Lost when hiking?
If you become lost while hiking, don’t just keep going, but as far as possible try to go back the way you came. Some people say that you may be able to follow different-coloured ribbons tied around trees that have been put there by past hikers to help others find their way. Mountain climbing expert “Chung Sir” points out, however, that while early trailblazers may have left these ribbons to help them find their own way back, they may not mark the correct way; plus, because the countryside is ever-changing, hikers should not rely on them completely.
In light of this, it is imperative to have a plan in place before you set out on a hike. This would include: having an updated map and a detailed understanding of safety features along the trail; taking note of the weather forecast and having a contingency plan in place should it change; checking your mobile network coverage, and further ensuring your safety by installing and opening an app on your phone that will track your whereabouts as you hike.
In the unfortunate event of an accident, hikers can use the fixed emergency helplines along the trail or use their mobile phone to call 999 or the international emergency number 112. The country trails and long trails maintained by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department are marked with distance posts about every 500 metres. On these posts are numbers and grid coordinates that you can share with emergency services when calling for help. Another convenient way to get help is to input these numbers into the “50222 SMS Hiker Tracking Service”.
What can you do if there’s no distance posts nearby and cannot find your way back? Let’s listen to “Chung Sir” share his experiences.