How to stay accessible when away in the great outdoors

4 02 2013

If you like to make the most of the countryside and enjoy getting out and about in forests, mountains and wilderness, then remembering to stay safe has to be one of your top priorities. Taking precautions and making sure that you remain safe is a great idea and the only sensible option.

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This image via Flickr creative commons from bobcat123

Even if you are planning to enjoy a day out in the British great outdoors as opposed to the Blue Ridge Mountains then it still pays to make sure there is someone who knows where you are going. It is important to always check the weather before venturing out, but also remember that the weather in the UK can change very quickly and what at one moment is a bright sunny day can turn into a cold, misty and dangerous environment in a matter of moments. If something does go wrong then you are always going to be in a much better position if someone knows where you have gone. Staying in contact, staying accessible, is always worth remembering.

Many of us have come to rely on mobile phones these days and are used to having access 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While this is great when you’re in a city or some other urban environment, it is easy to forget that mobile reception is not consistent across the UK and so it pays to think about the other ways that you can stay in touch. Getting to the top of a mountain and discovering that the valleys on either side are blocking the signal from antennas is not great when you have no other way of communicating with the outside world.

One option to consider is investing in a set of walkie talkies that will allow you to remain in contact with a base or, alternatively, with other walkers within your group who are out at the same time. Long-range walkie talkies or personal mobile radios allow people to communicate across an area of several kilometres and can provide a means of communication in inhospitable terrain that traditional mobile phones are not able to cope with. Also remember that dedicated outdoor radios are always going to be tougher and more durable than your average smartphone and, even if they do become damaged, are likely to cost far less to replace.

Another important thing to remember is the European international emergency number – 112. Regardless of what country you are in across Europe you will be able to call this number free of charge from any landline or mobile phone. What’s more, 112 is recognised in other countries around the world, including north America where it redirects to 911 and Australia where it redirects to 000.

Even if you are unable to take a communications device with you, it always pays to let someone else know where you are going. That might be a member of your family, but it could just as easily be the person who runs the accommodation where you’re staying on holiday. If you’ve booked accommodation through a vacation rentals firm then perhaps consider visiting a nearby pub where staff will be able to raise the alarm should you fail to return after a certain period of time. It might seem like you’re being over cautious but safety should always come first.

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One response

5 02 2013
the Severe climber

Thanks – really useful and interesting.

I use walkie-talkies when rock climbing because of the problems I’ve had in the past communicating with my climbing partner when there is a strong wind or we climb out of sight of each other. I find them really useful.

Best wishes

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