Author Topic: Safety for solo walkers  (Read 823 times)

Beth FF

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Safety for solo walkers
« on: 17:48:21, 22/07/20 »
In an ideal world, when walking alone, we would tell someone what our route is and how long we expect to be. But what do people do when they don't have anyone they can give this information to? Is there an online resource where single people can find walking buddies? Not people to walk with, but people who they can give the info to and who will start the search and rescue ball going if the walker hasn't checked in after a walk.

ninthace

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Re: Safety for solo walkers
« Reply #1 on: 19:39:25, 22/07/20 »
At least register your mobile with http://www.emergencysms.net/.
Then you can shout for help even if you only have the weakest of signals.
If you have a relative, friend or neighbour, you could use the BuddyBeacon feature of ViewRanger so they would know where you were and where to send help if needed.
There are also products and services such as Spot that you can use to call for help directly via sattelite.
https://www.findmespot.com/en-gb/
Solvitur Ambulando

Beth FF

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Re: Safety for solo walkers
« Reply #2 on: 19:52:46, 22/07/20 »
Thanks for the suggestions, ninthace  :)  (I've already registered my phone with emergency sms).

What I'm specifically after is something for lone walkers who have no support system for whatever reason, so no one they could ask. So I wondered if there was anything, like a support group or forum that has a section where people are prepared to look out for each other. Not a paid system, just something where people can pair up to keep an eye on each other.

sussamb

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Re: Safety for solo walkers
« Reply #3 on: 08:00:12, 23/07/20 »
Beth, if this is to help you during your walk to raise funds for LR, MRT and RNLI you can always text me at start of route with details and again at the end if that helps.  I don't know of any thing though along the lines you suggest.
Where there's a will ...

Birdman

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Re: Safety for solo walkers
« Reply #4 on: 09:14:56, 23/07/20 »
I have the same problem, so I just accept that I have a greater chance of dying than others. I'm often away for months on end.


Recently, I have started to carry a PLB to give myself a chance of survival when I break my leg in the desert or something, but if something happens that makes it impossible to press it I'll be one of these guys that go missing and will never be found. It will probably take the best part of a year till anybody starts worrying.
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

Beth FF

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Re: Safety for solo walkers
« Reply #5 on: 09:53:39, 23/07/20 »
Thanks Jon, that's really kind of you  :)  My walk is on hold now because of Covid-19, and I'm moving to north Dorset in a couple of weeks, so I won't be able to finish it this year. It's a shame as I only had Suffolk and Essex left to do, but I hope to complete it next year if possible. I've lost so much fitness now that I'd have to go back to training anyway.


When I move I plan to do lots of exploring (on my own, around Cranborne Chase and other areas) and it struck me that I don't have anyone that would miss me if I didn't return home, and that there must be other people in the same position who, like me, could do with some sort of buddy system.

@Birdman, maybe I should just do what you do and come to terms with the fact that I'll be more at risk should anything go wrong. Then do everything I can to minimise the risk of that happening (which I do anyway). Stay safe.

Birdman

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Re: Safety for solo walkers
« Reply #6 on: 10:26:44, 23/07/20 »

@Birdman, maybe I should just do what you do and come to terms with the fact that I'll be more at risk should anything go wrong. Then do everything I can to minimise the risk of that happening (which I do anyway). Stay safe.


Yes, just be stoic about it. Some people are a bit more at risk because of certain physical conditions they have and others are a bit more at risk because of certain social conditions. We just have to except these things. Everything in life that is worth doing involves some risk. Just use your head and don't do really stupid things. That's all control you have. :)
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

GoneWest

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Re: Safety for solo walkers
« Reply #7 on: 12:05:28, 23/07/20 »
...
Recently, I have started to carry a PLB to give myself a chance of survival when I break my leg in the desert or something, but if something happens that makes it impossible to press it I'll be one of these guys that go missing and will never be found. It will probably take the best part of a year till anybody starts worrying.
That's why I carry an Inreach messenger (like a Spot, only better  ;) ) instead. It can track you and send back your positions in real time, though that comes back to the OP's problem of finding someone who will check up on you. It also has an emergency button, which, when pressed, will alert the emergency services, but I concede that a modern PLB is more reliable for that particular function.

SteamyTea

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Re: Safety for solo walkers
« Reply #8 on: 13:42:51, 23/07/20 »
I slipped on a wet rock and fractured my pelvis.
Managed to get home. Had a snooze as I was not feeling that great.
Woke up and found I could not walk without hanging onto a banister.
Could sit fine. But could not get to car to drive to hospital.
Ambulances job that was.
The upside was that I have now tried a morphine based painkiller. Bliss.
I found walking with crutches quite easy, so may be with taking walking poles. You don't need a really bad leg/foot I jury to stop you moving.


It always makes me laugh when up a stepladder and people say 'be careful, you could break your neck'.
I had one open up on me and only broke my arm and some ribs.
I carried on working. Did buy a new stepladder.
I don't use emojis, irony is better, you decide

astaman

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Re: Safety for solo walkers
« Reply #9 on: 16:43:42, 23/07/20 »
ninthace's suggestion seems like a sensible one to me. After the London underground bombing there was a bit of thing about putting a contact number in your phone's directory under the name of ICE (in case of emergency) so that if you should be rescued while unconscious your chosen contact could be informed and any important information passed back to the emergency services. Not heard it mentioned in a long time but it seemed a small but useful idea to me at the time.


On a related note, I told my brother about Inreach and Beacon Buddy waiting for him to offer to assist if needed. He pithily said, 'yeah, it would be handy to know where to find the body'. Everything is relative but relatives are absolute.

ninthace

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Re: Safety for solo walkers
« Reply #10 on: 18:20:34, 23/07/20 »
A side benefit of BuddyBeacon is that SWMBO knows when I am heading back so she can put the kettle on - well it happened once  ;) .
Solvitur Ambulando

cornwallcoastpathdweller

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Re: Safety for solo walkers
« Reply #11 on: 19:28:54, 23/07/20 »
In an ideal world, when walking alone, we would tell someone what our route is and how long we expect to be. But what do people do when they don't have anyone they can give this information to? Is there an online resource where single people can find walking buddies? Not people to walk with, but people who they can give the info to and who will start the search and rescue ball going if the walker hasn't checked in after a walk.


This is a realy excellent question to ponder over, there must surely be a solution somewhere?  I can recall a few news articles where (usually) a farmer or lumberjack has got caught in machinery somehow and had to cut a limb off with a rusty penknife and drag themselves miles for help, doesnt bear thinking about but it does happen. 


At work we have something called a 'twig', in essense a 'man down' device that can be remotely monitored and located in the event of a fall or someone going missing, its akin to a personal beacon i suppose with listening ability.  Am not so sure id want to rely on one mind, a colleague dropped his one day at work and its not been seen since.
one step then another then another then a bench - please?

fatmanwalking

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Re: Safety for solo walkers
« Reply #12 on: 18:14:46, 09/08/20 »
I haven't thought this through thoroughly but some email providers offer message scheduling.


You could setup an email to send far enough in the future, such that you could log back in and cancel it before it actually sends. If something bad happened it would at least notify someone even if it's an emergency service.


I admit it's a pain in the [censored].




gunwharfman

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Re: Safety for solo walkers
« Reply #13 on: 18:30:15, 09/08/20 »
I use three items to help me stay safe.

My mobile phone, assuming I can personally phone someone of course.

On my phone, I have an app that tracks me in real-time. My wife can check on her laptop where I am at any time, our agreement is if I don't move in daylight for a long time she will phone me. If I don't answer she will phone the emergency services. Its never happened yet.

I also have a Pebbell Alarm around my neck which is pre-programmed to phone first my wife and then my son if I am having an emergency. I just press a big button on it for 3 seconds and its sends out a distress message and gives the coordinates as to where I am. In an emergency I can also us it to speak to one of them.

Although I have slipped, slithered and fallen down I have never yet been in an emergency situation where any of them have had to be used.

I would like to solve one problem though, how to get money out of cash machine and only know the PIN at the moment of use and once used the PIN then becomes redundant.

staggerindragon

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Re: Safety for solo walkers
« Reply #14 on: 22:05:30, 09/08/20 »
I leave a route plan on my car seat or kitchen table.  At least if work misses me on Monday morning, and I hope they would :P, someone should come 'round the house and find it.


Good tip with the ICE number.  Will do that.