I sorted my gear out from my Sunday walk much was damp after a good winter day that came as a bit of a shock. It is worth emptying the bag and drying and checking your gear. I wonder what to carry from now on in my bag for the hill at this time of year? I am away with the Moray Mountaineering Club Bus Meet to Achnasheallach and the walk to Torridon hopefully over the tops and had a check of my gear.
I will still take my ice axe and crampons (still snow about) and my small shelter Bothy bag most of my winter gear, I pack all of it in a dry bag and some of the kit in small bags, the days of the poly bag inner have gone for me. Inside I have gloves, spare winter ones, hat. buff, waterproof jacket and trousers, ( I have lightweight set as well and look at the weather for the day to see what I will take) My small belay jacket/ duvet, small first aid kit, map, compass, food for the day and small flask, water or rehydrated energy drink ( iron bru small bottle as recommended by Dave MacLeod) sun screen, glasses and a small peak hat (I am bald now) torch checked and spare batteries, including one for my phone.My walking poles are essential as is my camera. I also carry a GPS and spare batteries.
I made sure after many years of buying decent socks again worth the effort and boots, so many about that are so much lighter nowadays. I will still wear my winter boots as there may be some hard snow (neve) about. I have a new lightweight rucksack pretty bright but great for photos! So many carry heavy old rucksack maybe time to retire it?
I also have bright jackets again great for photos and if you have a problem easy to see. Worth a thought? Greys, dark blue and dark green merge with the ground are hard to pick up if you have a problem. It is also worth having someone who you leave a note of your route with if travelling on your own in the wilds. I try to text on a summit to my hill contact, or if I change my route and when off. So many do not and then the Rescue Services have a problems?
Have you registered your phone with the emergency text service a must!!!!
Hill and mountain walkers urged to register for emergency SMS text service
Walkers who visit areas with bad mobile phone access can now register with a new service that allows 999 calls to be made via a text message.
Heather Morning, safety adviser with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, is urging walkers and climbers to register for this service in advance and not to wait for an emergency. She says,
“If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone.
“This is going to be particularly useful for those needing 999 assistance in the hills when mobile reception is poor and there is not enough signal to make a call.”
The emergency SMS service was established originally for deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired people. It allows users to contact the UK 999 services by sending an SMS text message.
Mountain Rescue Services in the UK are usually coordinated by the police.
I took lots of advice and bought lightweight gear when I retired and though it can be costly yet it saves a lot and every pound off saves so much energy. The sales are on and there are great bargains about. I find that the lightweight layers are great as you can put on and off as your day goes on and the weather as always changes. So if your going out have a look at the Weather forecast and the last week of the Avalanche service report and blogs not just on the day of your walk but the days before it may give you an idea of what you may need.
THE WEATHER ON THE WEST ON THE TOPS TOMORROW
0 to -2C, coldest Sutherland. 700 or 800m; frost some glens at dawn. Snow flurries or brief showers (rain in glens), mostly toward north & east, whilst very few should reach west coast & Skye. The forecast for the weekend
” Low pressure centred to the south-west of Britain throughout this week. Mostly light winds, but areas of slow-moving showers breaking out most days. Mild England & Wales, but cool in Scotland. Least precipitation in North-west Highlands. Later this week and the weekend, temperatures are likely to fall as winds switch northerly. Freezing levels will drop below most Scottish Munros for a few days – precipitation falling as snow to quite low levels. Pressure may then build to give a few dry, cool days, although low confidence about extent and duration of settled weather.”
Light is right but the hills are still in winter grab do not be caught out! Watch out for falling Cornices and loose rock if there is a thaw.