Hill walking safety
When taking part in any hill walking activities you should consider the following points for your own safety and for the safety of other members in your group.
Always take the basic minimum equipment with you. For a full equipment list click here.
Leave details of your route with somebody
If you are going out on your own or even as a group it is always a good idea to leave a rough plan of your proposed route, any diversions you may take and the time that you expect to return. Always let the person know that you have arrived back safely to avoid the mountain rescue being called out unnecessarily.
Learn to use a map and compass correctly
Poor navigation is the cause of many incidents and accidents in the hills.
Have basic first aid knowledge
If something happens to go wrong and somebody gets injured or you come across somebody who is injured and needs help, weather you are close to home or some distance away it is always a good idea to know the basics of first aid
Check the local weather forecast
The hills and mountains make thier own weather pattern and weather conditions can change in a matter of minutes. Always check the local weather forecast for your intended walking area and also seek advice from locals or outdoor shops in the area.
Know the expertise and abilities of yourself and your group
Plan your routes according to the expertise and abilities of yourself, your group and the expected conditions. dont be afraid to turn back in the hills or mountains as there will always be another day. If possible, it is a good idea to have an escape route incase somebody gets injured or the weather turns bad. Also take into consideration the daylight hours and allow time for breaks.
Be aware of your surroundings
Always keep your eyes on the surroundings, the members of your group and the weather. Also keep looking at your map to pinpoint features and keep an idea of where you are.
Take extra care during the ascent
During the descent you tend to relax and can become oblivious to your surroundings, this is when the majority of accidents happen. So be sure to take care.
Never venture onto snow or ice in the mountains and hills without carrying an ice axe and crampons and not knowing how to use them.
Never venture out onto the hills or mountains in snowy or icy conditions without carrying crampons and an ice axe and without having the knowledge of how to use them.
Know the emergency procedures (For safety reasons you should know how to call out a mountain rescue team)
Mobile Phone: If you are in the UK dial 999 and ask for the police giving them details of where you are, the nature of the problem, your name(s) and they will then contact the mountain rescue team.
The Whistle is used for the International Mountain Distress Signal which is six 6 good blasts on the whistle followed by minute silence then repeated. The answering call is 3 good blasts followed by a minute silence. Also both signals can also be made using other methods such as flashing a torch, shouting help, waving a bright object.
Disclaimer - Climbing, hill Walking, Mountaineering, and other outdoor activities can be extremely dangerous and can result in physical injury, permanent disability or even death. If participating in these activities you should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for your own involvement and Walking Boustead can not be held responsible. Always seek advice and information.
BMC Hill Skills
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Ramblers Hill Walking Safety
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