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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43 votes
7 answers
26k views

How do people drown while wearing a life jacket?

Recently, I heard of three tourists from Germany drowning in a lake in Alaska. Their boat overturned and they ended up in the water. All three of them were wearing life jackets. This is what I don't ...
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9 votes
2 answers
570 views

What are known failure modes of the auto-braking mechanism of Grigris?

Disclaimer first: The brake-hand principle (always hold the braking strand of the rope) always applies to assisted braking belay devices, including the Grigri. This question is in no way targeted at ...
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6 votes
1 answer
271 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
153 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
92 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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
118 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
267 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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
745 views

GSI and similar plastic camping cookware: safe to use over fires?

I'm interested in the GSI Bugaboo 4-person cookset and the accompanying Destination Kitchen; however, I have two similar/related concerns about safety and I was hoping someone in this community might ...
8 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Sensible primary and secondary device combination for toprope soloing

I have been trying to find the "canonical" post on this topic without success - each post has its own take on the issue. And I understand that opinions and preferences abound - but I'm ...
8 votes
1 answer
501 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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
457 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 ...
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8 votes
4 answers
874 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 ...
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8 votes
2 answers
267 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 ...
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10 votes
2 answers
1k 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
2 answers
617 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
393 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 ...
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31 votes
13 answers
12k views

Knife as defense against stray dogs

Some places I travel to have stray dogs in the city. Can a knife be used effectively if attacked by one or more of them? I've had creepy close encounters.
  • 4,073
7 votes
1 answer
583 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 ...
  • 171
13 votes
3 answers
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
1 answer
185 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)....
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5 votes
1 answer
118 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 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the most secure way to grab someone you are rescuing?

Does anyone know if the forearm grab/hold (both people holding each other's forearms) provides more grip/strength then the normal wrist to wrist grab (similar to traditional handshake) if you are ...
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3 votes
2 answers
6k 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
2 answers
1k 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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
366 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?
12 votes
3 answers
570 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 ...
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10 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
622 views

Why is doubling up with plugs and muffs when shooting not more effective?

I keep looking for better ways of protecting my hearing when shooting, and it looks like wearing both plugs and muffs is recommended for indoor shooting (centerfire gunshots range from 160-170 ...
9 votes
1 answer
286 views

How serious is bear safety in the sub-polar Ural / Komi Republic / Yugyd Va?

In Norway, Sweden, and Finland, there are resident bears, but they rarely go near people, nobody practices the kind of bear safety that is necessary in parts of North America, and this does not lead ...
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6 votes
4 answers
248 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
1 answer
685 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 ...
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11 votes
2 answers
629 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 ...
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19 votes
3 answers
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 ...
  • 2,912
7 votes
3 answers
9k 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. ...
  • 484
4 votes
1 answer
225 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 ...
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6 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
  • 397
7 votes
1 answer
565 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 ...
  • 397
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How can I safely use a candle lantern inside a tent?

I have a candle lantern housed inside what I think is an aluminum frame. I'm concerned it will get hot enough to melt fabrics. How can I safely use it inside a tent? Should I suspend it from the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
171 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 ...
  • 7,785
30 votes
2 answers
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 ...
  • 7,785
8 votes
1 answer
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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
173 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?
1 vote
1 answer
221 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
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
5 answers
726 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....
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
87 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 ...
9 votes
3 answers
843 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 ...
10 votes
1 answer
192 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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
715 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? ...

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