After the recent mountain rescue on Table Mountain this weekend, it is important to share some salient safety measures when hiking on any mountain, irrespective of experience.
• use official foot paths only
• carry more that one operational cellphone in your hiking party
• plan your intended route in a way that you are off the mountain before sunset
• carry an accurate map of the relevant section in your bag
• pack in warm clothing as the weather can change in an instant
With regards to maps, there are various digital options which don’t require connectivity. For Table Mountain in particular and various other hiking trails, Maps.me is great. Once you have downloaded the app onto your smartphone, using your GPS it provides you with an accurate indication of where you are.
In terms of providing a reference address in the wilderness, the app What3Words is a simple and easy way to communicate to a search party if you don’t have data to share a location pin. Using three words from the app that identify your location you can inform any rescue party of where you are.
Always carry extra water and food for an emergency.
Recently between Kasteelport and the Cableway we passed a pair of US hikers several times that kept changing direction. After the third time that they changed direction, I asked where they were heading. Their answer was they were heading to the cableway. In reality they were heading in the wrong direction following Google Maps which had lost connection as they had run out of data. They didn’t even know which direction was north.
Be prepared and be safe in the backcountry.
#mountainsafety #MDguiding #hiking
For guided day hikes and hiking tours : Garden Route Trail