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21st February 2020, by
Lake District Mountain Rescue
21st February 2020

Lake District Mountain Rescue

Safety on the mountains.

If you are on a Lake District mountain injured or come across someone unable to walk and in need of help when hiking on the Lake District fells, dial 999 or 112, and ask for ‘Cumbria Police’ then ‘Mountain Rescue’.

This is the advice of the Lake District Search And Mountain Rescue Association (LDSAMRA).

The LDSAMRA are 12 teams of highly-trained volunteers who are there to help injured walkers safely off the mountains of the Lake District. That’s 450 volunteers at our service covering England’s highest peaks, including the notorious Scafell Pike.

Be Adventure Smart

But, whilst this is what they are known for, the LDSAMRA folk actually spend a huge amount of their time and energy off the mountains, focused on preventing injuries and accidents. They run training courses, events and all sorts of marketing and fundraisers to educate on how to walk the stunning Lake District mountains safely, so you can ‘make your good day better’, in their words. The LDSA have recently landed a spot on the new Lake District monopoly game and they regularly run training days.

Come Rain or Shine

Let’s admit it, the Lakes is an awesome place to try new adventures, but uncontrollable factors can throw curveballs. And walking when you feel ‘lost’ is no fun at all, for the navigator or the rest of the party. Features of the landscape may have changed over time, making you lose your bearings. The weather may suddenly change so you can’t actually see your route ahead.

However, armed with confidence in your navigator’s map reading skills as well as the correct kit and supplies, and it turns into an adventure. You’ll be back to your cosy holiday cottage, feet up and planning your next exploration before you know it.

Tips for Safe Mountain Walking

So, let’s take a look at making sure we tackle the Lake District’s awesome challenges and come home safe and sound, ready to plan our next one. Here are some tips:

 

  1. Never be too proud to turn back
  2. Wear a watch
    These days many of us rely on mobile phones, but if batteries run out you will be grateful for a watch
  3. Be prepared for all-seasons-in-one-day
    “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” Alfred Wainwright. Think of the elements, sun, rain, wind, and proof yourself against these. Your feet need tread to grip and support for your ankles. An ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries when walking on the rocky terrain of the Lake District fells.
  4. Keep Hydrated
    Even in cool weather you can dehydrate so pack food and water
  5. Make sure you can read a map and have one with you
    Do not rely on GPS devices for navigation as there are many no signal spots in the Lake District. If something does happen, you will need to give an accurate location.
  6. Carry a whistle
    The drill for raising alarm is to blow 6 short blasts, wait 1 minute and repeat
  7. Take a torch
    Not only is this useful for if you get lost and take longer than expected to return home under darkness, but it is also a good way of getting attention by flashing it on and off repeatedly, as you would the whistle

Before you set out exploring the hidden gems of the Lake District, think do we have the right gear, what’s the weather got in store and does someone in our walking party have appropriate navigation skills for the day ahead? And don’t forget to stock your cottage with delicious treats ready for your return after a successful day on the fells.

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