Coastal Walking or Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities on St Helena. Post Box and Blue Dot walks are among some of the popular trails available around the Island’s coastline. These walks appeal to both locals and visitors alike.
Whilst these coastal walks give people the chance to experience St Helena’s rugged exterior and capture some of the most magnificent coastal and cliff edge views, without proper safety awareness or preparation they could easily result in an emergency situation.
As part of their Safety Awareness Campaign, the St Helena Sea Rescue Service would like to ensure that everyone knows the best ways to keep safe when coastal walking & hiking:
When coastal walking or hiking around St Helena:
- Never hike alone
- Before you leave, make sure someone knows where you are going and when to expect you back
- Ensure that you, or someone in your group, has done the walk before and is competent enough to lead the way. Your predetermined route should be shared beforehand with the entire group in case you get separated
- Always pay attention to the path – stay on it, and never cut corners
- Always watch where you are putting your feet. If you want to take in the view, then stop to do so. Don’t admire the views whilst walking as you could easily make a wrong step
- Walk within your limits. Ensure that you know enough about the demands of the walk beforehand. If you don’t feel comfortable embarking on a particular walk then it might be best to stay behind.
Things you should wear/pack when coastal walking or hiking:
- Try to wear bright clothing. This will make it easier for your group or rescuers to locate you
- Wear boots that protect your ankles. If you prefer trainers, then ensure they are appropriate for tough terrain
- Always take plenty of water. At least one litre per person should be packed
- Take a fully charged mobile phone with you. Ideally if you have a GPS and/or handheld radio then ensure they are also packed
- Take a Basic First-Aid kit. This should include at the least a bandage, gauze, plasters and some antiseptic cream or wipes
- Always pack a torch, even if you don’t plan on being out after dark
- Remember to wear/pack sunscreen
These tips will help ensure you have the safest possible experience when coastal walking or hiking around St Helena, so please ensure that you, along with your friends and family, are aware of this advice.
Deputy Sea Rescue Manager, Craig Scipio, said:
“While we continually encourage our Islanders and tourists to get out there, explore, and appreciate the Island for its natural beauty by engaging in these great activities, we also strongly encourage that individuals set aside the necessary time to consider all safety aspects before their intended journey. Knowing you have the necessary kit, equipment, and information, will give you peace of mind, therefore allowing you to enjoy your activity to the full.”
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4 April 2019