Mountain rescue call-outs double as people rely heavily on navigation apps
Walkers are being warned not to rely on navigation app when in the countryside as they are useless if the battery runs out or you lose signal.
Rescuers have warned apps can give you huge amounts of information – but get lost on a mountainside and lose your signal and its not help at all.
Far to many people are ditching the traditional map and compass, and relying on devices such as iPhones and other smartphones to find their way – this can lead to potentially fatal consequences, rescue teams warned yesterday.
This new technology craze is being blamed for the steep rise in mountainside rescue call outs over the last few years.
Maps and navigational apps that use satnav technology can be helpful when pinpointing your location, but halfway up a mountain or in the middle of know where there is often no signal.
The mountain rescue team noted its mainly youngsters that are the worst for relying on modern technology. A combination of the younger generations lack of experience in the great outdoors and their reliance every day on modern technology is possibly the reason behind a 50 per cent increase in rescue pleas in the Lake District alone in the last five years.
Nick Owen, Langdale and Ambleside mountain rescue team leader, said: ‘They’re great with technology, but they can’t walk up a hill without getting into trouble.
‘They take no sensible kit such as spare clothing and they rely on technical gadgetry which they’re not familiar with.
‘It’s a generation that’s never experienced risk or inconvenience – they get lost and then can’t think beyond the fact they are wet and cold.’
Mountain rescue experts stressed that a fully-charged mobile can be an invaluable piece if you do get in to trouble. But Cumbria Tourism spokesman Ellis Butcher said: ‘Some people go up the fells and treat them like London, where they can call a taxi out if they get stuck. We have safety information in tourist centres and accommodation but there is not much you can do to legislate against the foolish few.’