Advice from Mountain Rescue to keep you safe in the outdoors.
Mountain rescue are run by volunteers and is free to the
casualty. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, should anyone
require assistance on the hills.
Although everyone hopes they won’t encounter an emergency, it is imperative you are prepared just in case. To contact mountain rescue, you must ring 999 or 112, ask for police and then ask for mountain rescue. You will need to provide your location – a grid reference is useful. Remember, do not change position until contacted by mountain rescue.
"In an emergency, ring 999 or 112, ask for police and then ask for mountain rescue."
Call out's to Mountain Rescue have inceased dramatically since 2014
In the news
It was recently in the news that a man climbed Snowdon in superman boxers for charity, and developed hypothermia as a result. Although most people would be wearing more clothing, it still highlights the importance of keeping warm and safe when on the hills to prevent unnecessary callouts. Mountain rescue have put together
some helpful leaflets to keep you safe, but we’ve
summarised the key points below.
Preparations for your adventure
Carefully plan your route, considering the season and terrain, and factor in when it will go dark. Make sure you leave details of this route somewhere reliable, and notify someone if your plans change. Be prepared and bring all essentials to keep you safe in an emergency, below is a list of essentials that mountain rescue suggest will keep you safe:
- A fully charged phone - portable chargers are cheap and light, and will provide extra power should you need it. You can also use your phone for GPS purposes (although don’t rely on it!).
- A map and compass – a pen is also useful should you need it to make notes.
- Suitable clothing and footwear – layers are useful as you can add and remove them depending on how the temperature changes. Wear supportive shoes with a treaded sole. Hat and gloves are important – even in summer!
- Ice axe and crampons – these are vital if you are climbing mountains in winter, especially as the temperature drops the higher up you go.
- A survival bag – have a look here for the pros and cons of different survival packs.
- Torch and spare batteries - even if you don't expect to go out after dark
- Food and drink – bring more water than you think you will need, to avoid dehydration. As well as eating well before you set off, remember to bring high energy snacks with you for the journey.
- Whistle – to signal for help.
- First aid kit – It’s important to make sure you know the basic principles of first aid, and can put someone in the recovery position should you need to.
- Helmet – If you're doing scrambling or climbing, then it’s good to protect your head from falling debris, or from injury if you fall.
"Leave your route details with your accomodation, or the local police if it's not possible to leave with friends or family"
On the hill
During your route, keep an eye on the weather and be prepared to turn back if the conditions turn against you. It’s best to end a journey early than end up in a dangerous situation. If the weather is cold, keep checking everyone for signs of hypothermia. Finally, remember to keep your group together, and let the slowest or weakest person determine the pace.
Look for any obvious dangers, as well as things like:
- Unstable boulders
- Ice and steep snow slopes
- Steep, wet, or frozen grass
- Fast moving water
Also, remember not to exceed the experience or abilities of your party – towards the end of a long day everyone will be tired and lack concentration, so are more at risk of danger.
Be prepared. Call 999 or 112 in an emergency, ask for police then Mountain Rescue. Remember, situations can escalate quickly, so although Mountain Rescue want to minimise unneccessary callouts, if you're unsure Mountain Rescue can assess the severity of the situation if you contact them.
For more information on Mountain Rescue, have a look at their website.