Safety for women walkers
Safety for women
The mountains of Britain have become an increasingly popular leisure arena for a variety of mountain activities. In 1993, climbing was the fastest growing sport in the United Kingdom, with participation in mountaineering activities increasing by 494% in the past 25 years. This increase in participation levels in mountain activities has obvious effects on associated incident rates.
Scary reading eh? Think I will just pack away my walking kit and spend the rest of my life knitting - I think not!
For example, the number of incidents between 1964 and 1994 has increased by 510% (an overall total of 4106 incidents), and the number of fatalities increasing by 255% - an overall loss of 688.' (Author, 1996)
Scary reading eh? Think I will just pack away my walking kit and spend the rest of my life knitting - I think not! Outdoor activities can be hazardous, but how can we manage them? Here are some handy hints:
Walkers are obsessed with the weather and rightly so! One minute you can be skipping along in shorts and t-shirts and the next minute you'll need to be covered from top to toe in waterproofs, hat and gloves. Learn to understand the weather, and she shall be your friend, ignore her and she will come down heavily upon you.
Walkers are obsessed with the weather and rightly so!
Choose a route that suits your abilities, one where you can enjoy the scenery and company. The book market is saturated with walking guides if you are in need of some inspiration.
Equipment and clothing
This will greatly depend on where and what you are doing. Put on a 'Dr Doom' hat and think about everything that could possibly go wrong, and assume it does. When I look back at my early days on the hills I used to carry everything but the kitchen sink in my 80-litre rucksack. I am glad to say that, over the years, I have refined my equipment list to a more realistic amount. Don't forget about food and drink, and emergency items you might want to carry either individually or as a team.
Maps - a new language
Learn to navigate
Maps are like a new language - when you see them for the first time they make no sense whatsoever, but the more you look and gather the information, the clearer they become until they read like a book. Learn to read the map and use the compass and you shall never get lost!
Let someone know your plans for the day so in the event of something happening they will know you are overdue. Ladies, plan carefully, pay attention and use your common sense. These are all the essential ingredients you need for a great day out!