Category Archives: Outdoor Training

Is outdoor adventure for kids a thing of the past?

There was a very interesting article in the Guardian last week with some interesting implications for field safety and outdoor skills training.  Not a new topic but quite an in-depth discussion of outdoor adventure for kids and if it is a reality or even a possibility in the modern world.

It contained the rather scary calculation based on an example family where the grandmother at the age of 11 roamed across 50 square miles. The father, in the 1970s, roamed within 1 square mile. His children wander freely only as far as their 140-square-metre garden permits.  Whilst it is always good to maintain a healthy dose of cynicism of the rose tinted glasses view on the past, it does seem to ring true with much of our experience.

Do your kids get outdoor adventures?

Is outdoor adventure for kids a thing of the past

 

There is some wonderful work done in outdoor education centres and schools in getting kids out to do outdoor and adventurous activities. We’d like to think that some of these opportunities are wider and more accessible than they have been in the past.

At the same time there is still more work to be done in encouraging parents to be less risk averse and more adventurous with their children and indeed creating opportunities for kids to explore by themselves.  Training such as the RGS off-site safety management course and the new RLSS Water Safety Management Program has made headway in arming parents, teachers and activity coordinators with the skills to manage safety and carry out dynamic risk assessment which looks to manage but not eliminate risk.  However there is clearly far more which can still be done.

If you’d be interested in discussing any training in dynamic risk managementfield safety or safety in outdoor adventure for kids, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

To read the article in full see the Guardian online.

Interesting reflections on rope swings, kids adventure and risk management

Here’s an interesting blog we came across this morning.  Some very interesting thoughts on insurance, the realities of risk and the importance of risk benefit analysis in outdoor adventures for kits: //rethinkingchildhood.com/2013/07/10/rope-swings-insurance/

 

Tragic climbing death – a timely reminder of key outdoor skills in rock climbing safety

Well worth taking a few minutes to read this article and watch the video regarding some of the potential dangers of rubber band restrained quick draws.  Important key tips for climbers and as usual, a key outdoor skills and field safety message – check and know your gear well.

Incorrectly set up quick draw - BEWARE

The rubber band is the only thing holding a potential fall – check your kit carefully. UKC News, 09 Jul 2013
© Grimper.com

Sadly these lessons come out in the light of the tragic death of Tito Traversa so our thoughts go out to his family.  Please take a minute to read these top safety reminders from UKC.

Mountain Biking Outdoor First Aid – World MTB Downhill Championship

Leading Training Expertise Trainer Jon Parry was recently out putting his mountain biking outdoor first aid skills into practice so we thought we’d share his thoughts…

I was recently on the medic team for the downhill World Mountain Bike championship held in Fort William and was struck by how few serious injuries we had to deal with.  Many of the cyclists came off their bike but through their conditioning and training they managed to limit their injuries to just grazes and cuts.  There was the odd serious injury however e.g. a fractured shoulder, a potential spinal injury and a concussion and it was the difference between these serious and the not so serious casualties that caught my attention.

Outdoor first aid for mountain bikers

Outdoor first aid at the downhill World mountain bike championship

In all outdoor first aid and wilderness medical situations, just by slowly and calmly approaching the casualty you get a very clear sense of how bad they are.  That extra minute or two is time not wasted as it provides you with an invaluable sense of the urgency, what you think has happened to the patient and whether it is safe for you to approach.  You arrive at the patient better prepared for what you eventually need to do for them!

Applying this back to our outdoor first aid training it really drives home the emphasis on the ‘Danger’ assessment in the DRABCDE procedure which we apply to all first aid incidents.   It’s the first thing we do and we always say don’t rush into an incident.  Instead take time to assess what is going on and whether it is safe for you to approach.

Next time you’re approaching an incident just think ‘Danger’ assessment; what’s happened to the patient, is it safe to approach, is there anyone else we need to be worried about, absorb the urgency of the situation, decide a rough plan of action and then proceed.  Better to be prepared than to get yourself into a dangerous situation!”

If you would like to find out more about our mountain biking outdoor first aid training, please just drop us an email.

Managing Water Safety

So many excursions venture on or near bodies of water – whether researching fluvial dynamics, marine ecosystems or simply a university climbing club trip to Swanage.

The water element can be a major highlight of the trip but you have to consider what you would do in the event of an accident:

  • What if someone slipped in the water?
  • How much time do you have to get them out?
  • What should you do with the rest of the group?
  • What is that orange ring thing and where is it!?

Lots of courses focus on the lifesaving knowledge needed to deal with this sort of situation should it arise.  However, the The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) National Water Safety Management Programme (NWSMP) is different.  It is designed to give people the knowledge base and confidence to ensure that no one falls in the water in the first place – “prevention is better than a cure”!

It focuses on managing groups and their safety to prevent incidents occurring, as well as giving you the tools to know how to affect a rescue should the worst happen.

 

Water Safety Management Programme

Water Safety Management Programme

Water Safety is of paramount importance to the well being of anyone visiting a body of water, be it a swimming pool, lake, river or beach. This pragmatic, principle based course sits perfectly within our ethos at Training Expertise and we are therefore proud to offer the RLSS NWSMP as both a bespoke or open course as part of our Field Safety Training.

This qualification’s modular structure can be specifically tailored to your school’s needs so to learn more about this course, please feel free to get in touch

Mountain safety – beware bad mountain in the ‘summer’

A timely report of incidents attended by Welsh mountain rescue teams emphasises how important it is for people to plan carefully and be prepared for the worst when heading up into the mountains.  A reminder that the British ‘summer’ weather is far from predictable and as ever good mountain safety would do well to follow the old adage, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst”.  Thankfully all down safely but a reminder of the importance of good field safety planning and worth a quick read of the full story from UKC of how a group of nine people had to be rescued from Crib Goch in bad weather.

 

Mountain safety on crib goch

© Sonny Bennett, Sep 2010

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.

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.