Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mountain Safety Tips

safety tip poster
Recent accident in a mountain is another reminder that mountain sports are inherently dangerous. While we, outdoors people especially mountaineers accept the risk and danger- it pays to occasionally refresh ourselves with safety knowledge and build good safety habits. Last year, my colleagues in UP Mountaineers Search & Rescue came up with this poster and distributed them in various hiking places – and I’m hoping that somehow this will help remind adventurers or educate beginners regarding mountain safety.
Note - some of these tips apply to TRAVEL.

1. Plan ahead. This covers location, team structure, gears & supplies, logistic needs and if the objective (or condition) is dangerous – a good communication and rescue-aid plan.

2. Get basic trainings on wilderness or outdoor activity that you’re into, and get first aid training as well. If bad things happen – you should know what to do. Don’t rely on an expert team mate all the time. I’ve met many hikers in the past who didn’t go through basic outdoor courses (ex. BMCs -basic mountaineering courses, in our local setting) – and although this is ok for simple hikes and if with experts constantly around, I see that this is a gamble for some. You don’t want to be another accident waiting to happen…

3. Get sufficiently fit for your planned objective. You don’t have to be super fit, just fit enough and not be a team’s liability. Or worse, be accident prone (when one is very tired, s/he becomes careless). ;)

4. Have someone know where you’re going. Not just ‘where’, but your planned itinerary. This will aid rescuers in the event that you get lost (and gone missing). And don’t skip the ‘log book’ if you’re passing by a check point or sign-up point.

5. Get a guide if you don’t know the place, and/or especially if you’re not good in navigation. It’s not just about navigation, it’s about extra company and extra help if or when an unexpected bad thing happened.

6. Avoid travelling solo especially in dangerous terrain. Experienced outdoor adventurers or mountaineers do this, and although I’ve done this many times - I don’t recommend this especially for beginners or at risk individuals in a risky place. If you do this – you should fully accept the risk and its possible consequences.

7. Weather and other factors should be looked at. Check with the local authorities on safety conditions like armed group movement in the vicinity or recent clashes between government forces and militant or criminal groups. Mountains will always be there, don’t hesitate to postpone a trip if the condition is no longer ideal – you can always go back.

8. Always have a good presence of mind. This may be difficult if one is very exhausted (hence #3 above). Reacting properly to a crisis is driven by good presence of mind, and ideally – a good knowledge on medic and rescue.

9. Carry enough survival gears and supplies. And a good enough knowledge and training/experience on how to actually survive.

10. Know your limits. While it’s good to push your limit every now and then, not knowing when to stop is dangerous and sometimes fatal. Know your body, know your limits.

Related Posts:
Prepare for Disasters


Bachwitz said...

Very informative. Hope you dont mind Sir Romy if I repost this on my blog. thanks.

Garduch said...

yes please do, you may create your own poster version with the same content if you wish... :)