Monthly Archives: May 2013

Field safety support in Namibia

Our field safety training is based firmly on real field experience.  All our trainers are active fieldworkers and expedition leaders and as well as training, they work regularly out in the field as medics and fieldwork safety advisors.  Dom has just returned from Namibia where he spent a week in the desert providing on-site field safety support to one of our clients.  We thought we’d share a few photos and some of his experiences.

field safety in the Namibian desert

Enjoying the dunes on the final day of the trip

Namibia was a beautiful place, with wide expanses of true wilderness.  We drove for days on end without seeing any sign of other human life, let alone any actual people! Magical as this wilderness is it poses some field safety challenges as well.  The wildlife was magnificent, seeing zebra, oryx. meerkats, ostrich, springboks as well as regular signs of elephant and lion.  Care had to be taken around camp in the evenings and overnight.

It was also a good environment for putting driver training skills into practice.  We encountered deep sand, rocky terrain and some challenges for drivers and toyota landcruisers alike.  Sharp rock edges proved a challenge for the lancruiser tyres and we got plenty of practice in the challenges of changing tyres in remote desert environments!

field safety in the Namibian desert

Endless desert wilderness

Visiting rocky outcrops also posed some challenges with the need for careful group management, expedition leadership and outdoor skills to manage issues such as loose rock and steep exposed areas.

Through a combination of good field sense, dynamic risk assessment by the team and good pre-planning the trip ran safely and successfully and we all returned dusty, happy and tired for a much needed cool drink and hot shower in Windhoek!

Driver training in practice in the desert

Challenging off road 4×4 driving in Namibia

If you would like any support or field safety training to help make your field plans a reality please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  You can also see more photos from Namibia on our facebook page.

Field Safety Update conference at the RGS in June

field safety BSI update

RGS field safety conference for BSI update

Just a quick post to make you all aware of an important upcoming field safety event. On the 10th June the RGS with IBG will host a one-day conference to provide an overview and discussion of changes in guidance to promoting field safety in adventurous activities, fieldwork and expedition training training in UK and overseas.

We’ll be there and hope to catch up with many of you there as well.

For full details see the field safety update conference on the RGS website.

Mountain safety – are your outdoor skills up to spotting bombs!

Well this is a new field safety tip for us as mountain rescuers have warned walkers and runners after dangerous unexploded shells were found on moorland.  We’ve never thought of spotting unexploded shells as a key part of your outdoor skills, but maybe we need to start including it on our outdoor skills training courses!

The discovery on Monday followed a tip-off by a fell runner who noticed the piece of ordnance while running above Langsett in the North-East of the Peak District.

The area was formerly used as a military firing range and has been the scene of various discoveries of unexploded shells in the past.

The moors above Langsett, crossed by the Cut Gate path, were used as a firing range and unexploded ordnance is often found at the end of winter as the shells are forced to the surface from the movement of the peat bogs.

bomb spotting - new outdoor skills

exploded bomb safely detonated by teams in the mountains

Being called out for unexploded shells is an unusual addition to a busy five days for the mountain rescue team, which also helped provide safety cover for the Ten Tors challenge event run by the Army on Dartmoor over the weekend.

Mr Roberts said: “Woodhead members were kept on their toes throughout the event assisting Dartmoor Rescue Group rescue in excess of 14 teenagers from the notoriously inclement Dartmoor weather.”

“The rescues included locating lost teams and taking them to a place of safety. Two competitors were treated for mild hypothermia while another was treated for a leg injury.”

As ever the story is a reminder of the tireless work that mountain rescue teams do in helping out those who get into trouble in the mountains.  For more details read the full story here.

Off road driver training with BORDA

 

We are delighted to announce that in addition to our LANTRA and bespoke driver training Training Expertise also has plans afoot to offer BORDA accredited off road driver training.  So we wanted to share an account of a very successful pilot.

4x4 off road driver training

Off road driving training with BORDA

I turned up in Tangley ready to have my off-road driving experience pulled apart, cobwebs blown out and bad habits erased by way of the BORDA (British Off Road Driving Association) Standard course.

The trainer David, started the off road driver training with a short classroom session in a lovely open barn conversion.  We discussed the scope of BORDA, and some theory.  We covered the different types of 4×4 vehicle and how differential locks work.  Then we headed out into the 12 acre off-road site. We practiced and ran through many scenarios, looking at the best ways of attacking slopes, ditches and descents.

I was in my element and David adapted the training to allow for my inquisitive nature into the theory and to push my skills. 45 degree ascents with slippery chalk half way up, driving across 30 degree side slopes and how to recover control if the vehicle begins to tip, the challenge of driving along the length of 2 parallel telegraph poles keeping the wheels on them at all times, a real tight rope act!

With an aspiration to develop to be a driver training instructor in future I spent the final half an hour in the other shoes, training David, who took on the role of a student…if only he’d stop looping his thumbs through the steering wheel!

The day was progressive and exciting with real progress felt through the day; the cobwebs cleared and the bad habits became refined techniques again.

If you drive off-road for work or pleasure and would like driver training be it for LANTRA, or BORDA qualifications, or just to increase your personal skills, please get in touch.

Exciting Expedition Training partnership with Explorers Connect

We are delighted to announce an exciting new course partnership with Explorers Connect.  This October (5th and 6th) we are launching a joint expedition leadership weekend.  This fun and informative weekend will include our full IOL approved CPD expedition training course with some special added extras from the team from Explorers Connect including a guest speaker on the Saturday evening.

Expedition Training for Remote Environments

Expedition leadership training

The course combines insight into the expedition industry with ideas on how to get into the sector.  It also covers many of the soft skills such as managing groups and facilitation, alongside hard skills such as risk management and field safety.

It is clearly crucial that all expedition leaders have up to date outdoor first aid skills and the ability to navigate and other hard outdoor skills.  However we consider it equally important to learn about managing groups, group facilitation and support for those tricky issues which always rear their head in the middle of the jungle!

We look forward to sharing new skills over a fun and relaxed weekend of expedition training – get in touch for more details or you can book direct via explorers connect.