Hazards and Insurance - your Questions Answered:
Our insurance company advises that “all sporting and leisure activities have inherent hazards associated with them. Rambling is no exception. In spite of the safety of members always being the paramount concern, accidents will occasionally occur. It is important therefore, that when entering into the activity, each member appreciates that they have a responsibility to identify the hazards associated with the activity and take all reasonable precautions to eliminate or minimise the potential for an accident to arise.”
Hazards we may encounter when walking:
surfaces may be uneven, wet, rocky, loose, slippery, icy, thick with snow – leading to the potential for falling. On roads traffic passing is a hazard.
Features of the environment:
e.g. walking through a heather moor or through bracken or under low trees or past areas of nettles or across boggy areas. Hazards include bruising and cuts and acquiring insects which may cause later problems (e.g. stings, or tick bites).
Changeable /Unpredictable – Extreme heat to extreme cold, dry to very wet and thunderstorms – exposure to which can lead to a range of conditions from overheating to hypothermia.
Hunger & Thirst:
If we do not eat or drink sufficiently – we may experience fatigue and dehydration.
Our General Health:
We are more susceptible to problems whilst walking if we have a health problem e.g. suffering from a recent infection, diabetes, recovering from a serious illness, have feet, knee and hip problems, or we have a heart condition or we suffer from allergic reactions (e.g. hay fever or reaction to bee stings).
Medication we are taking:
Effects and side effects of medication can create hazards e.g. if medication leads to dizziness or fatigue.
People we are walking with may present hazards e.g. if someone in front stops abruptly or if we catch their walking pole.
Some emergency situations involving one or more members of the group.
Injury e.g. member has slipped and sustained injury to ankle preventing the person from walking further.
e.g. walker suffers from diabetic emergency or has a heart attack.
Affecting the ability of the group to walk safely.
The leader will normally provide guidance on dealing with the emergency. In the first instance other members should ensure their own safety (e.g.if cold use an emergency shelter if available, move to safe, even ground if on a slope) and be alert to other dangers.
If a member of the group is ill or injured some attempt should be made to determine the nature of the problem and provide any appropriate first aid. Check whether the injured party has any medication for their own condition
Emergency services should be contacted where possible using mobile telephone and 999 call. On the mountains this should be directed to the police who will contact Mountain Rescue Services. Where possible details of the location should be given. If no mobile reception is available, then two members of the group, who are suitably equipped should seek help by finding a location where help can be called for.
We experience a wide variety of weather conditions on our walks, but we will not cancel walks due to bad weather, excepting when the coach cannot travel e.g. due to snow conditions, or if because of extremely bad weather insufficient people have turned up (this applies to the coach walks on Sunday).
It is important to be prepared for all possible weather conditions (see guidance in the equipment section). Hot weather can be as challenging as cold and wet conditions.
Our fitness level:
Will determine how well we can cope with the demands of the walk.
What to Wear:
It is a good idea to be flexible with your clothing so that you can adapt to changing weather conditions during the day.
Even in the summer temperatures may start off warm, but higher up the mountain the weather might change and the temperature could drop to nearly zero.
With wind and rain adding to the picture, then having a range of clothes to meet all of these conditions is desirable.
Layers are often thought to be best. Several thinner layers are more adaptable than just one thick layer, especially on the upper body. It is important to keep hands and head protected, especially in the winter, but in the summer hats and sun cream protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Good footwear is important. Depending on the time of year and the local conditions this might range from walking sandals to strong walking boots.
We do experience a lot of wet and muddy conditions in the winter where good boots are essential. Added protection is provided by gaiters.
Waterproof gear is also vital. Lightweight cagoules can give good rain protection and waterproof trousers protect the legs, giving additional warmth as well
Food and Drink:
Take plenty of food. Choice is yours but better to have extra when you are running out of energy. It is a good idea to have snacks e.g. late morning before lunch and mid afternoon.
In summer plenty of liquid hot or cold. Dehydration can be a problem on a long hard hot walk.
In winter, hot drinks in thermos flasks are favoured by many walkers. Milk has been shown to be better than water for rehydration and has additional benefits for depleted muscles.
We offer walks for all abilities and interests on Saturdays and Sundays. Our members live in Bradford, the Aire valley and all surrounding areas.
Look through our pages to find more about our group and the walks that we offer.
The club has a hard working committee dedicated to keeping things running smoothly by organising the walking programme, transport, holidays, social events, finance and advertising. A newsletter is published every quarter. This has articles and information about forthcoming events, holidays.