How to stay safe when hiking

Landscape shot including a reservoir in the Peak District National Park

Even adventures need to be risk assessed.

Whether you are a new walker or a seasoned hiker, knowing how to stay safe in the National Parks is essential not only for your own well-being but others who are there too.

Every walk and event Peak District Mosaic does in the Peak District is risk-assessed by our trained and qualified walk leaders. From assessing routes, completing first-aid training, safeguarding, and staying up to date on health and safety checks, our walk leaders make sure to keep everyone safe and happy.

However, we understand not everyone has a walk leader when they go hiking.

After attending our hikes, we find many of our walkers eager to show their friends and family different locations and routes that they have enjoyed.

Seeing walkers have the confidence to do self-guided walks and introduce new walkers is what we love to see as an organisation, it is all part of our MISSION but we NEED ALL National Park visitors to be SAFE.

Here are 5 ways you can ensure your safety and the safety of others on your next walks:

  1. Have reliable navigation options

Digital GPS systems and mobile apps such as Google Maps are not always reliable in the Peak District due to poor connection and poor weather conditions. You may find WIFI in some Peak District Cafés but when you are walking, don’t get your hopes up. To ensure you don’t get lost, we recommend getting a waterproof GPS device and bringing the old-school must-haves with you: paper maps and a compass. It is also helpful to be able to read the maps and compass so if you don’t, go along with someone who does.

  1. Dress appropriately

Part of keeping yourself well Is knowing what to wear in what conditions. In the great outdoors where the weather is just as unpredictable as the rest of the UK, it’s good to be extra cautious. That’s why we always advise our walkers to come wearing layers of clothing, that are easy to remove and put on during the walk. We also encourage visitors to bring waterproof clothing and wear suitable footwear that can manage difficult terrains.


  1. Don’t forget the essential items

  • Water is a non-negotiable item that everyone needs. Even if you don’t like to eat when going for a hike, bring 1 or 2 litres of water to prevent dehydration whilst walking.

  • For sunny days bring some sun cream, a hat and some shades to protect your skin and keep the sun out of your face. If it is winter, a warm hat, scarf and pair of gloves join the essential items list.

  • Food. It can be a heavy or a light-packed lunch but what is important is that you have options if you do get hungry or need food for unplanned circumstances.

  • Any medication. Try to pack it the night before and pack an extra day’s dosage just in case.

  • Lastly, a fully charged portable charger keeps your phone’s battery lasting longer.

  1. Know where and how to get help

The great outdoors is unpredictable and that’s why we encourage everyone to be as prepared as they possibly can. Some situations you can’t always prepare for such as injuries or being stranded but if you know how to get help it can ease the situation.

In the Peak District, there are 7 mountain rescue teams that you can call in an emergency. They are available 24 hours a day. To get in touch with them first call the police on 999 or 112 then ask for the mountain rescue team in your location. If you don’t know where you are, use the what3words app and it will give you the 3 words used for the exact area you are in which will help the Mountain rescue team locate you.

  1. The ultimate MUST

Let someone know where you are going and what time you are aiming to back home. It can be a family member, partner, or friend. Doing this before you set off is so important as it assures 1) you know where you are going and 2) Someone can locate your whereabouts even if they don’t have the specifics.

There is no such thing as being over-prepared when it comes to hiking in the National Parks.

We hope these 5 tips helped you feel more prepared and at ease. Join our walks led by our qualified walk leaders by seeing our Upcoming Events.

Want to become a Community Champion who leads walks and be trained? Please click here for more information. We believe everyone can make a difference!

Read our previous blog post: Why hiking is for everyone.

Peak District Mosaic is a charity who creates and sustains engagement between the Peak District National Park and new audiences.

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