Walking or Tent Camping Safety Brief
Q. Has anyone seen or have a safety brief form for walking or camping in tents?
I've seen plenty of route cards and risk assessment on the Internet that I can crib from, however the only place I've been able to get hold of a safety brief is from the Scouts.
Even 'Mountain Craft and Leadership' and its successor - 'Hill walking', has very little on this.
James Brown, London
A. I don't know of one - but it sounds like a good idea.
Has anyone got any suggestions about what should be on it?
A. I reckon the main hazard whilst camping is the risk of setting fire to your tent whilst you're in it. A nylon tent will burn really really fast and melt all over your delicate body with very nasty results indeed.
This sounds obvious but the hazard can be avoided by cooking outside the tent or, if this isn't possible due to the weather, cooking in the porch and being very careful about making sure the flaps don't flap. Also if there's more than one person in the tent, agree that only one person cooks and the other(s) stay quite quite still.
Petrol/paraffin fuelled stoves can flare up and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the tent whatever the weather.
If a disaster does occur, the best advice would be to keep a sharp penknife open and handy so that the tent can be slashed open quickly and an escape made.
A second hazard whilst camping - specially wild camping - is that tents can be collapsed by high winds. Poles can be break on a wild night and the whole thing becomes a bit of a drama. I speak from experience.
If you're sleeping "in the nip" (I was) and your tent is destroyed in the night (it was) in some wild and woolly spot (very), you're in deep trouble (need I say more).
Best thing is to keep a torch, map, compass and spare clothes etc handy in a bag where you can put your hands on it in the dark - and always know where this bag is. Thus, a fully-clothed escape can be effected to the nearest source of help.
Mike Knipe, Crook