While we were on holiday, one item on the local news caught my eye. The Mountain Rescue Teams in the Lake District have been called out more times this year than last and the Keswick team (where coincidentally we were staying) had 70% more call outs than last year.
The main reason for this is people going into the hills and not being prepared for hill walking. From experience, I’ve seen people trying to go on challenging hill walks wearing t-shirt, jeans and trainers and carrying their lunch in a carrier bag. They have no map, compass or waterproofs, but they do have their mobile phone!
And this is where the problems start. When people get into trouble or lost for example, they call Mountain Rescue and expect them to be there in an instant. The thing is that the mountain rescue teams are all volunteers and it’s paid for by donations and not by a government agency. So by people not taking the right equipment and by not planning properly they are putting greater and greater pressure on these teams.
One example given in the news was of a couple who decided to walk up a mountain and and then didn’t turn up in the evening. In the end two rescue teams were tied up for the best part of a night as the couple changed their mind and gone up another mountain without telling anyone, got lost and eventually came down in the middle of the night!
I often think when I go out walking that I take too much stuff with me, but at least I know that if something goes wrong, I have the right gear with me and that other people know where I should be and at roughly what time.
I think I’ll let the Mountain Rescue Team video speak for itself.