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Navigation problems highlight need for short day precautions

Posted 19 October 2012
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Navigation problems highlight need for short day precautions
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A mountain rescue in the Lake District may have provided a further reminder of the increasing importance of having good navigational means when out walking as the weather and daylight become increasingly unfavourable.

Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team revealed they were called out this week to help a family of three who were trying to walk over the fells from Grasmere to Great Langdale.

The incident report noted that they got lost on the way and became "benighted" when darkness descended.

However, the report added, some "technological voodoo" soon ensured they were located, so resucers were able to get them down off the fell.

Some lost walkers can be located using technology like smartphones, which can emit GPS signals to give the location of the device.

However, there is no need for such "voodoo" if people who head out on the hills take the right steps - namely to regard Ordnance Survey maps and a compass as being of equal importance to a pair of walking boots and the right walking clothing.

Having a map and compass - and knowing how to use them - are important at any time and particularly so when the weather or poor light may reduce visibility.

Torches are also something that will become increasingly important as the days get shorter, particularly as the clocks will soon be going back (02:00 BST will become 01:00 GMT on October 28th).

Caution and good preparation are definitely needed in the Lake District fells, which include the highest land in England and are also prone to changeable weather due to being close to the sea.

The area of high ground rising around Grasmere and Great Langdale includes much land over 2,000 ft, including the famous Langdale Pikes.

High Raise is the loftiest summit in this part of the national park at 2,500 ft.