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Category: Wilderness Environmental Hazards

Winter Hill Walking – Essential Skills And Equipment

Winter Hill Walking – Essential Skills And Equipment

Conditions in winter can vary enormously. Much of this is down to weather. Snow is more likely to fall and persist on higher ground, so the terrain in which you choose to walk in winter will potentially provide a greater degree of difference underfoot than in the summer months. Here’s what to wear, carry and know when heading out in the hills in winter…

How To Identify Giant Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum

How To Identify Giant Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum

Giant Hogweed is an invasive species of plant originally from Central Asia. It’s a member of the carrot family, or Apiaceae. This species is in the news again as another child has been injured by coming into contact with the plant while playing outdoors. The following blog post contains a video I made on the plant and how to identify it…

A Framework For Preparing Yourself For A Survival Situation

A Framework For Preparing Yourself For A Survival Situation

You don’t need to look far for almost countless incident reports, news items and accounts of woe whereby ordinary folk have found themselves in difficulty in the great outdoors due to lack of basic skills and knowledge. So, how do we make sure we have the attitude, skills, knowledge and equipment to see us through adversity? Start Here: Be Realistic About Risk If someone is walking up Snowdon in high heels or scaling Scafell Pike without a waterproof in their…

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Hemlock, Conium maculatum

Hemlock, Conium maculatum

Hemlock, Conium maculatum is a notoriously poisonous plant. It has large, lacy leaves and purple spots and streaks on the stems. It is found, naturalised, in many parts of the world and usually found on poorly drained soils, roadsides, field edges and…

Creeping Death – Hypothermia And How To Avoid It

Creeping Death – Hypothermia And How To Avoid It

Every year people die of hypothermia or in hypothermia-related incidents. Hypothermia most commonly takes hold when people are not prepared for it. They are often ill-equipped or dressed in inadequate clothing. They do not understand the contributing factors; they do not recognise the signs and symptoms in themselves or their companions and they do not…

Cold Injuries: Take Care In The Blue Zone

Cold Injuries: Take Care In The Blue Zone

The human body’s mechanisms for staying cool on an extremely hot day are powerful. The human body’s mechanisms for staying warm on a very cold day aren’t nearly as effective. An understanding of how your body is affected by cold will make you more capable in cold environments and help you avoid cold-injuries…

Staying Warm Outdoors: Avoid The Four Horsemen of Heat Loss

Staying Warm Outdoors: Avoid The Four Horsemen of Heat Loss

Awareness of the risk of hypothermia is pretty good these days but still many people succumb to it.  What’s often lacking is an understanding of the basic rules that govern the heating and cooling of the human body.  This knowledge could make all the difference between an enjoyable trip and a survival situation.