or by approaching him/her as a group?) I am asking both for ...
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How to deal with Serbian scorpions?

I always wanted to visit Balkan region, but I'm affraid of scorpions. As far as I searched there's plenty of those terrifying creatures, but none of species I found was poisonous. So I have two ...
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Are there standard whistle signals for communicating with separated party members?

Similar to the previous question that turned up when I searched on this topic: Is there a standard set of light signals for mountaineers?, but for sound? Repeating sets of 3 blasts is standard for ...
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Are there sound-based alternatives to whistle signals for group communication?

Whistles can be used to signal to group members, however the downside is that other people may think you are having an emergency. Are there any other devices that would allow you to signal with noise ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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How would you help a snapping turtle cross the road?

Regardless of why they would want to cross the road, doing so is dangerous for turtles, especially since a certain percentage of the population will try to run them over. However, snapping turtles ...
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How can I avoid an encounter with a tiger?

I'm backpacking through a national park in India, which also happens to be a tiger reserve. I understand that chances of even spotting a Bengal tiger are slim, but still, what precautionary measures ...
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1answer
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Camping and Monkeys

Monkeys are funny, as well as dangerous sometimes. What precautions do I need to take when I am camping (under unavoidable circumstances) in a region where there are monkeys? EDIT: Referring to ...
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1answer
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Can urinating around camp attract wildlife?

As far as I know, it's generally a good idea to pee a fence around your camp. Don't know if it makes any major differences but ... It is true urinating around your tent will keep some critters away ...
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1answer
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What are the dangerous animals in Southern Nevada

I'm from Florida and I've only ever hiked in the Southeast US. I don't know if I'm blind, but I can't find a listing of dangerous animals and their profiles. I tried Nevada Dept of Wildlife and ...
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10answers
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What should I do to avoid ticks other than wear particular clothing?

Today I've learnt that one can't vaccinate against Borreliose, also known as Lyme Disease. I've thought that I can't get that (yeah, that was stupid) and so didn't really care about ticks. However, ...
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How can I tell which way is "down wind"

I'll be backpacking in areas where a bear canister is required by regulation. All of the tip's I've read say to store it XYZ number of feet "downwind from your camp", presumably so the scent of the ...
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1answer
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How to avoid dangerous encounters with hippopotamuses?

I'm going on an adventure to Africa next year. We'll be in the savanna and thus I'm wondering how to behave in sight of hippopotamuses. What are the most common mistakes people make around ...
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Any dangerous animals attracted to fire?

While we are out in the wild it's good practice to keep a fire up to hold back several kinds of dangerous animals, isn't it? I wonder if there are any (for humans dangerous) creatures out there which ...
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How effective are portable electric fences?

I am worried about bears and wolves when camping so I'm looking at portable electric fences. Are they effective and more importantly just how dangerous are they?
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What wild animals are there in California that can be dangerous or create hassles, and how do I avoid problems with them?

What wild animals are there in California that can be dangerous or create hassles, and how do I avoid problems with them?
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1answer
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What is a safe distance for large, non-predatory wildlife?

When visiting areas with free-roaming wildlife such as American Bison and Texas Longhorns, there are numerous signs warning about keeping a safe distance. They don't, however, actually specify the ...
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1answer
358 views

Precautions when walking through area of crocodiles

Unlike other places, in India, the region where I stay and trek, we don't have warning boards stating the crocodile threats/warnings. I have been wandering in the region for almost a decade now and ...
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1answer
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Do I need to worry about feral dogs or even wolves if I camp in random areas while hitchhiking in Georgia (the country)?

After almost half a year working in a hostel in Tbilisi, spring has come and it is far warmer than anywhere further west in Europe so I'm going to hitchhike around Georgia with my tent in warm areas. ...
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How dangerous is a band of coyotes to a lone, unarmed human?

There's a delightful thrill to the call of a band of coyotes when you're alone in the dark woods. Do they present a danger? That is, have healthy coyotes (that is, not rabid) been known to attack or ...
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365 views

What fall factor will cause me to hit the deck with a typical dynamic rope?

Say I'm leading on a single-pitch climb, or the first pitch of a multi-pitch. The maximum fall factor I could theoretically have without hitting the deck is 1, but that's with a static rope, which of ...
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How can you prevent kids getting lost at night while camping?

When camping in more remote areas with young kids, how can you make sure they don't take a stroll and get lost in the middle of the night? We won't be near lights, established "bathrooms", etc. The ...
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1answer
919 views

Does camping in polar bear country require someone to keep guard during the night?

Some animals are big and dangerous and, when hungry, may realise that humans contain a pretty decent amount of meat. I've never hiked in such areas, but they do exist. Photo from Wikipedia, CC-BY-SA ...
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1answer
239 views

How to scuba dive safely in waters that have Great White Sharks?

This is something I have been thinking about since answering this question about guessing the size of a shark. What precautions would a scuba diver take or is this something that is simply avoided?
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Can you safely use retired ropes for belaying children?

Climbing ropes are UIAA rated for so many falls of an 80kg weight. After that number of falls–or a specific period of time based on amount of use–you are supposed to retire the rope. But what if the ...
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If an autoblock inteferes with a belay device will a fireman belay have any effect?

When rappeling I understand the need for a backup--whether an autoblock below the belay device, or a second person providing a fireman belay. My understanding is that using an autoblock incorrectly ...
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2answers
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Are nuts and cams less safe if the rock is wet?

In (probably) most of northern Europe, it is somewhat cold and wet outside. Despite this fact, I'm trying to get as much outdoor climbing done as I can. A backup plan for somewhat cold weather (i.e. ...
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5answers
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Is campfire smoke safe for inhalation and cooking?

Is it safe to burn any kind of wood as campfire if you are going to be cooking on it directly? Like broiling a steak on a grill over the fire where the smoke and the flames will touch the meat. Can ...
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1answer
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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 "...
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What's the problem with electrolyte imbalance and how do I mitigate it?

In the past week I've seen two answers mentioning electrolytes; one about the grand canyon and one in an answer on a question that was actually about wildlife, but where other desert dangers were ...
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4answers
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How safe is drinking distilled water?

Are there any adverse effects of drinking distilled water (possibly obtained melting snow or using other survival techniques like a solar still)? Maybe dehydratation, diarrhea...? Some people even ...
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1answer
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What are some emergency water purification methods? [duplicate]

If you're lost in the wilderness (and you've foolishly left behind your handy dandy water purification tablets and water filter), what are some of the best and safest ways to purify water? What do you ...

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