herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Hikers are warned not to rely on satnav

HILLWALKERS relying on GPS have been warned to carry paper maps to avoid getting lost.

Brian O'Doherty of The Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team (DWMRT) said that by and large technology has been of huge assistance to walkers and rescuers, but some had encountered problems.

"We have had people with GPS units who just don't know how to use it and they are getting lost as a result," Mr O'Doherty said. "In Christmas 2010, a number of people followed their satnav into the mountains to the snow and ended up in the Sally Gap in four feet of snow.

"The ideal situation is that if you are going to rely on GPS -- you should have a map with you."

DWMRT volunteers have seen a significant increase in mountain rescues, which they attribute to the growing popularity of the free, outdoors sport.

"We had 70 different incidents last year," he said. "But we are delighted to see people getting up."

The team uses GPS technology which allows it to pinpoint the location of a lost person within seconds by linking up to a smartphone.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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