As part of my final year university project I aiming to reduce the number of callouts to mountain rescue, by helping hikers determine their location when lost and better prepare themselves in case of an emergency.
It is targeted at beginner/intermediate hikers who are inexperienced with hiking in more remote areas of the UK.
This questionnaire hopes to gain insight from more experienced hikers in what is essential for taking onto the mountains and where beginner/intermediate hikers are going wrong.
Link to the questionnaire:
Thank you in advance!
Follow the data, more than opinion on where people are going wrong. But good effort for trying, it's a very broad brush topic to nail in a small questionnaire.
Will do this but would flag the accepted term in the UK is hillwalkers (noted that many of the younger generation do call it hiking, I assume due to influences online).
Very pedantic, I know!
Done. It’s interesting to think about how my personal opinion of what is required has changed over the last 20 years. Back then I refused to take my phone in case it got damaged, and always carried map & compass, and left a detailed route with someone. Now I always take the phone, a spare battery, and have mapping downloaded to the phone. I take a map and compass in the UK but if I’m going somewhere that I don’t have a map for I’m more likely to rely on the mobile. I still consider a torch and whistle to be essential kit, along with a waterproof and water. I’m less likely to carry lunch than before as I generally prefer not to stop for long when I’m walking on my own. Just have the occasional energy bar or gel.
I still use the nomenclature I grew up with: ramblers first of all, then hikers when things get tougher and the stakes rise.
Will you share your results with us?
Definitely not a new thing, my Dad is 87 and I grew up as a boy with him clearing off every Sunday with Burnley Mountaineering Club, when I asked mum where he was she would say off hiking
> Definitely not a new thing
Indeed. Here's a picture of the west entrance to Ardvorlich House, below Ben Vorlich:
The sign on the gate - which has been there as long as I can remember - says: "Private road to Ardvorlich House only. Hikers please use east gate".
I suspect what's happened is that hiking was the old/original word, but it went out of fashion and has subsequently come to be seen - mistakenly - as an American import.
I think of hiking as a word for walking that people who do not actually go walking use. But maybe it is a regional thing. I don't think I personally know any walkers who use the word hiking.
We used to go 'hiking' when I was in the Scouts in the early 70s, at the time 'rambling' seemed to be for the 'elderly' (as perceived by someone just in their teens). Most of my life I've just gone walking, occassionally qualified as 'hill walking'.
But when did cross country running become 'trailing' ? (or is that just France).
I no longer always take a paper map but do carry a compass. That gets used to point me in the right direction for approximate headline bearings, such as 'northwest'..
One 'skill' that the questionnaire doesn't capture is the basics of studying your map, whether digital or paper, and having a good idea of the lay of the land, along with escape routes.
> We used to go 'hiking' when I was in the Scouts in the early 70s, at the time 'rambling' seemed to be for the 'elderly' (as perceived by someone just in their teens). Most of my life I've just gone walking, occassionally qualified as 'hill walking'.
Me too, insofar as I can remember much detail from my early days. (Didn't get to go to Cubs/Scouts - it was deemed too posh/Anglican!) But I'm pretty sure "hiking" was in more common use then (late 70s/early 80s). It might well be regional as Robert says - so many things are, eg I think hiking was in use as a word, at least to an extent, in the bit where I was brought up - southern edge of Northern England meets northern edge of the Midlands. And the general dismissive term "take a hike" still seems to be in occasional use.
Incidentally, given that these days I do upwards of 80% of my walking/hiking/whatever in just the one range of hills, somewhere along the way I've come to refer to this as "Ochiling".
Impressed with the way the survey is set up and presented. Reassuring. Happy to complete a survey that looks well thought out and well presented.
(And, always happpy to assist a Luffbra student: I'm graduate of said establishment)
Done. Should you be doing a follow-up survey, you might like to consider one focusing on knowledge/judgements that people think increase safety, and how those judgements affect choice of route/kit. Would make a sister survey to your one which focus on ‘items’ for safety.
For example in a stable winter high pressure system with a strong inversion somebody might throw out, the waterproofs, possibly also the spare hat & gloves. But might pack instead a big duvet jacket and half closed cell mat, for the below inversion freezing valley temperatures, plus micro spikes for icy glen level tracks. Trying to prevent a slip on sheet ice, plus plenty of insulation if that happened to the extent of injury. And sun hat and 😎, to laze on the aforementioned mat at summit level. The next w/e in different weather all of those items could be thrown out and others taken instead for the same route.
I think that's probably exactly what happened... I'm a 90's kid and have always seen walking / hillwalking as the 'proper' term and hiking as some American pop-culture import (probably because it's a word that I only heard being used by Americans, or people who didn't actually do any hiking). Only found out recently that's not really the case!
> I think of hiking as a word for walking that people who do not actually go walking use.
Poppycock. What about “Bear Grylls Survival Skills: Hiking”?
ISBN 9781786960313, should you wish to add it to your alphabetised collection.
Pretty much (though believe there is a debate as to whether Robert Johnson was referring to metaphorical rambling ie. moving between several different partners so to speak or moving town to town in a literal sense… )
im all for pluralism but given some of Eric’s views he wouldn’t be my first choice of fellow rambler
> Definitely not a new thing, my Dad is 87 and I grew up as a boy with him clearing off every Sunday with Burnley Mountaineering Club, when I asked mum where he was she would say off hiking
But then thinking about it, if I asked my Dad where he'd been he would say fell walking,
My father described a "First Class Hike" he had to do in the 1940s in the Scouts. I still have the linen printed 1 inch OS map of Weardale/Teesdale where he did it. He passed it on to me as my first map when we lived in Stanhope
> But when did cross country running become 'trailing' ? (or is that just France).
TBF cross country most often appears to involve running in circles around flat, muddy fields.
Trail running usually involves more interesting narrow, twisting and undulating paths which cross country races wouldn't consider because overtaking isn't so easy.
> My father described a "First Class Hike" he had to do in the 1940s in the Scouts. I still have the linen printed 1 inch OS map of Weardale/Teesdale where he did it. He passed it on to me as my first map when we lived in Stanhope
What was the route? I've been exploring around Weardale the last few years and there are some really nice corners.
Not sure of the exact route but from memory I think they passed through Eggleston and eventually Middleton in Teesdale (The Pennine Way runs alongside the Tees there), High Force and Langdon Beck area.
I can remember walking from Stanhope to Middleton and High Force during the school holidays on a lovely golden day - perhaps it was very early September. I think that was by road mainly.
Different world then, you could ask for water and folk would fetch a jug from a spring. Fewer holiday homes.
Possibly the best heather blooming I've ever seen was on Monks Moor between Middleton and Eggles Hope. A few years ago I stumbled upon a couple of big black cats (panthers) in Hudes Hope. It's a great part of the world.
I've completed the survey, but I'm not sure it will give you the info you really need / want. The survey is subject is by it's nature huge and very subjective - what an "experienced" walker might take with them if the bulk of their experience is low level walking with occasional tops in summer will differ a lot from someone who spends a lot of time out on remote tops in winter etc.
Similarly it relies a lot on personal approaches to tech (very love/hate on here at times), risk in general and also on individual willingness to suffer!
Very hard to say accurately why you didn't have an incident on any given occasion (a few exceptions obviously) and even actual incidents are often more complex than "should have had item X". Maybe a different direction of "what bit of kit was invaluable when you had an accident" would be better that "what do you think is invaluable".
I'm very conscious of how much dodgy advice you see/hear getting doled out or bad practice at the crag from "experienced" people (though with good intent) and suspect you may get a lot of similar stuff in the survey. Either that or end up with something not particularly insightful (map and compass, spare warm clothes, food & drink).
It may already be part of your research but you'll get far better and more targeted data if you liaise with MRT teams or organisations (MREW, SMR, police etc) to find out what the common trends are that they can see and what basic items would help eliminate some more common problems.
> Will do this but would flag the accepted term in the UK is hillwalkers (noted that many of the younger generation do call it hiking, I assume due to influences online).
> Very pedantic, I know!
I’m in my late 50s and called it hiking back in the 70s.
I’m sure you know that being lost, should not lead to a callout in itself. You need to get inside the decision making process a group / individual followed that ultimately led to the callout. As above contacting some mountain rescue teams will I’m sure deliver some insights into this, that aren’t published in the MR summary reports of an incident.
I was lucky - at Primary school we knew that if we passed the 11+ we would have to do Cross Country - 7km of forest and hill running (and the odd muddy field). We were terrified - but I found out that I loved it,
> Hi Everyone,
> It is targeted at beginner/intermediate hikers who are inexperienced with hiking in more remote areas of the UK.
Your headline contradicts this. Do you mean experienced or inexperienced?
That sentence appears to make sense in the context of the rest of the post. I read it that the project is aimed at finding ways to help inexperienced walkers, and to aid this goal the survey is requesting feedback from more experienced walkers about what they have found helpful in the past.
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