Highlands & Islands

Winter hillwalkers told to take shelter to share

Tent in snow Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Parties of hillwalkers are being encouraged to take a lightweight shelter in case they get caught out by an injury or bad weather

Hillwalkers travelling into the hills in winter as a group have been encouraged to take nylon shelter with them in case their trek goes wrong.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland has issued the advice as part of a safety message to walkers and climbers.

Most of its advice is aimed at people new to tackling Scotland's hills and mountains in winter conditions.

It said a lightweight group shelter could prove essential if a walker was injured, or the weather deteriorated.

To try and spread its safety message, the council has a programme of free talks on winter mountain skills.

'Spare batteries'

Heather Morning, the council's safety adviser, said: "Shorter daylight hours, dropping temperatures and the first dusting of snow on the hills are all good indicators that it is time to think about extra kit in your rucksack.

"It's easy to get caught out after the clocks change, especially as routes will take longer than expected in winter conditions and many people will end up finishing their route in the dark - so a head torch - and spare batteries - is crucial."

She added: "Those who head to the hills with friends or as part of a group are advised to invest in a lightweight, nylon group shelter.

"This can provide a snug spot for lunch if the weather is poor and a vital refuge if someone in your party is injured and you are waiting for help to arrive."

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