This week of my challenge saw me getting ready for Winter.
With snow slowly appearing on the tops of Scotland’s hills and mountains, I started to gather my cold weather gear.
I have previously written about the importance of layering up and making sure your kit is ready for when you need it the most (http://www.walkfife.com/week-nine-seans-4000-mile-walking-challenge/) but I have not really spoken about the need to have effective safety equipment.
I thought that in this post I would outline my typical safety kit.
Safety Whistle – A whistle is a simple and effective way for signalling for help. The emergency distress signal is recognised internationally as being 6 blasts repeated with an interval of one minute between each series of 6 blasts. If your blasts are heard by a search party, you should hear three blasts in reply. Keep repeating the whistle blasts so the search team can locate your position. The Walk Fife team all use and recommend the Acme 636 Tornado – http://www.walkfife.com/acme-636-tornado-whistle-review/
Head Torch & Spare Batteries – A torch is an essential piece of safety equipment and a head torch is even better. The main advantage that a headlamp has over a handheld torch is simply that is allows you to keep you hands free for either reading your map or perhaps allowing you to use walking poles unhindered. I personal favourite is the Tikkina from Petzl – http://www.walkfife.com/petzl-tikkina-headlamp-review/
Survival Bag – An inexpensive durable plastic survival bag which will protect you from the elements in a emergency situation and can also be used to mark your position. Everyone should carry one of these.
Foil Blanket – Foil blankets help to retain body heat in survival and emergency situations and again these can be used to mark your position.
Storm Shelter – If the weather does turn really bad and you are with a few other people, a storm shelter can you provide a warm, dry and safe place of refuge. You can even use in the warmer months to shelter from wind, rain and midges while you are having your lunch. Storm shelters come in a wide array of shapes and sizes and we reviewed one a little while ago on the Walk Fife website – http://www.walkfife.com/lomo-emergency-shelter-review/
Map & Compass – I am always talking about how important good maps and compasses are for the walker in our podcast and why it is important to learn to use them both correctly. You can see some that we have reviewed by visiting – http://www.walkfife.com/category/navigation/
First Aid Kit – I take a small but comprehensive first aid kit with me whenever I head out on the trails. While this is an important piece of kit it is more important to know how to use it correctly. First Aid courses are something that we at Walk Fife encourage people to attend. The knowledge and skills gained through these courses could save someones life and even perhaps your own.
Week 40 is going to be a little different for me as I test and review some equipment that I haven’t used before. After years of walking I have built up my equipment around my personal tastes and needs so testing something new on the hills is going to be an interesting experience.
If you have any questions about this challenge or anything Walk Fife related, then please drop me a email at email@example.com or direct message me through my twitter account @SDMakin.
Catch up with you again next week.