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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
14
votes
1answer
582 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....
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Walking through a Thigh-high snow

I have far less experience in trekking where there is snow. I believe walking through snow and through ice are two different techniques. Is there some sort of safe technique to walk on such snow ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are carabiners so much weaker if the gate is open?

Carabiners like this, are marked with the force rating. The one in this picture is rated, 20kn the long way 8kn the short way 5kn with the gate open Why are carabiners so much weaker when the gate ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

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 ...
12
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

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 ...
6
votes
0answers
94 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....
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 ...
27
votes
14answers
9k views

Are there any situations while backpacking that would require a watch?

One of my favorite things about backpacking is the absence of time constraints, you eat when hungry, sleep when tired and sort of track how much time is left until dark. Would there be any situations ...
27
votes
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 ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

Why does suspension trauma happen?

This question once more brought up the topic of suspension trauma. I tried to read up on the topic, but found that the Wikipedia page was not as informative as I would have liked. Especially I'm ...
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 ...
20
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
635 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, ...
15
votes
2answers
16k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

How big a fall is a "major" fall?

I answered a question about rope safety with some advice about retiring the rope after a "major" fall. Another user asked me what would constitute a major fall - and I have to admit that I can only ...
13
votes
3answers
8k views

Rock climbing over edge - What can I put under the rope to protect it?

I am working on a very fun problem with an overhung roof that induces serious rope drag (Goat Rock Roof @ Castle Rock if you know it). I am very nervous about training this beta intensive problem ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Is clipping directly onto a dyneema sling safe?

I was recently doing a scramble route in North Wales. We needed to get past a large rock spike, though easy climbing, it was quite exposed and not a good place to take a fall. As a safety backup I ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Reliability of snow bollards

I just discovered there is a way to rapell (e.g. for crevasse rescue) without any equipment building a snow bollard: How is this done in the best possible manner? What do I have to look for in terms ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Leading an inexperienced group

I'm taking a handful (5) work colleagues up a mountain this weekend (Tryfan in Snowdonia). The mountain is a Grade 1 scramble route so it's not overly simple. The group is very inexperienced. I've ...
12
votes
1answer
503 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
708 views

How do I Eskimo roll a kayak?

If I am whitewater or sea kayaking, it is possible that my kayak will get overturned leading to a live or death situation. I've heard that it is possible to roll the kayak so it is right side up ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

What causes an avalanche and can I predict one?

Avalanches are extremely dangerous when mountaineering, winter backpacking/camping, or backcountry skiing/snowboarding. What causes them and is there any way I can predict when an avalanche is about ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Is playing musical instruments like Harp/Harmonica, Flute unsafe during backpacking trips?

Along with trekking and camping, I am too involved in musical instruments that I play. And, I always have had a thought of carrying my six-string with me on some long hike for entertainment during I ...
10
votes
3answers
6k views

How to fix a leak in a fibreglass kayak?

I have got an old kayak from a friend of mine who no longer needs it. As he told me, there are 3 leaks in that Kayak, one of them is very visible being a coin-sized hole (:D). The others are pretty ...
10
votes
3answers
606 views

Quality/robustness of avalanche shovels

At an online shop I found a great deal for an avalanche shovel (14€). It's not a no-name brand, indeed it is a trustworthy German label. Still there are users complaining about the robustness of the ...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

Taking Aspirin in higher altitudes

Reading this answer and especially the comments leads me to questions: Should one use Aspirin in high altitudes? Should one use it as a precaution or only when actually getting headache or other ...
7
votes
1answer
461 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Makeshift Stretchers

I recently read in a local organization report log that a group of inexperienced and stranded hikers gambled up a route and had to take a risky way down the hill. In the process, a guy got badly ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
783 views

When can a glacier be crossed without special gear (axes, crampons, rope, etc.)?

As a child, I remember walking with my family over the Gornergletscher to reach the Monte Rosa-Hütte. I remember the same for crossing Vadret da Diavolezza. In both cases, we did not have crampons ...
7
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
840 views

What kind of material was used to make traditional stove jacks?

A stove jack allows you to safely extend a stovepipe through the roof or wall of your tent. Modern-day stove jacks appear to be made of silicone fiberglass. However, it's my guess that silicone ...
6
votes
2answers
183 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
210 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 ...
28
votes
1answer
5k views

Why do shin splints happen?

I've gotten shin splints on long hikes - once 2 weeks into a hike, and another time 2 months. I wasn't able to determine how I got them though, which has really annoyed me! I get that I could ...
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 ...
23
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
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 ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

What steps should I take if someone starts sinking?

What are the steps that should be taken if someone you're hiking with starts to sink uncontrollably into say a marsh? What are some good techniques and points that should be used to get them out ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Dropping gear: Where did the hairline/micro fracture urban legend come from?

In an answer given to this question: Micro-Fractures in Climbing Equipments, it's stated that dropping gear causing micro fractures is a persistent myth, quoting Black Diamond's statement: Q. Is it ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

How to deal with dogs on public hiking trails?

I occasionally try hiking or cycling, and I notoriously have to deal with the silly issue of dogs roaming freely through villages, even on public trails. Until now, never have I been threatened by a ...
19
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
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 ...
19
votes
2answers
5k views

Life Jacket for a person without arms?

Inspired by the question Where should a person who can't hold a paddle sit in a tandem kayak? "One friend was born without arms" Many life jackets are vests that are in part, kept on the person ...
17
votes
6answers
55k views

How long does mayonnaise last unrefrigerated in the back-country?

Yes, mayonnaise. It is sold unrefrigerated, and is an essential component of any back-country sandwich. Has anyone reached its limit and had it spoil on them? (I haven't. Of course, I've never had an ...
17
votes
3answers
683 views

What are the critical dimensions to a safe bear-bag?

Many outdoor areas that have bears have bear bag-lines setup for hikers. In situations where the bear-bag line is not there or it is full, what dimensions should I keep in mind to protect my goodies ...
15
votes
6answers
4k views

Is belaying a lead more difficult than a top roped climber

Assessing potential lead climbing partners for competence and safety asserts that a lead climb belay is more complicated and has higher potential for a serious accident over a top rope belay. Is ...
14
votes
1answer
320 views

Is there statistical backing for asserting the wilderness is safer than the highway?

My brother once told a concerned parent (whose son he was taking hiking in the "wilderness" (John Muir trail) for a few days) that the most dangerous part of the trip would be the drive there and back....