Mountaineering Scotland is offering their advice on how you can stay safe this Christmas in the outdoors.
They’re breaking their advice down into preparation, equipment and knowing what to do in the event of a problem in the hills, mountains or anywhere outdoors.
Firstly, they’re saying that it’s important to check the weather forecast first to make sure that it’s safe to head out.
A spokesperson for Mountaineering Scotland explained: “Use specialist mountain weather forecasts in the days leading up to your planned trips to get an idea of rain/snowfall, wind, and what conditions might be like underfoot.
“The Scottish Avalanche Information Service provides daily avalanche hazard forecasts as well as blogs from all the areas covered, which is a great way to find out what conditions are like on the ground.”
They also say that having the right equipment for the right situations is crucial for your safety in the great outdoors.
This means taking a rucksack with extra layers, navigational tools and emergency packs, such as first aid kits, armed in your bag.
Their spokesperson added: “At the start of winter, it’s a good idea to ‘winterise’ your rucksack and add all those additional gloves, hats, warm layers, goggles and emergency items.
“But equally it pays to have a physical checklist you can check off every time you head off to the hills, to make sure you remembered to put those warm gloves, your extra hat or your compass back in after the last time. There is nothing worse than not having that one essential item when you really need it!”
If you get stuck, they say you need to have a way to get in touch with some in case of an emergency.
That means taking a phone to get in touch with mountain rescue in case you can’t make your way back home. It’s important to remember when phoning 999 to contact the police to ask for mountain rescue to help you.
Their spokesperson explained: “Always tell someone responsible where you are planning to go and when they should expect to hear from you, and remember to let them know when you are safely back down!
“They should also know what to do if you don’t get in touch or return when expected, and how to alert the emergency services.”
You can find out more information about keeping safe on: https://www.mountaineering.scot/news/stay-safe-on-the-hills-this-christmas