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
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3answers
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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 ...
19
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3answers
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Backup prusik for Abseiling: Where does it go?

When abseiling from an anchor during rock climbing, I like to use a backup prusik as a potential lifesaver in case I screw up. However, I have heard different advice on where to put it, both for ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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7answers
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Best rope for a rope swing

A few years ago I, er… a friend of mine, put up a rope swing in a nearby park. It's in a large eucalyptus, about 25 metres high, and is much loved by many local kids – and parents. Originaly I just ...
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2answers
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Swimming while in the high seas

When sailing, can the passengers of the yacht safely go swimming while in the open seas? That is, when some miles away from the coast-line.
19
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5answers
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Bear spray vs. rifles against polar bears?

In Svalbard, the arctic archipelago administrated by Norway, anyone leaving Longyearbyen is required to carry a rifle for their own safey. For grizzly bears, Wikivoyage recommends that Bear repellent ...
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3answers
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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
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2answers
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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). ...
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3answers
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What style crampon should I use for my hiking boots and how do I adjust them?

I've been using microspikes on my hiking boots and find that they aren't up to the challenge of hiking up snowy peaks. I use snowshoes but find some mountains would be better served by crampons and ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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5answers
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How to take care of an acrophobic person while hiking?

There is some trouble. One of my close friends has acrophobia (fear of heights). But he wants to go for a trek for what it offers than just the mesmerizing view from the top. How can I take care of ...
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4answers
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How to detect a crevasse on a glacier

When you're walking in a roped party over a glacier, how can the leader detect crevasses? Sometimes it's possible to walk existing tracks, but even then it's possible to have a crevasse fall. What ...
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4answers
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Is it safe to be in a vehicle during lightning/thunderstorms?

Recently a friend and I were offroading in the local mountains and while ascending a trail a storm blew in. We were out in the open near the top of the mountain when lightning started. We weren't sure ...
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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 ...
18
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2answers
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What formation to best survive a flood?

I just heard of an incident where a group of people were caught unprepared by a flood. It is known as the "Bulacan State University Field Trip", Looking at the images online, I couldn't help but ...
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3answers
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Is it a bad idea to dry clothes by the fire?

Is there too great a chance of accidentally setting your only pair of undies on fire? What about putting the undies on a hot rock? Or would the rock explode ...
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3answers
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Sailing with a child

Inspired by this question on taking an infant sailing, as it is quite different when they can move, I thought I'd ask the same question in respect of a toddler or child. What essential safety ...
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How safe is a chest harness when used without a sit harness?

How safe is it to use a chest harness without a sit harness? I ask this question because of an experience I had while on holiday. A couple of years ago I was in China and hiked/climbed HuaShan (see ...
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5answers
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How do locals (short of drilling) determine that lake ice is safe for skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, skiing?

This question is not a duplicate of either (1) Ice skating on a frozen lake -- how thick should the ice be?, which only asks how thick the ice should be; or (2) How to determine the thickness of ice?,...
18
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2answers
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Why are tourniquets not recommended as a first aid for a snakebite?

Why are tying the tourniquets or restricting bandages not recommended or in fact to be avoided to treat a snakebite before getting the proper medical attention? Closely related questions: Am I able ...
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3answers
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What should a rescue team be equipped with?

The last weekend when I was coming back home from a trek on Sunday noon, I got a news about this accident that took place. The place was on the way, so instead of choosing to rest at home, I chose to ...
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2answers
494 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 ...
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2answers
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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?
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2answers
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What are the first aid precautions to be taken in case of a snake bite?

I'll be trekking through a dense monsoon forest which has a sizable population of king cobras and vipers. I'll be at least 5 hours away by walk to the nearest human settlement and another 1-2 hours by ...
18
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2answers
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For how long afterwards do we benefit from acclimatization?

Consider we are trying to pre-acclimate for an expedition in Himalaya to shorten the actual timespan on site. As an example, I am expecting a benefit if I go in the Alps for several days above 4000m ...
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3answers
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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. ...
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3answers
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Does whiskey help keep you warm in winter?

It is a rare day that I head out into the winter wilds without a flask of sumpt'n-sumpt'n in my pocket. A nip helps one to relax, can mildly embolden timid skiers in my group, and gives one that fiery ...
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5answers
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Is clipping onto the rungs of a via ferrata bad practice?

I did my first via ferrata this weekend and noticed there were often long vertical distances separating the cable anchors. At times this length was around 10m. This meant that a fall before reaching ...
17
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4answers
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What are the pros and cons of ice axe leashes?

My ice ax came with a leash already on it and I have never had any problems with it, but almost all of the other ice axes that I have seen in use lacked one. One obvious pro is in case of dropping ...
17
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4answers
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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 ...
17
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3answers
662 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 ...
17
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2answers
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What should one do when get a cramp while swimming?

I'm not a really good swimmer. While swimming casually, when I get a cramp in my thighs or toes, it definitely makes me panic a bit and hampers my swimming in a bad way. What should I be doing if I ...
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3answers
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How do you safely cut wood with a knife?

Several people have talked about having single edge knife so that you can cut down small trees. What is the proper way to cut or carve wood with a knife?
17
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1answer
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Can I use SteriGENE broad spectrum disinfectant on abseil rope?

I work in ecologically sensitive areas in NZ and my ropes routinely get soiled. I have been asked by the Dept of Conservation to clean and disinfect my ropes to minimise the chances of accidentally ...
17
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1answer
623 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, ...
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4answers
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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 ...
16
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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 ...
16
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6answers
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Should a carabiner ever be clipped to the tie-in loops and should anything other than a carabiner ever attach to the belay loop?

I'm a beginning climber and am trying to resolve conflicting instruction related to tying into my harness. During a recent outing a friend (an experienced climber, but not an instructor) was showing ...
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4answers
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What kind of personal flotation devices should surfers use? Or does the surfboard provide that function?

I read this tragic story today, "Several Surfers Are Found Dead in the Netherlands" which raised some questions about surfing and personal flotation devices (PFDs). Some relevant quotes from the ...
16
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4answers
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Technique for lead solo climbing with rope

In the past I saw climbers climb alone on multi-pitch routes only by themselves (but not free solo). What's a correct technique to do this? I know how to do it with two ropes, rope ascenders and on ...
16
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5answers
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If you are canoeing on a lake when whitecaps start happening, what is the best direction to get off the lake?

If you are canoeing on a lake and the wind suddenly starts blowing to the point where there are whitecaps, what is the best direction to head to get off the lake? Would it be the shortest way back to ...
16
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3answers
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Is bear spray effective against other animals?

Is bear spray (pepper spray specially formulated to be effective against bear attacks) effective against other animals, especially mountain lions or wolves? Or is there something in it specifically ...
16
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2answers
2k views

How to prepare for and survive wildfire?

In some areas, such as the western US, wildfires are common during the summer dry season. "Fire safety" advice usually centers on not starting a wildfire, e.g. extinguishing or avoiding campfires. ...
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2answers
6k views

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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3answers
2k views

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?
16
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2answers
349 views

Reference request: books on self-rescue while climbing

Can people recommend books or online resources on self-rescue for roped climbing? As a beginning trad leader, I think I should have a basic understanding of topics like how to escape a belay and how ...
16
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2answers
585 views

Cutting snow steps on slopes

In many of the mountaineering expedition books that I've read, there are references to cutting of snow steps on slopes. What is the advantage of cutting snow steps? Why not use crampons and do a ...
16
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2answers
468 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 ...
16
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2answers
1k views

What is the best breathing holes strategy for a quinzee?

Since it's the season coming up for many (and snow seems to be in the game this year in eastern NA at least). What would be the best/optimal strategy with regards to breathing holes for a quinzee (...
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1answer
1k views

Staying safe from hunters while hiking in France

This question is specific to France, as different countries have different hunting cultures and regulations. There have been a number of highly publicized accidents in France this year (1, 2, 3). ...

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