Safety on the hills - guidance for members
All walkers are expected to have the following basic equipment before going onto the hills. Remember as we climb the temperature drops and wind increases.
- Boots with good ankle support, firm sole and good tread
- Warm windproof clothing e.g. fleece/jumper plus spare layer; no jeans
- Waterproof jacket and overtrousers
- Thermal inner layer if possible
- Hat and gloves
- Map compass (know how to use them)
- Survival bag or blanket
- Torch, whistle (emergency six blasts whistle /flashes torch)
- Food and drink for the day, plus some extra for emergencies
- Basic first aid, plasters etc.
- Mobile phone - make sure it is adequately charged
Hiking poles can also be helpful, particularly for maintaining balance when walking downhill and when crossing burns.
In summer it is also advisable to take a sun hat and sunscreen. Full length trousers and gaiters over boots can help to prevent tick bites, which can cause Lyme disease.
Additional equipment may be required for winter walking on snow and ice such as light weight crampons, micro-spikes or good quality ice grippers (although our club does not participate in high level winter walking which would require an ice axe and 12 point crampons, sheet ice is encountered sometimes along river banks and on low level tracks).
Only attempt walks which are within your capability. When walking with the group stay within sight of those co-ordinating the walk whenever possible; try not to spread out as a group. If there is a problem inform someone as soon as possible so as the rest of the group will not continue too far ahead and action can be taken.
Of course don't forget to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and respect the wishes of landowners.
For emergencies on the hill dial 999 or 112 and ask for police. When contacted provide location of the incident (grid reference), number of people in the party, any injuries.
For more detailed information about safety in the hills see: www.mcofs.org.uk/mountain-safety.asp
Please also note that dogs must be kept on a short lead throughout any club walk.