Hill skills and planningJon Monks
Whatever your planned activity for the day or multiple days, be honest with yourself about your hill skills and planning for both you and your fellow walkers, it’s all about having the knowledge, fitness, and ability.
We all like to kid ourselves that we are fitter, or indeed more capable than we are. It pays to be honest with yourself and why not look at improving your planning and hill skills.
Plan before you go and carry the correct gear – hill skills and planning
Carry a map and compass and know how to use them. Compliment these with your Outdoor GPS unit or GPS watch. And don’t forget those spare batteries for your GPS unit and backup power pack for your phone and watch.
Every year thousands of people end up calling for help because they are lost and/or tired. Nowadays paper maps may seem unnecessary, but they are light to carry and their batteries don’t run out of charge!
For simple guides to map reading and using a compass check out the GPS Training online resource (free course)
Plan for the least able member of your group – hill skills and planning
For example, if reaching the summit is going to be a challenge then switch to a lower level walk that you can all enjoy and achieve comfortably.
If you are out with friends please do respect them. You are not going out to prove your ability you are going out to build friendships so don’t push them beyond their capabilities.
Know your limits – hill skills and planning
If the weather, ground conditions or route are beyond your capabilities or equipment, consider your options. It’s OK to choose a more suitable route or to turn back. Remember to allow enough time for the least able member of your group.
Plan your escape routes, how will you get off the planned route at x, y and z if the weather suddenly changes.
If you’re doing something new or going somewhere new…
Why not go with a qualified guide or instructor, think about signing up for some training?
It costs nothing to plan and think about your adventure ahead before you set off and gaining further training is fun, like-minded people wanting to gain new skills.