Tips for using Mobile in Outdoors…

Mobile phone:

The mobile phone that you carry with you can be useful for a multitude of things, most of which, you will already be familiar with. On a personal note, we chose not to use the mobile for navigating, as being ‘old school’, our preference is map and compass.

If you use any of the navigational apps available,(and there are a number of very good one available) just be conscious of the fact that should you lose life in the phone, you potentially may have lost all contact with the outside world should you need assistance in terms of locating and recovering folk.

The following a re just a few useful tips to assist along the way.

Flight mode – prolong your battery life.

The airplane mode is a setting that turns off wireless connectivity on your phone. This can be used in any place where there are no cell towers or Wi-Fi to connect to the internet.

If you use this setting it helps by preventing your phone from continually searching for service and thereby draining battery life.

OS Locate – excellent re location App (and more)

The app converts GPS location readings from your mobile phone to Ordnance Survey National Grid references (6,8 or 10 if you prefer) along with an estimated position error and an approximate height indicator in either Feet or Metres.

No mobile signal? No problem: OS Locate does not require a mobile signal to function – the inbuilt GPS system can be relied upon, even in the most remote areas which is a definite plus for us!

The other brilliant features that are worthy of mention on this app are easily found in the settings option. In here you will find more than you will ever need to know with regards to:

Help with map reading
How to take a bearing

For all the above reasons you definitely should have this as your navigational app of choice on your handset.

Camera – capture the moment

It’s always great to Capture the moment and the fond memories of how great you were on your last mountain conquest (the more balanced among you will just want to remember your adventures), plus it’s a helpful Navigation aid which will enable you to re-locate in the eventuality of you getting misplaced. (Never lost, always misplaced).

Relive App – great for route capture

This is a fabulous free App that will enable you to capture all your outdoor activities and record the metrics. If you go for the enhanced version there are a range of in-app purchases to be had, but we find the basic set up is more than adequate for our purposes.

Turn your activities into beautiful stories, including animated 3D videos.

SARLOC

This is a little bit of reassurance that when, heaven forbid, you find yourself in an incident in the Mountains, the MRT have a brilliant methodology of reducing the time taken to find and rescue a casualty.

There are many apps for smartphones which show the phone’s location, but these rely on the lost person having the app installed before they get lost. The beauty of SARLOC is that it uses the web browser installed on the smartphone to interrogate the GPS and locate the person, normally to within a few metres. No need to install a separate app.

PhoneFind – developed by John Hulse (also an Ogwen team member), in collaboration with Binks and fellow Lakes team member Jon Lynch – and launched this year for use by UK mountain rescue teams, offers the same location process, integrating the information into the incident logging software back at base.

How SARLOC and PhoneFind work

The rescue team simply sends an SMS text message with a link to a webpage. Clicking on this link opens a page in the phone’s browser which queries the phone to identify its location. This data is then displayed to the user and automatically added over the internet to the MRMap database. So, whoever it is back at base with the kettle, handling the call-out, can see the casualty’s location on the digital OS map display. And, more importantly, he or she can now instruct team members exactly which direction to head in.

The first successful use of SARLOC was in May 2011, when Llanberis team members were talking to a lost person ‘somewhere on Snowdon’. They sent a SARLOC message and, within seconds, had a fix. They stopped the hill team, just walking out the door with a long search

in prospect and radioed the grid reference to the helicopter crew – who flew straight to the location, to hover directly above the casualty.

To date, SARLOC has been used at least 1600 times operationally in the UK. Its accuracy is consistently found to be between 10 to 50 metres.

Tip:

• Make sure you enable your smartphone’s ‘Location settings’ feature BEFORE setting off. Ref: www.ukclimbing.com

Happy exploring

Martin & Chris

Things for your Rucksack Lid….

Rucksack lid Contents:

  • Essentials for ease of access as follows.

· Hat & Gloves

  • For cold weather a woolly hat can be a life saver, helping to retain body heat
  • For sunny days a peaked cap will reduce the glare and prevent your head from over exposure to the sun
  • Cooler days, simple lightweight glove or glove liners will suffice
  • Wet or cold days, ensure you have a quality glove on board.( lightweight gloves are not easy to put on when hands are particularly wet & cold)

· Single snack chocolate bar/biscuit

  • When you get the ‘Rumble Tums’ its always good to have a snack immediately accessible – under nourishment can lead to poor decision making.

. Compass

  • An obvious requirement to enable you to stay ‘on track’
  • Learn how to use this well.

· Whistle

  • Hopefully you’ll never need it, however in the event of an incident this needs to be readily accessible.

· Sunglasses (polarising)

  • You need to be aware of protecting your eyesight from harmful UVA/UVB rays
  • Glare can also be a factor that impacts your vision (particularly in the snow).

· Sunscreen

  • Even on a cloudy day the harmful rays of the sun can pass through the clouds.
  • Reduce the UV exposure, particularly with long days out, with sun cream. 

These are the basic items but the important ones , we also have our personal items which we add to .

Martin&Chris

Tips Maps….

Maps – OS or Harvey?

Ordnance Survey maps offers either Explorer or Landranger format.

· OS Explorer – excellent details, 1:25,000, great for detailed walking routes.

· OS Landranger – Great for bigger area coverage but less details at1:50,000.

If you are unsure which Map scale you would be comfortable with, why not follow this link for further details:

Getoutside Ordnancesurvey Maps

These Maps can be either paper maps or laminated. For the little extra cost we would advocate buying the waterproof laminated version.

Harvey maps are all Laminated and cover most areas within the UK.

· Superwalker XT25 – 1:25,000 scale, Waterproof, tough and lightweight

· British Mountain maps 1:40,000 scale, waterproof, tough and light

If you have not used a Harvey map before, why not follow this link:

Why choose a Harvey Map ?

Martin & Chris

May 2022

May 2022

It’s here and April seems to have passed by in a flash, but with the prospects of better weather on the way, we will all be heading off back into the hills, Mountains and National Parks to enjoy the plentiful benefits that they offer.

It’s a well-known adage that you should, Use it or lose it and so what I’m referring to here is the ability to recall or effectively use our navigational skills.

It ‘may’ be the case you have forgotten things, or you just ‘may’ not have ever learned them, either way (and I’ll stop with the dreadful May puns now), I hope the following two links will help you to ‘brush up’ in order to give you a little refresher or build a little more confidence in your Navigational competence.

Here are the two links:

Safe Navigation

Compass skills (written for DoE students)

Happy and safe Navigation through May

Martin & Chris

Navigational Partners in Crime!

We were in dialogue with the owners of probably the best Navigation tools, aids and products for hill walkers, Mountaineers and Mountain Rescue personal, that company is Shaven Raspberry.

This fantastic little business is Owned and Managed by a couple of great guys that truly know their stuff:

Lyle Brotherton – Author of the Ultimate Navigation Manual and instructor to Global Search & Rescue teams and more locally, Advanced Navigation instructor to Mountain Rescue teams throughout the UK

Scott Amos – With over 20 years experience in Scottish Mountain Rescue, he was previously the training office for Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team, along with responsibilities for teaching Navigation to Mountain Rescue, Coast guard and Search and Rescue teams across the UK.

We thought we would share their observations of Positive outdoor 365, following an update to them on our first year in operation.

We hope this helps you to understand our ‘Why’

A refreshing and new approach to well-being in the great outdoors with the Boys!

A couple of great guys we know, Martin and his brother-in-Law, Chris, are celebrating their first very successful year, having set up the brilliant www.positiveoutdoor365.com – a place where they share their wealth of first hand, practical knowledge on how and where to safely enjoy the great outdoors.

They have shed loads of knowledge and experience, from the military, teaching navigation to completing Project 944 (9 highest Mountains in the UK in 4 days for 4 charities)

From the best kit to wear, what to carry in your rucksack, through to helping you be confident in navigation, these boys will help keep you safe and well to enjoy the great outdoors on every occasion that you venture out of your front door.

Here’s an extract from their Blog detailing the huge amount of experience and competence these guys possess when it comes to being outdoors in the hills and Mountains.

About Us

Collectively we have over 70+ years of Navigational experience which helps when trailing new kit, exploring new routes, or even getting ‘back to basics’ with Navigational tools and techniques.

Our Breadth of experience includes:

  • Over 9 years of Military Navigational expertise, including Airborne forces and Completion of the French Commando course (3 days Escape and Evasion).
  • Over 10 years of Assessment within the Northwest of England as a Duke of Edinburgh Assessor through all elements of the DoE awards scheme. (Bronze, Silver & Gold).
  • Rescue Emergency Care Certified Level 2 – Snowdonia First Aid
  • ML Trained – Plas y brenin
  • Yorkshire 3 Peaks achiever.
  • Sweden canoe long-distance adventure.
  • All round adventures, Climbing, canyoning, potholing, abseiling, kayaking.
  • Scotland – Winter Outdoors survival training.
  • Wales black mountains and Brecon beacons survival training.
  • Instructor – Ultimate Navigation School (based on the syllabus of the Ultimate Navigation Manual)
    • Trained the Ordnance Survey Champions at Foundation, Intermediate, and Advanced level navigation.
    • Trained Public and Private clients including Lowland Search and rescue team and Aspiring Mountain Rescue candidates on both a team and 121 basis.
  • Neebosh qualified ‘Competent person’ in all aspects of HSE. Enabling safe risk assessment and activities in workplace/external environments.
  • QualSafe Certified ‘First Aid in the workplace’ – 3 Years
  • ERYRI Gold Level Ambassador – 2021-2022 (Snowdonia)
  • Outdoor space for wellbeing – Private Clients
  • Peak District – Aircraft wreck hunting/guiding
  • 80 to 100KM long-distance walking – Netherlands and Belgium.

We have operated externally in the following locations:

  • England, Scotland & Wales
  • The Netherlands
  • Nepal – Chulu East & Thorong La pass
  • Tatras Mountains – Slovakia
  • The Czech Republic
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Belgium Ardennes
  • Luxemburg.
  • Germany – Black Mountains
  • France – Trier
  • Belize
  • Cyprus
  • Kenya
  • Oman

Preferred areas of outdoors activity:

  • The Peak District
  • The Lake District
  • Snowdonia
  • Scotland
  • Ireland, both North, and South are on the bucket list!