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129 votes
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What's wrong with swimming out far?

There don't seem to be any detailed statistics, but common-sense will tell you that open-water swimming away from the shore is not risk-free. The hazards can be split into four categories: 1 - Wind ...
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94 votes
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Should I run if I see wild dogs?

Wild dogs can indeed be dangerous, and packs can be extremely dangerous. You do not want to take on a pack of dogs if you can at all avoid it, and running is often a particularly bad idea. I suggest ...
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90 votes
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Can I safely eat grass?

Just because there are grasses (Poaceae) with edible and nutritious parts does not mean that this applies to all grasses. That is pretty common-place. A quick Google search give you all the info you ...
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58 votes
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How does water depth affect swimming safety? Why do signs, especially in the UK, say "DANGER: deep water"?

Well, there's the obvious issue that the bottom may shelve very steeply, so that non-swimmers trying to paddle may drown. Beyond that, I think there's a specific point and a more general point. ...
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57 votes
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How far would you need to fall for it to be fatal?

It's not the fall that gets you, it's the sudden stop at the end. The most detailed data on the effects of large accelerations (or equivalently, decelerations) on the human body comes from research ...
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  • 2,240
57 votes

Knife as defense against stray dogs

It can be used for sure, but there are better options. A knife would require you to be very close to the dog, whilst a stick or pepper spray would provide much greater distance between you and the ...
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51 votes

How can I take keys with me while swimming?

Lots of swim/board shorts come with key keepers in the pockets. Chances are you may even have one in the swimwear you own. It's simply a length of elastic cord stitched into your pocket. If you don't ...
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50 votes

What's wrong with swimming out far?

The other answers already told you about exhaustion, I can tell you firsthand how dangerous cramps could be. I was swimming together with my former girlfriend in Ustka, Poland on the coast of the ...
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49 votes

Knife as defense against stray dogs

Your primary objective when defending yourself against stray dogs is not to kill the dog, but to avoid getting bitten make the dog leave you alone If you fight a dog with a knife, even if you manage ...
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  • 589
47 votes

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

If the snow was hard packed enough that a self arrest is not possible, and there are no intermediate anchors, then if one person falls, they can take the whole team down with them. If that was the ...
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47 votes

Can a kid ever dive too deep while snorkeling and breath-hold diving?

This is not a freediving answer!!! Freediving is not for 8-yr old kids. This is also not a scuba diving answer, this answer is about about casual, low-intensity, snorkeling, mostly on the surface, ...
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46 votes
Accepted

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

My family walks around barefoot all the time, not just in the summer. We used to live in Santa Clara County, California, but now live in Humboldt County of the same state. We've never had any ...
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45 votes

How far would you need to fall for it to be fatal?

There is no specific distance from which a person can fall and have it said they will survive or not survive. There are simply too many variables that will dominate the factor of "distance." In 1971,...
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45 votes

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

I don't backpack, but I canoe camp and I used to do it with small children. We took a watch and used it for three things: we need to have all the work done and food eaten by the time it's dark, say ...
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44 votes

Should I run if I see wild dogs?

To the question of whether you should run from a pack of dogs that may be aggressive, the answer is an unqualified NO!. As to what you should do, the answer is a bit more complicated. In the vast ...
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44 votes
Accepted

Is belaying a lead more difficult than a top roped climber

Yes. No question. With top-roping, the belayer can be spacing-out quite a bit and still do their job with a minimum of risk. With one hand on the belay tool, and another sensing the tension of the ...
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44 votes
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How do people drown while wearing a life jacket?

Life jackets do not make one drownproof, just increase your odds significantly. Our data also show that over 80% of drowning victims were NOT wearing life jackets when found. We know from other ...
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43 votes
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How to treat a severe allergic reaction while hiking?

Anybody who has severe allergies which could lead to anaphylaxic shock should carry appropriate medication with them. Typically, that would consist of: An antihistamine (e.g. benadryll) An ...
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  • 8,620
43 votes

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

While doing the West Coast Trail in Vancouver, Canada I had to buy a watch for the first time. I had a table with the tides for that week and I needed the watch to tell if high tide was going to get ...
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42 votes
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How much sea water can I safely drink?

How much sea water can I safely drink? = None If you drink sea water, how much fresh water do you need to drink to off set the sea water you drank? = 2.8 units of distilled water per 1 unit of sea ...
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41 votes

How do people drown while wearing a life jacket?

In the specific case you mention, both the NY Post and Deutsche Welle say that the cause of death is still being investigated, and both of them point out the low water temperature (the victims were ...
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  • 3,692
39 votes

How can I take keys with me while swimming?

There are a few ways to do this in addition to the previous answer. If you have a car with a hitch: This is what we use when we SCUBA dive. Since you are only swimming and presumably not going to ...
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  • 511
38 votes

How would you help a snapping turtle cross the road?

Several years ago, I helped two men move a large turtle about 1,000 feet to a stream. They had been driving by and saw the turtle on the road, and saw me in my driveway. I got a hand-truck and a ...
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  • 22.4k
38 votes

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

How you react will depend on the situation. If you're climbing and you hear someone yell "ROCK" then your default reaction should be to hug the rock, brace for impact, and hope the rock misses you, ...
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38 votes
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At what angle should an ice screw be screwed into the ice?

All of the resources that I can find say that it should be done with the screw tip pointing up and the hanger below with up to a twenty-degree angle from horizontal. Contrary to what you ...
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37 votes
Accepted

Overtreated a backpacking outfit with permethrin. Safe to wear?

I am almost certain that you will be safe. Permethrin is not particularly toxic to humans, and exposures of notably higher concentrations than what you used for the clothing treatment have been found ...
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  • 2,390
36 votes

How can I tell if I am dehydrated or have low electrolytes (need salt, etc.)?

First, you won't need to make this observation if you routinely drink when you stop to rest, and if you eat something at least slightly salty whenever you snack (if your snacks include jerky or salted ...
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