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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27
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are people so worried about Giardia?

Everyone I have ever been camping with seems to have an unwritten rule never to drink from streams no matter how clear they might seem, for fear of Giardia. I have also heard people telling about ...
53
votes
4answers
34k views

Is drinking urine safe?

We've all heard stories about how people saved their lives by drinking their urine. Is drinking urine safe when there are no other water sources available? Can I filter it with a water purifier?
17
votes
4answers
2k views

I found a Deer Tick on my friend and removed it, what should I do now?

While camping with some friends in Anywhere National Forest, I found a deer tick on a friend. After removing it with tweezers, is there anything else I should do? Should we abandon our trip ...
58
votes
11answers
7k views

How should I remove a tick?

If I find a tick on myself or a friend, what is the best way of removing it? I've heard some people say that singeing the tick with a match makes the tick detach and fall off. However I've also ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

What should you do if you see a rattle snake?

In the area where I live, I have periodically seen a rattle snake when hiking, occasionally at the ready to strike pose. What should I do?
27
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7answers
6k views

Meeting an unknown snake on the trail; what is the best thing to do?

The newsletter from the Virginia Wildlife Rescue League reported the following incident. A man, his partner and her 4 year old daughter were walking in Farquier County (a rural county), when they saw ...
34
votes
9answers
21k views

When back country camping, how do you avoid being attacked by a mountain lion in your sleep?

I'm looking to camp in SE Oregon. At minimum, my girlfriend and I will have sleeping bags. We're open to adding a tent, fire, and other stuff as recommended. Our goal is to be able to hike around ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How to help a fox with rabies?

Rabies has a phase called "furious phase". The infected animal has symptoms which can directly affect humans. An infected dog may viciously attack any moving object, person, or animal; a caged ...
8
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2answers
2k views

How to react to a fox in furious phase (rabies)?

So, I had this question. The answer was that we should kill a fox with rabies to help it. Rabies has a phase called "furious phase". The infected animal has symptoms which can directly affect ...
5
votes
1answer
128 views

Is a mother bear more defensive during early summer compared to late summer and autumn?

According to the Wikipedia page on Grizzly Bears, Mothers defending their cubs are the most prone to attacking, being responsible for 70% of fatal injuries to humans. Is there any seasonal ...
17
votes
1answer
627 views

Is backcountry hiking in northwestern Russia safe?

Is it safe to go backcountry hiking in the Tundra's of northwestern Russia, e.g. the Kola peninsula, such as the Khibin mountains? There is some heavy industry around there; can one safely go around, ...
8
votes
4answers
763 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 ...
8
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2answers
611 views

How to "store" excess rope in a running belay?

A recent question made me wonder how a running belay is really done. Suppose you are climbing an alpine route, maybe of difficulty UIAA 5. You encounter a stretch of 100m of UIAA 1 terrain with no ...
9
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2answers
7k views

What are some mortal dangers in temperate woods?

In very deep temperate forest (5+ days out), what dangers can endanger the life(s) of a group of several fit individuals. Motivation of the question
14
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4answers
8k views

Safe, effective method for splitting firewood using a hatchet?

While car camping this past weekend, I bought some firewood from the park headquarters but unfortunately, it was split into very large pieces that obviously wouldn't light very well. I tried splitting ...
25
votes
4answers
6k views

How do forest fires affect rock climbing?

The Kenow fire ripped through the Rockies near where I live. Flames were reported to be hundreds of meters high coming off the tops of some trees. Some of those flames licked the crags I most ...
11
votes
3answers
354 views

How to cross rivers or streams at night or in darkness?

I am preparing a dayhike with some buddies of mine but to get to the trailhead, we have to cross more than ten river crossings which are passable by huge vehicles. The water there is quite fast and ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Climbing harness: clip two carabiners to avoid cross-loading

For reasons of time-saving and avoiding retie figure 8 knots all the time, can I clip the figure 8 knot via two carabiners each clipped to either loop of the harness? This way there will be no cross ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

How do you make a snow shelter?

Sometimes when mountaineering, there may be an emergency situation which leaves you in bad weather with no or damaged shelter (such as returning from a summit attempt or after a wild and crazy storm). ...
10
votes
3answers
389 views

One-sided overhand bend

Why is the one-sided overhand bend also called the European death knot (EDK)? Is it safe for climbing and mountaineering purposes?
8
votes
4answers
36k views

How to safely store a propane/butane/isobutane canister in a vehicle?

The canisters that I have purchased so far have included a warning not to let the canister get above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. It looks like the inside of car can get well above that, hot enough to bake ...
62
votes
5answers
28k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
175 views

What features should I look for in a satellite emergency device?

I am thinking of buying a satellite check in device. I often go alone, and would like to upgrade from the system of of always letting someone know where I am going and when to expect me back. The ...
28
votes
7answers
4k views

How safe is it for women to hike alone?

Should a woman legitimately fear to be assaulted or raped on popular backpacking trails in the US when hiking by herself? How common are attacks of that nature? How does it compare to residential ...
10
votes
1answer
4k 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?
9
votes
5answers
4k views

Is listening to music on earphones while hiking solo safe enough?

Hiking/ trekking might possibly make you feel anxious especially while hiking solo. Music can soothe your mind and motivate you a lot. I would like to know the possible dangers/loss due to ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Dangers of solo hiking (in Ontario)

I have the next week off and I was thinking about exploring some parks in Ontario (e.g: Algonquin). I am prepared for the colder weather and am thinking of doing some trails. Some people I've talked ...
4
votes
2answers
435 views

Camping on top of a mountain

I have experience in backpacking but have no climbing experience. I am trying to learn how to camp on top of mountains after class 2 or 3 climbing. My motive is to take sunrise and sunset photos. ...
12
votes
1answer
567 views

What is the warning call for falling rocks in your area?

I was inspired by the question "What should one do when climbing if someone above you yells ROCK?" to ask what the equivalents are around the world. So, what would I shout to warn someone below me of ...
5
votes
3answers
445 views

How can I safely climb a glacial route with just a kid or one other person?

I want to climb a mountain with my daughter. There is a glacier on the route that we should cross. Other routes take much longer or are technically more difficult. The glacier does not have many ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What is this black and white spider with a bowl/tube web in England?

I was walking my dog through high grass, in England. We came across a big spider. The web was almost like a bowl/tube. The spider was black but the back part was big and a white colour. We avoided ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a nose-hooked carabiner and why is it dangerous?

In rock climbing a carabiner can get nose-hooked and it is a very dangerous situation. What exactly is a nose-hooked carabiner and why is it dangerous?
25
votes
3answers
7k views

Can you get permanent brain damage by spending a day at 10,000ft (~3000m) altitude?

I read some articles that suggested that even moderately high altitudes can lead to some irreversible brain damage. Thus, I was wondering whether that is actually possible and what is its likelihood? ...
25
votes
7answers
10k views

Is it unsafe to ride the chair lift with a backpack?

I like the convenience of having a backpack when I ski. Last winter one of the lifties at the local ski hill gave me guff about my backpack, claiming that it was unsafe. I wore the same backpack ...
28
votes
7answers
33k views

How to check if a fence or cable has electricity without having special tools?

You run across a wire cable, or wire fence in the wild, with which you would have to interact in some way. How to check if electricity runs through it without having special tools? EDIT: As the ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

Is the "rattlesnake line" higher now in the Sierra than it used to be, decades ago?

Decades ago, the rule of thumb was that there were no rattlesnakes above 9,000 feet in the Sierra. I don't remember what the authority for this was. It is definitely warmer in the Sierra now than it ...
14
votes
1answer
576 views

At what point is a rattlesnake mature enough to control its venom?

Young rattlesnakes are more deadly than large rattlesnakes, the reason being because when they are young they are more likely to strike, but more importantly because they can't yet control their venom....
4
votes
2answers
636 views

Why does the intensity of sunlight at sunset/sunrise depend on your latitude?

Why is sunlight in mornings and evenings more intense in the temperate zones than in the tropics? It is more difficult to drive facing the sun at 7am for example in Auckland, NZ than at Singapore.
59
votes
10answers
23k views

How does water depth affect swimming safety? Why do signs, especially in the UK, say "DANGER: deep water"?

In many UK lakes, I see signs prohibiting swimming with the explanation DANGER: Deep water. This link contains an example. I don't understand those signs. Why is a 30 metre deep lake more dangerous ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

How to use a Munter hitch to belay and rappel?

There seems to be conflicting information on the web about how to use a Munter hitch for belaying and rappelling while rock climbing. The way I learned decades ago is consistent with Nols Wilderness ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

What precautions are needed for caving?

I have been hiking/mountaineering for quite a few years now. But, I have never been into a deep cave as yet. We are planning to explore a natural cave that we'll have to rappel into. The cave is ...
18
votes
2answers
506 views

Exploring coastal caves safely?

Having read this good question I felt it covered mountainous regions very well however myself and my husband are big fans of the coast and he certainly has (with his ex-fisherman father) explored many ...
25
votes
3answers
4k views

How should I vet belayers? What should I look for?

The other night I went to the climbing gym, intending to look for a climbing partner once I got there. (My usual gym climbing partner isn't available to climb as often as I want to.) The gym provides ...
6
votes
0answers
93 views

Assessing potential lead climbing partners for competence and safety [duplicate]

I recently started lead climbing in the gym after taking a lead climbing class. So far, I've only led with someone I know from the class who I watched lead belaying a number of times during the class....
13
votes
1answer
4k views

Do leeches have a preference?

So I did a hike in a forest infested with leeches. I ended up with quite a few leech bites (around 20). But, at the same time, another hiker got just one bite! We both were wearing similar shoes, ...
9
votes
4answers
385 views

How high is too high for a spotter while spotting a climber?

What height should a climber consider safe on a boulder such that in case of a fall her/his spotter can guide her/him fall to safely land on feet? Here, safety is for both of them, and not just the ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

The dangers of simul-rappelling

To simul-rappel, the technique goes as follows: Prepare to rappel as usual, passing the rope through bomber bolts; Tie knots on both ends of the rope; Attach your personal anchoring system (PAS) to ...
8
votes
2answers
385 views

How to stop in the middle of a rappel without an autoblock?

Sometimes people rappel without a backup prussik, such as when canyoning and sometimes an auto block needs to be adjusted. In either of these situations, is there a way to stop yourself in the middle ...
24
votes
4answers
3k views

How to inspect climbing bolts?

I am most interested in setting up a top rope anchor on 2 bolts side by side. I feel like in this case you almost have to be more careful using bolts for a top rope than sport climbing because in ...
11
votes
3answers
530 views

How would one assess the safety of a wooden bridge?

While backpacking in the Wind River Range in Wyoming, I had to cross this bridge. The piece of paper on the left support said, Due to recent high water events, this bridge may be damaged. Assess ...

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