5 tips to keep you safe while mountaineering

Mountain climbing, also known as mountaineering or Alpinism for the well skilled, is a fun and popular hobby of adventure […]

Mountain climbing, also known as mountaineering or Alpinism for the well skilled, is a fun and popular hobby of adventure seekers around the world, however, it comes with it’s dangers.

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Photo by Kevin Muncie / CC BY

Mountain climbing is a great way to stay fit, push yourself and take in some incredible sights, but it is important to remember to look after yourself while doing so as it is an extremely high risk activity.

You need to make sure that you stay safe and comfortable whilst partaking in mountain climbing, as you face many dangers that other outdoors activities don’t. We have created a mountain climbing checklist of the basic steps you need to keep yourself safe.

Eat a good breakfast.
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this counts especially when you have a big day or activity ahead of you. If you are planning on going mountain climbing you will need a substantial meal such as oatmeal to provide you with energy for your journey.
Remember to bring along food to keep your energy up throughout the day and plenty of water to keep hydrated.
Self-heating meals are a great idea for when you’re spending long periods of time in the mountains. They can be prepared anywhere as they do not need a heat source, and come in a variety of meal and dessert options.

Don’t disappear
We’ve read the book, seen the film, and watched it on the news; it is easy to get lost while mountain climbing so always make sure you tell someone where you’re going and when you think you should be back by so they can call rescuers if needs be. If you have a route to follow leave a copy with family or friends so they know exactly where to find you.
If you are unfamiliar with the area always bring a long a compass, map and guidebook. Don’t rely on electronic devices to find your way, as their GPS signal could be lost through the mountains, so make sure you know how to use your compass!

Be prepared for the weather
Always check the weather the night before and the morning of a mountain climb, as harsh conditions could be life threatening while you’re on your hike. If the predicted weather is threatening, always call off your plans and re-arrange for another day. The mountains will still be there tomorrow.
Dress according to the weather report, but always bring extra clothing that will keep you dry and warm just in case.
The higher you climb the closer you are to the sun, so sun protection is essential to your survival and health while at high altitudes. Sunburn not only hurts at the time, but can also have long term health effects, so even if it’s raining out, remember to wear and top up your sun screen throughout the day.

Accidents happen
No matter how careful you are, accidents will happen, so it’s vital to be prepared. A basic first aid kit should be enough to help treat small wounds or injuries.
Make sure you are familiar with the items in your first aid kit and know how to use them, as this will save time in medical emergencies.
If there is room, pack a roll of duct tape. Duct tape is brilliant for repairing minor problems such as a leak in your water bottle to a hole in your tent, so it’s always good to keep a roll handy when you are out climbing.

Light up
A source of light is an essential piece of equipment to mountaineers. Even if you don’t plan on being out after dark there are a number of factors that could affect your plans, especially in the winter months when daylight is limited to a few hours.
A light source will not only help you out when the sun goes in, but can also help signal rescue crews if you find yourself lost at any point.

If you are a keen mountain climber, or are trying it for the first time, you will need the correct, essential gear. Openhouse supply a wide range of personal equipment suitable for outdoor adventure seekers; click here to view their full range.

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