Information for people planning on climbing, walking and exploring Scotland's wilderness.
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Scotland is a popular area for climbers and walkers.
However, the weather can change quickly. A sunny day's hillwalking or climbing can become dangerous.
You should take precautions before heading into the wilderness. This will ensure you won't need an emergency search and rescue.
Here are a few things you should take to make your trip safer:
- Waterproof jacket and trousers
- Warm trousers and a fleece top
- Gloves and a hat
- Gaiters (a fabric guard that covers the gap between trousers and shoes)
- Good, sturdy walking boots
- Head torch
- Paper map in a weatherproof case (make sure it is the correct one and protect it from the weather)
- Bivvy Bag (waterproof outer bag that goes round a sleeping bag and mat)
- Spare food
- Small first aid kit
- Mobile phone.
It is important that everyone in your party is fit for the walk. Make sure that someone is able to use a map and compass in mist, darkness and severe weather.
Tell someone your route and when you expect to return. Do this by either leaving details with a family member or by filling out a Climbers Location and Identity Verification form.
- Go without being able to navigate
- Rely on rescue (take full responsibility for your own safety)
- Assume the route is over once you get to the top (half of all accidents happen in descent)
- Be inflexible about objectives
- Be complacent about the weather
- Rely on mobile phones
- Leave your mobile switched on (you may require all of its battery power if you need rescued)
- Dial 999 at the first hint of trouble (if not necessary, call the police non-emergency number 101)
- Rely on Global Positioning Satellite devices (they are only an aid).
- Scottish Water for inland water safety advice
- Royal National Lifeboat Institution for information about sea sports and coastline safety
- Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents for general advice about water safety
- Mountain Weather Information Service
- Wind Finder
- Sport Scotland Avalanche Information Service
- Met Office.