Safety Notes on Hiking in Our Mountains


CapeNature manages large areas in the Western Cape Mountains, and encourages hikers to enjoy their wild beauty. Hiking is a wonderful opportunity to explore natural areas, but could end in tragedy if these guidelines are not followed.

Planning

Plan your hike thoroughly. Pay attention to:

  • Permit requirements and gate times
  • Time of start and expected finish
  • Pace (3 km/h is average)
  • Time of sunset and tides (Robberg and De Hoop nature reserves )
  • Size of group (preferably three or more), never hike alone.
  • Capable and responsible leader
  • Availability of water
  • Fitness and medical condition of group members, the slowest person determines the pace of hiking
  • Inform someone of your plans and expected time of return
  • Leave a message with your name, size of group, route, expected time of return and a contact person clearly visible in your car.

Weather

Weather conditions can change very quickly in the mountains, even if the weather is good at lower altitudes. Trails will be closed in the event of dangerous weather. Do not attempt to hike if the trail is closed – it can endanger lives. If the weather turns dangerous, make your way back to the start or to the nearest hut as quickly as possible. Do not attempt to complete the trail. Weather forecasts are available at tel: 082 162. If in doubt, phone the reserve before leaving home.

Emergency Equipment

Always carry the following items:

  • Torch (with new batteries)
  • Pocket knife
  • First aid kit
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Waterproof gear
  • 1:50 000 contour map in Wilderness Areas
  • Compass
  • Space blanket
  • Whistle
  • At least a 1, 5 l water bottle.

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Filed under Cape Town, Hiking, News, Table Mountain

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