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Hill Safety
Hill Safety Country Code Callander Walks Trossachs Walks Harder Walks Walks Database

Introduction

If you are staying at Lenymede Bed and Breakfast and have any doubts about going on the hills please ask us. It would be foolish to undertake the ascent of any of the higher peaks in this area without possessing good map and navigation skills, being properly dressed for the location and conditions, and without checking the relevant weather forecasts.

Walking safely in the hills and mountains requires knowledge and skill in the following three areas:

The following notes are intended to encourage you to follow up on these topics.

Contents

Map Reading and Navigation

Hill and mountain safety requires the ability to read and understand maps; you cannot safely walk on the hills without basic map reading skills. Suitable maps in the UK include:

You should develop the following map reading skills, which will also require the ability to use a compass correctly:

With such skills you will be able to plan safe routes within the capabilities of your party, navigate the route safely, and be able to identify features of interest in the surrounding landscape.

The following Ordnance Survey Landranger Maps cover the areas for the walks described here:

Clothing

The purpose of clothing is to keep you warm and dry. You should have clothing suitable to the time of year and the weather conditions; essentially you should be protected from wind and precipitation, either mist, cloud, rain or snow. Outer clothing needs to be windproof and waterproof. It should also prevent loss of the body's natural heat and be able to cope with the problem perspiration. The amount and type of clothing will depend upon the conditions expected.

Because the blood circulates close to the skin at the extremities, i.e. the feet, hands and head, these areas lose heat very quickly in cold conditions and especially in windy conditions. Be sure to have suitable gloves and headgear

Footwear

Boots

Footwear should keep the feet dry, but its main purpose is to protect the foot and support the ankle. Gaiters may be worn in wet or snowy conditions to help keep the feet and lower legs dry. Boots serve three purposes; they protect the foot and ankle form bruising and damage, they provide grip, and they keep the foot warm and dry. The most important thing about the boot is that it should be comfortable.

Socks

An important factor in foot comfort are the socks you wear; these days there are a wide range of socks offering special properties however if you are not allergic to wool then that is probably the best material.

Gaiters

If there is heavy or deep snow, heavy rain or boggy ground moisture will inevitably seep down your boots so to avoid this wear gaiters.

Accessories

The two most important accessories for the Scottish hills in winter are crampons and ice axe. Every winter there are deaths many of them resulting from slips on icy ground or snow. If you are going to walk in winter have these items and know how to use them.

Weather and Weather Forecasts

Having good information about the weather conditions to be expected on your walk is essential to to your safety, allowing you to decide on the appropriateness of the chosen route and to be properly clothed and equipped.

Mountain weather forecasts including Scottish Highland snow and avalanche conditions are available by telephone and fax-back service covers the whole of the UK:


AREA TELEPHONE FAX
West Highlands - Trossachs, Argyll, Lochaber, NW Highlands & Skye 0891-500-441 0336-500-441
East Highlands - Grampians East of Rannoch Moor & Cairngorms 0891-500-442 0336-500-442

Additionally, Regional five-day forecasts and road information for Scotland are available from:

TELEPHONE FAX
0336-400-900 (dial 8 on connection) 0336-400-418

Further information is available on the Meteorological Office web site.

Accidents and First Aid

Obviously, the first step is to avoid accidents, but if the worst comes to the worst, a basic knowledge of first aid together with a first aid kit may prove invaluable, if not life saving. A first aid kit should:

In any event a basic first aid course should be undertaken, it could save a life.

Check List

Finally, before embarking on a walk run through a check list such as the one suggested below, giving due consideration to the type of walk you are intending to take, the time of year, and the prevailing weather:

Books to Read

The following list of books is not intended to be extensive, but to give you an entry point into the subjects mentioned.

Further Walking Information

For details of a range of walks look at the following pages;

For further walking information go to the Hill Safety Page, the Walk List Page or the Walking Links Page Pages.

Further Activities Information

For further activities information go to the Main Activities, the Activity Holiday Page or Cycling, Fishing, or Golfing Pages.

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