Subject: Hints please?
Posted: 16 Dec 2016 8:53 pm
I'm planning to walk LEJOG this summer. I'm excited, and also terrified. As you noted, there aren't many other people who are insane enough to want to spend 3+ months walking, and so I'm doing the majority of it alone.
My deepest anxiety (and my parents') is that I will break an ankle and end up stranded somewhere with no mobile phone signal. Have you any suggestions for reliable communication? I was looking at satellite phones but a) have you seen the price of those things and b) they specify that they're a bit rubbish in mountainous areas...although I don't know if they mean the Lakes, the Highlands, or the Alps...
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Subject: Staying in touch
Posted: 19 Dec 2016 11:14 am
To be honest, there is no 100% reliable way to stay in contact in the mountains - even mountain radio isn't totally reliable. That said, if you are going to tackle a challenging bit and you want to be safe, you can leave your details with people so that if you don't make it to the other end, at least someone will know and they can send out the search parties.
Another approach, and the one I took, is not to put yourself in a dangerous situation in the first place. I stuck to well-trodden tracks, like the Pennine Way, West Highland Way and so on, and if you're booking accommodation along the way, it's pretty trivial to leave your details with people. Also, although at times these tracks go through relatively desolate parts, they are popular trails, so if you stick to the track, help will come along pretty quickly. And that's ignoring the fact that you do often get a phone signal, it's just that it is unpredictable.
Also, in terms of bad weather, there's a simple solution to that: build your rouet flexibly so that you can stay indoors when the nasty weather hits. Nobody wants to be walking across remote moors in the lashing rain! Sure, you can't predict accidents like twisted ankles, but you can reduce the risk.
A satellite phone would be overkill, I think. I reckon you're better off telling someone where you're walking and then checking in with them when you reach civilisation; avoiding dangerous weather; and sticking to relatively well-known routes (after all, they are well-known for a reason - normally that they are good walks!).
Hope this helps, and good luck with the planning!
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