Safety on the Hills

Sources of information

General information about safety in the hills can be found on a number of websites including:

Here are a few tips for people coming on GOC walks in hilly areas. Please refer to
the above websites and other authoritative sources for more information.

These tips are aimed mainly at novices and do not cover winter conditions,
when there is snow and ice on the ground. You should not attempt to go out
on the hills in these conditions until you have substantial experience of hill
walking in non-winter conditions.


The weather in hilly areas of the UK is unpredictable and can be cold, wet and
windy, even in the middle of summer. In the summer, sunburn and heatstroke can
also be a problem.


  • obtain an up to date weather forecast before you set out
  • take appropriate clothing and equipment (see below)
  • be prepared to change or cancel your plans if the weather is poor.

Mountain weather forecasts can be found at:

Clothing and equipment

Always bring:

  • warm clothing including long trousers, a woolly hat and gloves
  • a waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers
  • proper walking boots, not trainers
  • at least one litre of drinking water
  • more food than you think you will need.

In summer also bring:

  • a sun hat.
  • sun lotion.
  • extra water.

When the days are relatively short (October to March) also bring:

  • a headtorch
  • spare batteries.

Other things to think about

How would you cope if separated from the rest of the group? Consider taking a
course in navigation if you are not already competent with a map and compass.

Have you got any medical condition that could be an issue? Should you bring extra
medication in case you get stuck out on the hill overnight?

If in doubt about anything, talk to the event contact or other experienced GOC
members before setting out.

Please make a note of the Event Contact details and try to let him/her know if
you are delayed in arriving for an event.

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