Self Reliance

Self Reliance


Self reliance is the maxim to follow


Self Reliance



In the UK we are blessed that there is a network of Mountain Rescue Teams (MRT) situated in and around the upland areas the country. All teams are charities, staffed by volunteers, funded by donations and receive no government grants or income. Their non-professional status does not mean that standards are not professional; far from it. Team members train on a regular basis to maintain skills and learn new ones, and aside from their work in the MRT, they have day jobs and families. They turn out on a call-out at any time of the day or night, in any weather and to the hill-goer, mountain rescue teams are often the only emergency service that can reach them in an emergency situation. When an MRT is called out, each of the team members puts their life at risk in an effort to save a total stranger.

Calling out an MRT should be a last resort, not something that is done at the first sign of trouble or getting lost. The hill walker should be well equipped; with sufficient kit to keep warm and dry in a range of weathers, sufficient food to maintain energy levels, sufficient navigational ability not to get lost, and sufficient skill to know the appropriate time to call for mountain rescue, before a serious situation goes badly wrong.

The emphasis on the mountain is that of self reliance. There are stories aplenty about people becoming lost on a hill as they have no map, and their only course of action is to phone mountain rescue. That is an irresponsible position to find oneself in, and one that could have been foreseen and avoided. Self reliance is about planning ahead for the planned mountain activity and taking the kit and skills to complete it successfully, without calling for help.

Emergencies do happen, and sometimes a situation may have degraded to an extent that the only appropriate course of action is to call for help. Recognise that situation quickly and know how to do it. A life could depend on it.


Links