A map and compass are essential when the weather turns. Photo: CVSRT

A map and compass are essential when the weather turns. Photo: CVSRT

Rescuers have pleaded with walkers to think carefully before they head out for their daily exercise.

Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team said members of its local community should ask themselves vital questions about their skills and gear, to avoid becoming a rescue statistic.

A team spokesperson said: “Now is not the time to be venturing into the more remote parts of our countryside and potentially putting yourself in harm’s way.”

The West Yorkshire team pleaded with the public to follow government restrictions and only exercise locally.

But the rescuers also said people should give a thought to what might happen if things go wrong.

“Granted, accidents can happen to anyone, at any time, in any location – even close to home. By definition, an accident is an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury,” the spokesperson said.

“If an accident happened to you in a remote, inaccessible location, would you know what to do?”

The team said people should ask themselves the following questions:

  • Do I have the knowledge and skills to accomplish the day?
  • Do I have the right gear and spare kit if the weather changes or night falls?
  • Do I know what the weather will be like?
  • Does anyone know your plans for the day?
The team's area includes large swathes of moorland. Photo: CVSRT

The team's area includes large swathes of moorland. Photo: CVSRT

Calder Valley SRT’s area includes many moorland and wooded areas, close to urban settlements, with close access to the countryside.

The team also had the following tips for walkers and others heading to the rural areas:

  • Charge your phone before you set off and think about carrying a portable battery charger
  • Carry a map and compass and know how to use them. Don’t rely on your smartphone apps for navigation. Using GPS and navigation apps will drain your phone batteries quickly leaving you without a phone when you really need it most
  • Before leaving home, consider downloading the free OS Locate app or the What3words app to help you pinpoint your location in an emergency – remembering to cross check this location on your paper map before passing to the emergency services
  • Carrying a headtorch, handheld torch and spare batteries are essential, or take a second torch so you don’t have to change batteries in the dark. Have a good meal before you start and take plenty of food and water to refuel and keep hydrated during the day
  • Remember if you stop for any reason, you will get cold very quickly. Make sure you have warm, windproof and waterproof clothing and spares – hat and gloves are essential. Wear several thin layers rather than one thick layer so you can add or remove them to maintain a comfortable temperature
  • Carry a foil blanket or bivvy bag for emergencies.

“By planning ahead, preparing well and being aware of your environment, you could prevent an accident or should the worst happen, save your life,” the team said.

“In the event of an emergency and you require the assistance of a mountain rescue team, please do not hesitate in making that call. We would rather initiate an emergency response and be stood down en-route, rather than not being called at all or alerted too late.

“Dial 999 or 112 and ask for the police, then mountain rescue.”

It’s also a good idea to register your mobile phone with the emergency SMS service before setting off. This will enable an emergency text to be sent.

When calling for help, it will help rescuers pinpoint your location if you provide a grid reference using the OS Locate app or a paper map. “Once you have requested mountain rescue assistance, it is very important to stay where you are until the mountain rescue team have made contact,” the spokesperson said.

“Above all, please stay safe, exercise sensibly and #adventuresmart.”

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