Walking vacations are a good opportunity to learn how to be scouts again. And great to share this with children too. Be prepared with maps, compass, rain gear, pocketknife, matches and a whistle. You can buy mini emergency kits on Ebay for a tenner.
Write down the local emergency numbers before you set out, including mountain rescue, if relevant. And always tell someone where you are going. Make sure your mobile phone is charged too.
Wildlife awareness does not just apply to walking safaris in Africa. In many countries you need to be aware of animals such as bears, snakes and others. So, swot up on this before you hit the hills. Do not let your children wander too far ahead of you, so that you can keep a close eye.
Be wary of lightning storms and, if they do occur, get below the treeline and stay away from summits or isolated trees. Stay as low as you can.
One of the most common causes for mountain rescue is hypothermia usually brought about by exhaustion and injury. So make sure you have enough food and water, the right layers and a shelter. The Mountaineering Council of Scotland
is a font of knowledge on all things.
If you are on a self-guided walking vacation, always check get a detailed weather forecast before you set out and if you are in the mountains, , turn back if the weather turns bad. Or take shelter if in doubt. The World Meteorological Organisation
Hiking in extreme heat can be dangerous and deaths do, tragically occur. Always walk early in the morning and late in the afternoon, cover up and drink lots. Consider adding rehydration powders to your water for extra salts and sugars that help your body cope with the heat. Many walking companies donít offer trips in the height of summer anyway, for health and safety reasons.