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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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 ...
10
votes
2answers
681 views

In canyoning, [why] do people skip a backup prusik?

I am used to abseiling with a prusik cord, which gives me protection for the case I lose control of the descent speed. However, I have heard that in canyoning, in some situations, using the prusik is ...
11
votes
1answer
499 views

How do I know when to retire a climbing harness?

I've only been climbing a few months. I bought a harness and have been using it. I know they don't last forever. How do I know when to stop using it and buy a new one? (How should I check climbing ...
72
votes
9answers
24k views

What's wrong with swimming out far?

I swim decently - no pro but I can do a couple of km, resting once in awhile. Many times, both in day and night, in the warm, summer, Mediterranean sea, friends have cautioned me to "not swim so far ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

How to confirm/remove ticks in tough spots when alone?

When in tick country, tick checks are critical. Easier with a buddy who can look where the sun doesn't shine, but even alone, diligent inspection (especially with a mirror of some sort) can go a long ...
10
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2answers
349 views

Does fordable by 4WD imply fordable on foot?

I am investigating the feasibility of a hike looping around Hofsjökull. Among the foreseen challenges are 17 crossings of named rivers (and many smaller ones). All rivers I need to cross have 4WD ...
51
votes
7answers
15k views

How to safely rescue someone drowning as an untrained bystander?

Motivated by a comment thread in this question here. As far as I know the consensus basically boils down to: It is very hard rescuing someone who is drowning. It can be very dangerous rescuing a ...
9
votes
1answer
257 views

Selling older gear - is it likely to be safe?

My late husband died 7 years ago & I still have his gear. I'm not comfortable leading (and I've lost half my shoulder tendons anyway), so I won't use it. I think the ropes, etriers, etc should ...
59
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10answers
22k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
289 views

Is it OK to keep a dyneema sling under constant tension (slackline)?

The comment on a previous question I posted here: I am not sure whether this biner was aluminum, but it could be, so a warning (please excuse me if the biner is steel): Aluminum biners are not ...
10
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4answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
216 views

Can you clean new bolt holes with water?

When drilling new holes for expansion anchor bolts, you need to clean the dust out of the hole before you hammer in the bolt. People will accomplish this by either using a blow tube or a bellows and a ...
11
votes
2answers
598 views

No testing for temperature-dependent effects on climbing ropes?

I'm reading the UIAA standard for climbing ropes, which is supplemented by the EN 892 norm (which I can't provide a link to, since this would be piracy). I'm sort of confused about the fact that, even ...
11
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5answers
3k views

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 ...
11
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2answers
297 views

Can overexertion cause AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)?

Recently I did a trek in the Himalayan region and one of the group members was affected by what we believed was AMS at around 4600m. We had to evacuate the person from there and get to around 4100m ...
18
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3answers
2k views

Does shaving help prevent tick bites?

This one is based on an actual experience - One summer I went on a trail through waist-high grass with a friend. We were both wearing shorts, but my friend had hairy legs, while mine were shaved. ...
6
votes
1answer
346 views

Is there a safer way to use a flare in a wooded area?

This answer on another question says that there is a risk of causing a forest fire when using a flare. Is there a recommended/safer way to use flares that lessens this risk, in the event that someone ...
12
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5answers
4k views

What are the risks of stream crossing with bare feet?

Sometimes while backpacking you have to cross streams, and from a weight point of view, it would be nicer to just cross in your bare feet, instead of bringing an extra pair of shoes along. These ...
20
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the risk of starting a forest or wildland fire with a flare gun?

When firing a flare gun in the air, what is the risk of accidentally starting a forest or wildland fire? Does the flare go out completely before it touches the ground?
28
votes
5answers
10k views

Modern equivalent of a flare gun?

This summer I will be taking a rather inherently dangerous multi-day hike by myself. I was considering buying a flare gun since I will be out of cellular range unless there is something more modern ...
12
votes
3answers
737 views

What should you do if your crampons start balling up?

Balling up is when the snow starts sticking to the bottom of your crampons to the point that the crampon points are no longer touching the surface. As one can imagine this is a rather dangerous ...
4
votes
2answers
31k views

Why use a blue porch light? [closed]

I have noticed a few people are using blue light bulbs for the front porch and/or walk way. The light is not very bright and does not cast what I would call sufficient lighting. On some streets half ...
5
votes
2answers
496 views

What is the minimum amount of gear that would allow one to ascend a climbing rope?

If you had a climbing rope anchored above you on either a sheer cliff or a really steep incline, what is the minimum amount of gear that a person would need to ascend the rope without assistance from ...
3
votes
1answer
267 views

How fast does suspension trauma happen?

In this question I asked about suspension trauma and why it's effects come to be. Apparently the main reason is reduced blood flow/ circulation. This is due to blood vessels being constrained/pressed ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Can I fall out of my sit harness?

In sport and trad climbing, a sit harness is widely used (except for children). However, I wondered if there is the possibility to fall out of it? One situation where I could see this happen is in ...
10
votes
1answer
670 views

Differences between shock absorber and via ferrata set

What are the differences between a shock absorber as it is used in professional rope access and a via ferrata set? As I found out that in my country shock absorbers have to fulfill EN 355 and via ...
12
votes
1answer
519 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 ...
21
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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 ...
6
votes
2answers
318 views

How should helmets be placed on the ground?

Imagine you are sitting around ready to begin; you have your gear spread out, and your helmets are off. How should you place your helmet so that it doesn't wander off?
29
votes
3answers
8k views

What should one do when climbing if someone above you yells ROCK?

Hearing someone above you yell ROCK when climbing is a scary experience because that means that an object (usually a rock) is plummeting down to the route towards you. Hopefully you are wearing your ...
54
votes
10answers
19k views

What are the dangers of walking barefoot in towns/cities?

I've walked barefoot practically all summer for every summer I can remember. However now that I'm a teenager my Mum is saying I need to wear shoes because of glass, needles, worms and diseases. I have ...
5
votes
4answers
474 views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
854 views

What should go in the hiking/backpacking plan that you leave with someone else? [duplicate]

It is good practice on a hiking or backpacking trip to leave a written plan behind with someone. Then if you fail to return by your estimated date Search and Rescue will have an idea of where to look ...
11
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4answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
432 views

Sign in/Sign out sheets for dangerous passages while hiking!

Many years ago, while hiking with a friend, we came across a particular point in the trail which was rather dangerous. If one slipped, the fall would surely be fatal. What struck me most is the fact ...
10
votes
3answers
15k views

How do you get bear spray off skin and or gear?

Let's say that you are out backpacking and a bear spray canister accidentally goes off and gets on your skin or in your eyes or onto your clothing? It can't be a pleasant experience as it is meant to ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

How dangerous are wild horses?

In some parts of the western United States there are herds of wild horses. How dangerous could a herd be to a human on foot while hiking or backpacking? If they are dangerous how should a human ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How effective or ineffective are tactical flashlights on bears? [duplicate]

I've seen ads touting tactical flashlights, and at least one such flashlight was claimed to be capable of "blind[ing] a bear". I wanted a reality check, and not specifically whether a sufficiently ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
859 views

Ski setup for skijoring

I was born on ski's and switched to snowboarding and now on the return to skiing. However I intend to do both downhill and skijoring in the next season (skiing with my dogs) I am having trouble ...
27
votes
14answers
8k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
263 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
607 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.
33
votes
9answers
20k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

Should I use one or two trekking poles?

I am preparing for a Himalayan Expedition which requires trekking pole.Trekking altitude 16000 ft and melting snow. I haven't used any aluminium/carbon fiber poles yet. I usually find a wooden hiking ...
14
votes
2answers
398 views

What safety equipment should I carry for sea-touring by kayak?

What equipment should I carry in case of emergency on a coastal kayaking trip? I normally do short trips (1 week or less) around the islands of northwest Scotland. I tend to travel solo (sometimes no ...
6
votes
3answers
235 views

Under what circumstances would I wish to extend the handle length of a snow saw?

A snow saw is useful for building snow shelters and for avalanche danger testing. Some models are said to be easily attached to ski/trek poles in order to increase the handle length. Under what ...
11
votes
3answers
330 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 ...
12
votes
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 ...
55
votes
7answers
10k views

Is it dangerous to rope together on an ascent of hard packed ice?

This image has recently come under considerable criticism on social media for dangerous mountaineering practices. The location is unknown as the qualified mountain guide observer wanted to maintain ...

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