Mountain Rescue Safety Brief - Packing for a day in the mountains
As the days get longer, the temperatures rise and the weather improves, there are fewer obvious hazards associated with being in the outdoors. But it is still worth bearing a few key things in mind and planning for the worst.
Mike Margeson is Vice Chairman of MREW and Team Leader of Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team in Cumbria. His advice on what to keep in your pack comes from years of experience: "As rescuers, our Team packs are always at the ready and there are a few things that I wouldn't be without.
"As well as wet weather clothing and warm hat and gloves (even in summer), I'd keep a spare fleece or similar too. If you can keep moving, you can usually keep warm but, if you or a friend has a sprained ankle, you'll be shocked at how quickly you cool down once you're stationary. As any experienced walker knows, the temperatures seem a lot colder on top of a hill and especially if you're in the rain or wind."
"I also keep a big old orange plastic survival bag in the base of my sack, which can be a lifesaver. I also carry a torch throughout the year. You never know when you're going to be delayed and you'll be in big trouble without one."
"And, finally, make sure that you have a map and compass and know how to use them. Visibility can change as quickly as the weather and even the best GPS device can run out of batteries!"