Practice hiking and mountain with security
We will never tire of emphasizing safety when carrying out any type of activity, because in the vast majority of accidents that occur in the practice of hiking or in the mountains is the human factor responsible for them. Of course there is no such thing as zero risk, especially in a changing natural environment such as that in which this type of activity takes place, but if we analyse the reasons behind most of the mountain and rambling accidents that occurred last year in Spain, the percentage attributable to fortuitous events unrelated to the person involved in the accident is quite small.
For this reason and to prevent accidents, it is essential to contemplate a series of actions, advice and precautions that will surely prevent our day from turning into a nightmare.
It is very important that you bear in mind that following these guidelines does not exempt you from having an accident, there is always a risk factor that we must assume, but they will help you to prevent or minimize it.
- Planning, it is vital to have the necessary information of the route and its environment, look for it in maps, books, web, forums, etc..
- Meteorology, find out about weather forecasts; as our safety on the ground can change considerably depending on weather conditions.
- The natural environment, it is always better to have the most accurate information about the environment in which you are going to move. If you still believe that your safety may be compromised, do not hesitate to hire a professional guide.
- Leave it said where you are going, always a person who is not part of the group performing the activity must know all the details of the activity, route, scheduled times, alternatives, etc..
- It is better not to go alone, in case of an accident being accompanied can make the difference both in the time of helping the injured person and in the request for help. If you go alone everything is much more complicated.
- Don't overestimate yourself, choosing an activity according to your technical and physical possibilities is vital to prevent accidents, overestimating them can be a bad advisor. Besides, we can always count on a qualified guide if we want to carry out some more demanding activity.
- Plan your schedule, have a return point marked in case the activity is longer than expected, give us a sufficient margin of time, do not start the activity late, it is of vital importance. The group is as fast as the slowest of its members.
- Equip yourself properly. The same route throughout the year will surely require different material to carry it out safely and even simply to be able to travel it, this is another very important section.
- First aid, it is not a bad idea to have basic knowledge that can help us to know how to act in case of an accident.
- Physical condition, our physical preparation will undoubtedly allow us to face a journey not only with greater or lesser effort, but also with greater solvency, since fatigue can cause a lack of attention and concentration.
- Psychological factor, this is one of the points that is usually less taken into account but on the contrary it has much more importance than we think. The fear, the stress that can generate a person to cross a particular stretch, in addition to physically exhausted, significantly increases the chances of having an accident.
- Training, no one is born learned, and learning from mistakes in the mountains is not a good policy when you have the possibility of doing all kinds of courses taught by experts. Orientation, progression in different terrains, ropes, nivology, etc...
- Take out insurance... federal or private, it is highly recommended as the costs that can be incurred in the event of an accident or rescue can be high.
- Always carry a minimum amount of equipment in your backpack, whatever the difficulty of the route we are going to do and whatever we have done. We should always carry in our backpack, front, waterproof, thermal blanket, first aid kit, etc..
- Phone and radio station are good partners, always carry a charged battery and keep in mind that it does not last the same with poor coverage and adverse weather conditions. It is advisable to bring another means of communication in case of need, for this we have several options, such as emergency beacons, a walki talkie tuned to Channel 7.7 (Mountain Radio Channel), or if we have the corresponding license a station connected to the REMER network (146.175 Mhzs) which is used by most mountain shelters.
These, as we have said before, are some general tips and guidelines that will help us to improve our safety when hiking or mountaineering.