Mountain safety advice as the days get shorter

In 2023, Mountain Rescue Awareness Day falls on Sunday 29 October. It coincides, as it has for several years, with the clocks going back and the shift from British Summer Time (BST) to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). It seems as good a time as any to think about safety on the hills as the days get shorter.

MR advice would always be to carry a torch in your bag throughout the year – you never know when you might need it. As more people rely on their mobile phones for photography and for navigation, it’s best to avoid adding light to that list. The priority should be to keep some battery life for emergency communications.

All in all, carrying an LED head torch is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your hill kit. This year, ahead of MR Awareness Day, we’ve been going into this in more detail by sharing three What Would Mountain Rescue Do? graphics on social media.

What would MR do? 1: Carry a head torch

Simple enough as they’re light, readily available and can be quite inexpensive. LED versions are bright and use least battery power. You can even get some that are directly rechargeable through a USB connector.

MR volunteers tend to use head torches so that they can keep their hands free for the task.

What would MR do? 2: Some carry as many as three torches (maybe even more!)

That’s one in a jacket pocket or rucksack top so that it’s handy. Then one as a spare in case batteries run out on the first one. And, finally, one to be used by a casualty or member of a found group if they don’t have their own. That third one means that they can decend more safely too.

What would MR do? 3: Choose a head torch with a red filter option

These are good for signalling but their main advantage is that you can use them without destroying your night vision. That’s especially important if you’re navigating from a paper map and compass.

If you’ve not already seen the full graphics, please have a look for them on the MREW channels.

Then, if you can, share them to your own friends and followers. The more we can spread these messages to those who are less experienced in the outdoors, the more people can be safer on their adventures. #BeAdventureSmart – and make a good day even better!

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