A Conversation for Preparing to Walk in the Highlands of Scotland
Bluto Started conversation May 10, 2003
Mostly good however there are a few points that need raisong -
(1)You may be 'miles from anywhere' in Scotland but if you leave your planned itinerary with your hotel or hostel, they will call out the mountain rescue if you don't return.
(2) Being eaten alive via the anus by Crows and Foxes is about as likely as being abducted by aliens!
(3) There aren't many bogs in Scotland - and evenif you got stuck in mud, the mountain rescue should find you before your stiff frozen carcass has to be dug out by dogs!
(4) The main route up Ben Nevis is very easy and lot's of unfit people do it every year. A lot turn back though!
(5) I'm not sure flares are legal in Britain but they are a bit of overkill for Scotland. The Mountain Rescue can usually locate someone with in a couple of hours if they know their itinerary. Make sure you take a whistle instead
(6) Only really serous one - Alcohol on a mountain walk is a no no. It dehydrates for a start and the effects of alcohol on a dehydrated person and subsequent errors of judgement can be fatal. Save the alcohol for the pub when you've finished.
sprout Posted May 13, 2003
Yes I would agree with what is expressed above (esp alchol ) and would also add a word of caution about carrying too much equipment.
If your pack is too heavy and you are too slow, this can become a big problem, even on the shorter distances of the Scottish hills.
Crescent Posted May 13, 2003
Cheers for reading Thanks for the feedback, I suppose I had better answer as well as I am able First of all this isn't really written for an experienced hillwalker/rockclimber - you already know what works for you, who am I to tell you what to do. This is written for someone who finds themselves in Scotland and decides to go for a walk - to give them a few pointers etc.
1) Leaving your itinery with your hostel is a good idea, but you may not be staying at an organised place. You may just be out camping and so may actually be miles and miles from anywhere.
2) Being eaten alive by foxes and crows is unlikely, but I have seen them do it to lambs and deer, and if they saw a disabled person it could be feasible for them to come in once the person is too weak to fend them off. As the paragraph itself says it is a bit over the top, but it is in there to make people realise that they can be holding their lives in their hands when setting out.
3) There is over 800000 hectares of bogland in Scotland, it makes up over 10% of the surface area. That is a significant percentage (7th highest in the world). There are a lot of bogs in Scotland, and though the chance of dying in one is exceedingly slim it is a possibility.
4) 'Unfit' is such a subjective term. The path up Ben Nevis is 'easy' but if you are unable to walk five miles on a flat then you are not going to be able to climb Ben Nevis.
5) Flares are legal in the UK -at least Scotland anyhoo - (or were the last time I checked - a few years now) and they may be overkill, until you are trapped out at night. The whistle, flashlight etc. were mentioned in the paragraph above the flares one. Again if you have told people where you are going and how then the Mountain Rescue will almost certainly find you no bother, but if you lose your way and are out at night then flares could be helpful, and for the 100g that the wee ones weigh, why not.
6) Alcohol - now this is one that is probably hardest to defend Getting drunk on the hill is a bad, bad, bad idea. However, that said, every walking group I have been with has taken hipflasks. Indeed most of them were drinking the night before too. I wouldn't if rock climbing was involved - that would be crazy - but for hillwalking, on a well travelled hill, with a swig an hour or so, no bother Of course if you cannot stop at a swig then probably best not to take it
Again thank you for reading, and for the feedback. Safe travels Until later....
BCNU - Crescent
Bluto Posted May 13, 2003
Even if you are camping in Scotland you should tell someone where you are going. Even at the most remotest you can be - your never more than 10 miles from a road in most of Scotland - and the mobile coverage is so much better now.
By Bogs, i was taking your meaning as swamps - Like the old quicksands from the b movies. It is possible to get stuck in bogs (there was a fatality in Wales this winter) but I'd hazard it's highly unlikely you could get THAT stuck!
As for Crows and foxes - I doubt they would approach even a badly injured human and would probably wait until you'd died before tucking in! Most fatalities in Scotland occur through falls and getting lost in bad weather and falling - Exposure is not common.
Still a good article!
Crescent Posted May 14, 2003
Cheers Mobile coverage is getting a lot better and I would probably agree with the <10 miles to a road for most of Scotland (except the NW and far NE coast). I had never heard of a modern person getting trapped in a bog before, and there we are someone dying in one this winter! Poor bugger. Falls and exposure don't bring the same visceral images to mind as having your eyeballs pecked out, or being eaten alive Well, with that lovely sentance I will slink away (it is hometime - woohoo ) Until later....
BCNU - Crescent
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