When should I tell people to worry?

We all know walks can take longer than expected… but at what point should the person left behind waiting start to worry and call for help?

Its really useful to leave a route card or an outline of your plans for the day with a friend or family member before you set off for the day. I encourage people to have a couple of different options to allow for changes in the weather or conditions and ideally to make your plans on the night before you head out so that you can have an upto date forecast.

Within that plan you can let people know where you are parking and when you are likely to be back, using Naismiths rule to calculate how long your route will take and allowing for rests along the way.

If you are expected back at 5:00pm and your loved one calls in at 5:10pm then the Rescue Team are likely to suggest waiting a couple of hours before doing anything. Its useful to know where you are parked because they might be able to ask the Police to check the car park and see if your car is still there.

If your car is still there a couple of hours after your return time then behind the scenes wheels may start turning, dependent upon the weather, conditions and the route you were taking.

Its worth taking a phone with you and calling in during the day when you get a signal to let your loved one know how the plan is going and if you have made any changes.

Finally make sure you make the call once you are down or if you are running late, its a bit embarrassing to be found in the pub by the MRT.