So it’s a Tuesday afternoon and we’re sat in the oﬃce discussing how to get people to take some simple actions to ensure they have a safe and comfortable day in the outdoors for the national safety campaign, AdventureSmart.UK. We have the country’s leading experts sat around the table so identifying the actions is simple. The trouble is that safety is dull and generally people who try to tell people how to be safe are extremely dull. No one regales their friends with stories of how safe they were at the weekend, but you might hear about a few ‘near misses’ or ‘dices with death’. So how do we get people’s attention?
I resorted to Google to see how they tackle this elsewhere. In Canada they have a head start on us because the threat of being eaten by a cougar or attacked by a grizzly tends to make people prick up their ears, however, to be honest a lot of their safety info is dull too. So maybe I should face the facts, give up on trying to ﬁnd the excitement in safety and just make sure we shout our messages as loudly and clearly as possible. So here goes!
If you are planning an adventure then make sure you do plan your adventure. Ask yourself three simple questions before you set oﬀ…
1. Do I have the right gear? If that has prompted you to ask ‘what is the right gear’ then you need help! Kit doesn’t need to be expensive but does need to keep you warm and dry and, in the case of boots, needs to ﬁt well; there is nothing like a blister to ruin a good day’s walking! Mud & Routes Essential Hill Walking Kit Checklist gives a quick run-down on core kit and optional extras. If your adventure involves heading out on the water then a well ﬁtted and well maintained buoyancy aid is essential.
2. Do I know what the weather will be like? Check the latest weather and ground conditions before you set oﬀ – take advice, only attempt a route if the conditions are within you and your companions’ capabilities. If you are heading for the hills then check the forecast for the highest point of your walk and be ﬂexible; there’s no shame in changing your plans, choosing a diﬀerent route or turning back if the forecast doesn’t look too clever or if the weather closes in unexpectedly. If you are heading for the coast don’t get cut oﬀ by the tides – check the tide times.
3. Do I have the knowledge, skills, ﬁtness for the day? It pays to be honest, I know I’m not as ﬁt or clever as I’d like to think and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Plan for the least able member of your group; if reaching the summit is going to be a challenge then switch to a lower level walk that you can all enjoy and achieve comfortably. Mud & Routes have lots of outdoor skills and tips as well as routes for all abilities. If you have read this and scored three out of three on the questions, oﬀ you go, have a fantastic day! If you now have a niggling doubt about your abilities, don’t be put oﬀ. If you’re doing something new or going somewhere new why not go with a qualiﬁed guide/ instructor or sign up for some training. There are lots of enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides and instructors listed on www.visitwales.com/activity-search/ or check out www.mountain-training.org for training opportunities. They can take your adventure to a whole new level, but in a good way!
Be Adventure Smart: Make your good day better.
From the weather forecast and sunset times to tide times and lots more practical advice, AdventureSmart.UK (launching spring 2019) will give you the answers you need to be kitted up and in the know to be safe!