Hill walking stupidity

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
It tastes more like cinnamon Jolly Ranchers... but it is not a refined spirit.
As sold in the Abiline Blue Oyster Club ?
 
Indeed. There is a reason for the rules. The Thames is the busiest inland waterway in the country, and a working port, not a play park.

It's also, most of the year, bloody cold, and much faster than anyone thinks (or looks from the bankside).

A head and shoulders in the water is virtually impossible to see from the bridge of a working vessel in daylight, let alone the dark. It's why Swimmers in these environments have a support boat, sporting and ALPHA flag - not so much for the feeding etc. more to stop them getting run over.

Surviving an unauthorised and unsupported swim in the Thames is just sheer luck, and NOTHING to do with skill or fitness of the swimmer.
Indeed, having dealt with dead people coming out of the Thames how many people just don't get it still amazes me. I think it's the proximity to buildings and people which make people think its relatively safe. Couldn't be further from the truth.
 
I have ended up in hospital more than once with a pretty serious injury due to wave power, and am/was more than capable of swimming across the Thames.
One of the first things that I learnt when in trouble in 20 foot waves and getting caught in a rip was not to fight it, Go with the flow, is where the saying comes from, tread water and what sucked you out will eventually pull you back in.
In the end I decided not to be the drunken ******** that I was thinking about being, because I thought that it might tempt others to do the same.
When a child, I along with my cousins used to swim in the docks and creeks around Bermondsey, sometimes getting close but not into the river to feel the pull of the tide.
This was mid seventies and if you were pulled out of the Thames in those days, it meant a stay in hospital for checks that you hadn't caught anything nasty.
According to a doctor friend of mine I have got massive antibodies in my immune system as a result.

I have great respect for the RLNI.

I think it was on VJ 50'th anniversary day so it was a while ago.
If the RNLI had a pound for every person who thinks they are "more than capable of......." and "I know what to do when....." and "I was only going for a short swim/paddle/sail so didn't think I would need......" then we wouldn't need to do any fundraising.

I cannot count the number of people who I have pulled out of the water (In the Thames and the sea) who thought that they (or even did) knew what they were doing. Whatever the thoughts on hill walking (and there are some idiots out there) and how dangerous the British Hills are (or aren't), The waters in and around the UK are cold, busy and unpredictable. They can be dangerous, even if you "know them well".

I also think you missed one of the key points - a significant number of fast moving vessels that cannot see you is one of the biggest dangers in the Thames, however strong a swimmer you are, you cannot out swim a working boat at full chat. If you think it's not dangerous to swim in a working area, try crawling across the M40 and see how far you get before you are run over.

I am sure you think you know the Thames, and I am sure you think I am being over dramatic, but I am glad you made the decision not to try.
 
The best example of this was one of the directors of the British Canoe Union drowning near their headquarters on a calm sunny day because they thought they didn't need a lifejacket as the conditions were so good

They still drowned on a lake all the same
 
Agree entirely.

Anyway, walking :)

I bought one of these Garmin inReach Mini Satellite Communicator In-Depth Review after realizing that all of my mountain lunacy I did on my own and it seemed like a responsible thing to do.

I can say a few things about it now having actually used it for a bit. It's expensive and not very user friendly. The Web tools for people tracking your progress are a bit crap and the general configuration of it is clunky. I also found its sending of messages upstream a bit variable. Even with clear skies and with 60 degree of uninterrupted visibility it would often complain of no GPS fix. Which is a bit annoying because both phone and watch would have bang on fixes and it would therefore delay sending a position update. Also, the messages are text based system hanging off iridium in gast moving low earth orbit which should mean that the message sending capability should be beter than geosynchronous networks like inmarzat, and still it would miss the interval it'd say that it would send messages on (every ten minutes at least)

They also recently changed their contracts to make sharing the devices between friends much harder.

So it works and it's a useful tool but the implementation leaves much to be desired.
 
Agree entirely.

Anyway, walking :)

I bought one of these Garmin inReach Mini Satellite Communicator In-Depth Review after realizing that all of my mountain lunacy I did on my own and it seemed like a responsible thing to do.

I can say a few things about it now having actually used it for a bit. It's expensive and not very user friendly. The Web tools for people tracking your progress are a bit crap and the general configuration of it is clunky. I also found its sending of messages upstream a bit variable. Even with clear skies and with 60 degree of uninterrupted visibility it would often complain of no GPS fix. Which is a bit annoying because both phone and watch would have bang on fixes and it would therefore delay sending a position update. Also, the messages are text based system hanging off iridium in gast moving low earth orbit which should mean that the message sending capability should be beter than geosynchronous networks like inmarzat, and still it would miss the interval it'd say that it would send messages on (every ten minutes at least)

They also recently changed their contracts to make sharing the devices between friends much harder.

So it works and it's a useful tool but the implementation leaves much to be desired.
I haven't tried this system yet, but I always carry my PLB (designed for the water but "approved" for other activities if registered as for such). Proven technology , no ongoing costs (until the battery needs changing every five years or so), with the added bonus that SAR helicopters can use it as a homing beacon on 121Mhz if activated.

I dont feel the need to upload my location so everyone can see where I am all the time, but nice to know the right people can find me if i do f**k up.
 
I haven't tried this system yet, but I always carry my PLB (designed for the water but "approved" for other activities if registered as for such). Proven technology , no ongoing costs (until the battery needs changing every five years or so), with the added bonus that SAR helicopters can use it as a homing beacon on 121Mhz if activated.

I dont feel the need to upload my location so everyone can see where I am all the time, but nice to know the right people can find me if i do f**k up.
Yeah, I looked a those, for years in fact but when this came out it met all the criteria, the only issue I had was that I had come pretty close a couple of times to a fairly binary fail where there was a reasonable prospect that I'd be sufficiently badly hurt that I'd be unable to activate it. Hence in tracking mode if I were hurt and unable to help myself in anyway at least they'd get a nearest location within a 10 minute window. That was the idea at least, I'm not so convinced it'd be that good but at least it wouldn't be you've got this whole mountain range to search from a start point +4 hours of running and whilst I'd head in a known ish direction, depending on the terrain that can change. That was the other nice thing about it being able to change your mind and not have to worry about now breaking with your stay behind plan.

But yes, the ongoing cost is a thing and the implementation isn't the best. Put it this way if I were not on my own then a RescueMe or a 3Si would be in my kit.
 
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This dick head climbed the Crib Goch on Snowdon a few years ago, naked using an ice axe and crampons.
The fncking prick shed his clothes and continued along the notorious Crib Goch peak which has a vertical drop of several hundred feet on the one side and a long slope on the other. Several people have died on this peak.

As mentioned numerous times on this thread, these fncking idiots not only risk their own lives but that of the rescue services who have to pick up the pieces.
 
Yeah, I looked a those, for years in fact but when this came out it met all the criteria, the only issue I had was that I had come pretty close a couple of times to a fairly binary fail where there was a reasonable prospect that I'd be sufficiently badly hurt that I'd be unable to activate it. Hence in tracking mode if I were hurt and unable to help myself in anyway at least they'd get a nearest location within a 10 minute window. That was the idea at least, I'm not so convinced it'd be that good but at least it wouldn't be you've got this whole mountain range to search from a start point +4 hours of running and whilst I'd head in a known ish direction, depending on the terrain that can change. That was the other nice thing about it being able to change your mind and not have to worry about now breaking with your stay behind plan.

But yes, the ongoing cost is a thing and the implementation isn't the best. Put it this way if I were not on my own then a RescueMe or a 3Si would be in my kit.
Fair one, although the PLB doesn't take much activating (flick the lid off with a thumb, allowing the antennae to unravel and it's done.) No more difficult than the emergency button on the Garmin thingy I would imagine. It will also transmit for in excess of 24 hrs (although by that stage you should have been found and be safely off the hill in the UK!)

I also carry a pack of miniflares and a day night flare from my boat, as the PLB isn't so good for the last few hundred meters (DF is good but not that good once you are close in).
 
Fair one, although the PLB doesn't take much activating (flick the lid off with a thumb, allowing the antennae to unravel and it's done.) No more difficult than the emergency button on the Garmin thingy I would imagine. It will also transmit for in excess of 24 hrs (although by that stage you should have been found and be safely off the hill in the UK!)

I also carry a pack of miniflares and a day night flare from my boat, as the PLB isn't so good for the last few hundred meters (DF is good but not that good once you are close in).
Yeah I think the issue is you're either solving the problem for being conscious or unconscious, I agree that if you're in a position to press a button they're as good as each other, or at the very least, the PLB is no worse and perhaps better. Based on the simplicity of the tech involved to get a help me message out and the fact that as you say it's geared up for DF'ing as well, mine in the absence of a good GPS fix is probably fecked on that front.

Re: Flares, I wasn't aware of such things. That said, I can't imagine I can air travel with them so moot for most of the stuff I get upto, horses, courses etc.
 

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