- Be aware of your skill level and choose routes accordingly.
- Check the weather forecast before you go.
- Ensure you have adequate clothing, food and equipment for the route and weather conditions.
- Consider leaving a route card with a family member or accommodation provider. If you do leave a route card always remember to report on your return.
- Carry a map and compass and know how to use them. Learn map reading and compass skills. Do not rely on a GPS as your main navigational tool. Use a GPS only as a back up to your navigation skills.
- Do not rely on mobile phones. There are still many areas in the Scottish hills where reception is poor or unavailable.
- Identify escape routes and danger areas e.g. watercourses, ridges.
- Learn self help techniques.
- Attend a Navigation, Winter Skills, First Aid, Avalanche Awareness or Self Help Course to help become more aware and self sufficient in the hills. See the Mountaineering Council of Scotland for more advice.
If you are involved in a mountain incident it is important to stay calm and make sound decisions. The following is important:
- Ensure your own safety and the safety of any others in your group.
- If someone is injured remember ABC: Airway Breathing Circulation of the casualty
- Treat any injuries as best as you can, e.g. stop any external bleeding with direct pressure
- Provide shelter and comfort for the casualty and other members of your group.
- If possible get out of exposed areas. Use spare clothing to keep warm. Isolate the casualty from the ground, use a rucksack or ropes.
To summon help:
Call 999 and ask for Police, Mountain Rescue.
Have the following information to hand:
- Detailed location of the incident including a 6 figure Grid Reference number
- A description of the location
- A description of the incident
- Time incident occurred
- Number of casualties
- Name, age & sex of casualty
- Injuries found, suspected and treated
- Mechanism of injury
- Number in party
- Your mobile telephone number
- The casualties mobile telephone no
The international rescue signals are as follows:
- 6 blasts of a whistle or torch in quick succession. Repeat after 1 min interval.
- Red Flare
- 3 flashes of a whistle or torch in quick succession. Repeat after 1 min interval.
- White flare
- Save our Souls - Three short, 3 long, 3 short flashes or blasts in quick succession. Repeat after 1 min
BE AWARE OF THE LIMITATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY.
USE A GPS AS A BACK-UP TO BASIC NAVIGATION SKILLS.