Five Big Mistakes People Make When Mountaineering

Camping goes hand in hand with a range of outward bound pursuits and those who enjoy camping in the wilds often also enjoy activities such as hiking, mountaineering and climbing. Camping can give those people the ability to increase their range into the mountains, hiking further into remote territory, knowing that they can have an overnight stop before returning to 'civilisation'. Unfortunately, the mountains can be unforgiving, even in the UK and every year, a number of people come a cropper. Here are five big mistakes people often make when spending time in the mountains:

Underestimating The Weather

The UK weather may seem tame in comparison to that experienced in some other parts of the world, but there are places in the Scottish Highlands, in the Cairngorms for example, that can be seriously extreme. Even in England, the weather can change quickly and people are overwhelmed by weather that they never saw coming. Always check a forecast before you go but do not depend on it, prepare for the worst and never underestimate the weather, no matter what time of year it is.

Not Sharing Their Plans

All too often, people are lost on the mountains because they are not where anyone expected them to be. Sometimes, people have headed into the rough terrain without telling anyone where they are going. Do not make that mistake. Especially if you are hiking alone or with only one other person, it is important to tell someone where you are going and if you have brought a car, ideally it is best to write a note of your intentions and leave it in your vehicle. If you are on a predictable route, rescuers will be better able to find you should the worst happen.

Underestimating The Terrain

Some mountains may look easy and of course there is a scale of difficulty and some will be much harder to scale than others. No matter whether you are undertaking a simple stroll or a challenging climb, never underestimate the terrain and always respect it. Remember that avalanche can be a risk in the winter and even in summer, scree can be ankle-twisting.

Relying On Technology, Neglecting Basic Skills

Nowadays, most people who head out on camping expeditions into the mountains will have some form of GPS with them. These can be really helpful in certain conditions when reading a map is tricky. However, they should never, ever be used to replace a map and compass. Have these with you at all times and know how to use them. Neglecting basic skills and relying on battery power and technology can be a recipe for disaster.

Overestimating Their Own Ability and Fitness

If you are used to spending time in the mountains then you will know the importance of fitness. But you can enjoy the mountains at certain times and in certain ways without being of peak fitness, as long as you are careful and never try to exceed your own capabilities or push things too far. Know yourself, do not overestimate what you can safely manage, and you are far more likely to enjoy a safe adventure on the hills. Even super athletes need to be careful not to overdo things when they are up against the power of the peaks, or their camping adventure could be a complete disaster.