Is it `Dangerous’?
I doubt I will ever forget the words of the neighbor-boy whenever he would come out and cross the street to see what I was unloading from my rig after a morning hunt. Deliberately and safely I would offload my firearm and related equipment, and then go back to get any table fare, if I had been so blessed, to take on into the house. On such hunts I had sometimes encountered moose, bear, and perhaps had at least a few times been under the watchful eye of cougar. I had crossed streams in freezing cold, and got into thick, dark tangles. To someone not started young in the outdoors, and not brought up around firearms, it was not surprising to hear him ask, with all sincerity, “Is it dangerous?” … to which I would calmly reply, “not as dangerous as the [five mile] drive out there.”
Outdoor activities are as dangerous, or safe, as we make them. I take the `dangers’ of outdoor activities (physical injury, getting lost, hypothermia, etc.) seriously, plan on how to avoid or mitigate, and then go out and enjoy. I have been in some situations where enjoyment, and adventure, turned very serious, and I had to take careful steps to make sure the situations didn’t get worse, or even fatal, but overall, the outdoors need not be more `dangerous’ than the drive to work, or the long drive of a vacation. I will say two things, however, that can make the outdoors quite dangerous. One: alcohol. Alcohol reduces physical coordination, and, perhaps worse, good judgement. And two: (kind of like it) hypothermia. With hypothermia comes poor judgement and depression. Poor judgement in the outdoors, and/or mixed with firearms, can take a normally safe situation, and turn it bad.
That all said, consider these 100 Rules of the Outdoors - Things to Think About … here: