Know your Limits

Know your Limits

Know your physical and skill limits and work your day around them.

Know your Limits 

Know Your Limits

Many emergency situations have been caused by well meaning and otherwise sensible people embarking on a day in the hills that's in excess of their own, or group's limits. If you're inexperienced in the hills it can be difficult to judge, for example, how far is too far? At the other end of the spectrum is for someone with lots of experience in the mountains who may set a route for a group of friends. It's easy to forget that a short and easy walk for one person is a massive undertaking for another.


If you’re new to hill walking it can be difficult to gauge the distance that’s within your ability, and in particular your stamina for the hills. The distance to walk will depend on height gained and lost, the weather, and the ability of the rest of the party, i.e. the slowest.  If you’re used to walking on the flat, the hills are different, and you’re less likely to be able to walk the same distance. Better to enjoy a shorter walk than push yourself too far too soon with something at the edge of yours or the group’s ability.



Are your navigation and route finding skills up-to-scratch? What about your first aid skills?


Plan a walk that’s within your skill level, as well as your physical level. Whilst a walk up Scafell Pike may seem like a good idea, be honest with yourself and decide whether you could safely navigate off the top if the cloud came down whilst you were eating your lunch. Building skills and confidence is an important of any day in the hills, but if the route is more tricky due to the seriousness or the walk, terrain, route finding requirements or the weather, you may need to save that particular walk for another day.

Build up experience by sticking to the lower hills as they are less likely to have a shroud of mist on them, but they are no less enjoyable. Sometimes the lower hill give better views than their big brother neighbours. 


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