Questions tagged [health]

Questions related to staying healthy or dealing with health issues during outdoor activities. Answers given here are not intended as a replacement for professional medical advice. Please do not use this tag to ask for specific medical advice. A Dr should always be consulted to confirm any advice given

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2answers
87 views

Is it possible to dive having perforation in ears

I have a perforation in my left ear. Is it okay to do scuba diving? If possible will there be any limitations? It's a perforation in left outer ear. Small in size. If scuba diving is not possible with ...
4
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1answer
152 views

What is the difference between SPF and UPF, if any?

I read on https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sun_protective_clothing&oldid=930941768: A relatively new rating designation for sun protective textiles and clothing is UPF (Ultraviolet ...
37
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16answers
7k views

Other than good shoes and a stick, what are some ways to preserve your knees on long hikes?

My knees aren’t in the best shape, one in particular. I had a rather devastating 13 hour up-and-down hike on day two of a three day hike, and the last day my knees were hurting every step. What are ...
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1answer
84 views

Post-hike Care and Pain Relief for Blisters and Hot Spots

There are many, many articles and web sites that will tell you what to do if you develop a hot spot or blister while on the trail, and need to perform some field treatment to allow you to get back in ...
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2answers
357 views

How should a backpack be carried to keep from injuring the spine?

For example, which recommendations should backpackers follow while carrying heavy weights, and should backpack straps be tightened or loosened?
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3answers
169 views

Knee injuries prevention using knee protectors

Knee is basically one of the main joints that provides you the ability to walk. There are several ways to prevent or ease the knee pain (see Knee pain when descending a mountain), but I would like to ...
31
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2answers
7k views

Is it possible to 'live off the sea'

I've recently become aware of the american 'survivalist' or 'prepper' phenomenon. The general idea seems to be that 'something bad' (exactly what seems to vary) is going to happen, civilization will ...
7
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1answer
2k views

How to find ticks in your hair?

This TGO answer recommends putting possibly tick-infested clothing into a dedicated dryer, where they will be killed by desiccation. The source used in the answer, the Appalachian Mountain Club, ...
5
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1answer
195 views

What diseases can be transmitted through skin contact with a dead rabbit?

About a month ago, my youngest son found a dead rabbit in the woods while camping and brought me to the spot to show it. The rabbit looked like it had just died and didn't show any obvious cause of ...
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1answer
1k views

What are the chances to catch rodent-transmitted illnesses while hiking?

Small warning: This question comes from a germophobe point of view, so please keep this in mind while giving an answer. I love hiking, but I'm worried of what kind of germs (read virus, bacteria and ...
10
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1answer
936 views

Guidelines to reduce risk of exposure to, or infection from Naegleria fowleri? (brain-eating amoeba)

Deaths from the "brain eating amoeba" Naegleria fowleri are fairly rare but each is highlighted in the press, as headlines containing brain eating beget clicks. While it's not yet understood why this ...
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2answers
982 views

How to improvise a pair of tweezers in the wild?

From slivers caused by chopping wood, thorns from plants, or bee stings there have been times when out in the woods when a pair of tweezers would come in handy and none where on hand. Are there are ...
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2answers
324 views

Internal (unseen) damage from a 40ft climbing fall [closed]

I am aware that the statistics regarding a 40ft climbing fall, which result in "decking-out" are not favorable. I survived such a fall only recently. Major injuries seem to have only been a broken &...
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1answer
66 views

Is it possible get a rash from poison ivy but not poison oak?

Both poison ivy and poison oak can cause a red rash on the skin due to an allergic reaction to the chemical urushiol in their oily sap. I've heard people say that they are allergic to either one or ...
9
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2answers
255 views

What is the impact/risks of high altitude walking on individuals suffering from High Blood Pressure?

Setting aside the benefits of cardiocavascular exercise in general, what are the risks to hikers/climbers with high blood pressure at various altitudes? Is there an upper ceilling/threshold that ...
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2answers
217 views

How to recover from muscle pain during the midst of a multi-day hiking?

When I go on for a multi-day hiking ( say, 7 or 8 days), my leg muscle will get painful in the middle of the hiking ( say, at the 4th day). Usually the muscle pain will take 5 days to heal, but I ...
4
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1answer
156 views

Is it okay for a duck/splay footed individual to rock climb?

If an individual walks with a pronounced duck-footed (splayed) gait, and is actively trying to correct this, is there any harm for the individual to begin rock climbing. I feel like a lot of edging ...
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4answers
4k views

Can I use ear plugs while ascending or descending a mountain?

Can I use ear plugs to block out noise or will my ears need to pop because of the altitude? I don’t want to get sick by using the ear plugs.
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1answer
90 views

Gymming v.s Outdoor sports, which is better? [closed]

I have been in a dilemma, whether to opt for gymming or to go out to play some sports in my free time. Both seem to be potential components to improve your health. But which one must one prefer over ...
12
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5answers
663 views

Is it possible to acclimatize to a cold weather in a short time?

On some of my Himalayan treks I've seen people who wear shorts or wear single layer of clothing and shiver due to the cold weather (most of these people live in a tropical climate). When I've asked ...
8
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1answer
299 views

Should one deliberately eat more and put on weight before going on long treks?

Recently I saw a podcast of Alex Honnold with Rich Roll where Alex speaks about deliberately eating up and gaining weight before going on an Antarctic expedition (I'm assuming this is because of the ...
5
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1answer
359 views

Using Camphor (Icy Hot) in the winter for warmth

Some products like 'Icy Hot' contain a substance called 'Camphor' that can make your skin feel warm when applied. It is cold out today (1°F or -17°C). I have been making short trips out to ...
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1answer
182 views

Is acute mountain sickness repeatable?

Several month ago me and my climbing partner were climbing a mountain over 7000m. In first few day my climbing partner got AMS. It was high-altitude pulmonary edema (he felt very bad, he had strong ...
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4answers
6k views

Could a tick make several test bites in a circle?

I got my first tick bite recently, on the top of my foot. The tick was latched on. There was a circle of small dots around the tick and a slightly bigger red area close by. They were all there from ...
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12answers
39k views

Should overweight people ever climb?

I used to be a regular climber, and unfortunately I have put on some serious weight over the last 4 years, and I have not been able to climb as much as would have loved to. While, I am still working ...
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2answers
288 views

How long until I develop immunity to stomach flu / travelers' disease?

I was in Nepal two years ago and got the stomach flu. Last time I was only in Kathmandu and Pokhara and didn't do any trekking, so it was not critical, although it was very unpleasant. Two years ...
14
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3answers
4k views

Hiking and climbing in smoky areas

This Fall, there are a lot of large fires burning in the pacific northwest of the US and the air quality on many trails and mountains is poor as a result. This makes hiking and climbing unpleasant, ...
8
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2answers
2k views

How can I care for a wound that will be immersed in water?

I got a fairly bad cut on my leg, not quite bad enough for stitches but will probably leave a scar. I have a camping trip planned this weekend at a lake where we will go swimming and kayaking. I ...
58
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6answers
11k views

How should I prepare my body for prolonged exposure to heat?

Today I hiked for about 4 hours, and I ended up with sun stroke (terrible headache, trembling etc.). The heat was moderate (about 30°C, 86°F in shade), and the way was half in forest. I had a baseball ...
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. ...
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3answers
1k views

How can I make sure there are no more ticks around?

I'm back from outdoors and while lying down in bed I noticed a tiny tiny insect walking around on my clothes. While trying to take a picture of it to see if it is a tick, it just disappeared and I ...
12
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1answer
7k views

Why did people rub snow on frozen feet?

If you read old books from cold areas, it's not infrequent to run across the idea of rubbing snow on one's feet when they got frozen or frostbitten. However, subjectively, it seems to me that this ...
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0answers
43 views

SPF Equivalence [duplicate]

With SPF 30 sunscreen, I am usually protected for an entire day and wont be getting more than a little darker. Now, I am getting low on SPF 30 cream but I have a large supply of SPF 15. Can I just use ...
4
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1answer
240 views

What are the pros and cons of greased feet in boots?

I was just reading this answer at Can you keep your feet warm in ski boots on a very cold day? Yes, add fat to your feet. I don't mean gain weight. Just slather it on before putting socks on. ...
9
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2answers
219 views

Easiest way to preserve a fishing catch - with cooking or pickling

I'm looking for the easiest way to cook or preserve fish at the river or lakeside with as minimal preparation or cooking involved so they can be eaten later. Mainly trout, pike or walleye. Ideally I ...
3
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0answers
94 views

How can I purify non-drinkable water that may have had organisms in it? [duplicate]

I am currently living in the Galápagos Islands. They have no drinking tap water, and the water they provide is not recommended to drink. I got an acute gastroenteritis from it. Here they told me it is ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Vaseline or Teflon grease near potable water?

I want to install a deck plate in the top of the fresh water tank of my camp trailer (RV) to allow for cleaning the inside at the start of the season. The product I am looking at recommends "...
9
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3answers
3k views

Why would fatigue cause fever?

I've already experienced this twice. The first time was a year ago, on a hiking camp: on the first day I recklessly went out with one of the best groups there, and while I didn't lag behind, this was ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Does acid rain somehow directly harm human beings?

Hiking in the rain often left me with thoughts about acid rain. I wonder if I'm able to recognize it and if yes, how strong the recognizable symptoms are. Are there any direct (forest dieback etc. ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Is linen a good or bad choice for underwear when (hitch)hiking in hot and/or tropical weather?

I've recently learned that linen underwear is great against fungal infections that can be contracted in hot sweaty conditions. But elsewhere I had read that the best fabrics against sweaty or ...
12
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1answer
210 views

What kind of creme could Ueli Steck be possibly using and why?

Watching this youtube-video I asked myself if Ueli Steck is using some kind of regeneration creme. Most likely nobody will know for sure from the footage but I would be really interested what tricks ...
8
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4answers
558 views

What to consider when shopping for prescription sunglasses?

I wear bifocal, multi-focus prescription eye glasses. The top is for long range, and the bottoms allow me to tilt my head a bit to bring nearby objects into focus. Finding sunglasses that clip-on, ...
11
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1answer
267 views

Can you pre-identify the risk of severe Altitude sickness?

This BBC news article Mount Everest: Altitude sickness claims third death in four days caught my attention. From what I understand the best cure for Altitude sickness is to get lower, fast. This is ...
41
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4answers
6k views

How to treat a severe allergic reaction while hiking?

Suppose you are out hiking, many hours from the trail head and someone has a severe allergic reaction (ie, anaphylactic shock or Anaphylaxis). In this case, what is the best course of treatment to ...
3
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1answer
134 views

Is a 1960's flask safe to use every day?

I've got a 1960's flask. Can it still be used safely? It's in very good condition with no rust or flaking at all. I've cleaned it well and it seems to be OK.
3
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1answer
226 views

Most common infectious diseases acquired in the wilderness?

People traveling in the wilderness can acquire infectious diseases. These can be caused by organisms such bacteria, viruses, protozoans, or fungi. They can be transmitted through drinking contaminated ...
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5answers
2k views

How do you avoid Norovirus on the AT?

Every year on the AT (Appalachian trail) Norovirus sweeps through like wildfire and the problem only increases as trail density increases. What are the best methods for minimizing risk of contracting ...
9
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1answer
347 views

When do you need compensation training for bouldering?

Not only, but mainly while bouldering you are likely to push hard moves and strain your body onesided. As a consequence you can pain your muscles, ribbons or tendons. But... How do I know if the ache ...
9
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4answers
6k views

What respirator should I get for urbex?

Sometimes while hiking/trekking/whatever I practice urbex (in random buildings, factories, farms, tunnels, the usual), and I'm aware of the risks to my health caused by toxic gas, asbestos, lead and ...