9 August, 2023
Adventure allows us to step outside our immediate comfort zone and is a great way to repeatedly rediscover a zest for life.
The AdventureSmart campaign encourages people to plan their outdoor adventures so that they enjoy their day and return safely. It’s all about discovering the great outdoors but knowing how to be responsible for your own safety and that of your companions.
Whilst its origins are firmly rooted in Wales with the launch of AdventureSmartWales in 2018, financial support from over Offa’s Dyke enabled the launch of AdventureSmart.UK in 2019. Since then, the campaign has gone from strength to strength thanks to its wide and varied network of partner organisations that collectively promote a consistent, positive, friendly, integrated approach to communicating safety in the outdoors. Our audience is defined by their knowledge and experience of outdoor recreation activities - those who are venturing into the outdoors for the first time; those with limited knowledge and experience who are tempted to attempt activities beyond their ability and; those who are able to help cascade the messages to our audiences e.g. outdoor professionals, hospitality, manufacturers, retailers etc.
The aim of this national behavioural change safety campaign, which is underpinned by a firm evidence base and the latest behavioural science, is primarily to reduce the number of avoidable incidents that the rescue and emergency services deal with each year. Its comprehensive online suite of clear and consistent ‘good practice’ assets and resources offer a trusted voice, brand and identity to promote safe, responsible outdoor recreation; and are free to use and share with all who engage with the outdoors.
Being AdventureSmart simply means that you are thinking about your own experience and skills or about the experiences and skills you wish others to have to ‘make their good day better’. Choosing an adventure that you know is within your skillset is part of the fun – and if you want to do something that pushes beyond this, there are many ways to find a guide or instructor to help you.
Being AdventureSmart starts with three questions to ask yourself before you set off, whether it be on land or on water.
Whatever your planned activity for the day, be honest with yourself about your and your companions’ knowledge, fitness and ability. We all like to kid ourselves that we are fitter, or indeed more capable than we are but, in this instance, it pays to be honest.
So, do you really know where you are going? Have you thought about the ability and fitness of the least able member of your group/friends? Do you honestly know your own limits?
We are renowned for being a bit obsessed with the weather in the UK, which makes it surprising that people frequently don’t pay enough attention to how it might affect their day’s adventure. Whatever your activity being prepared for the weather and the impact of the weather on the environment can make a big difference to how you feel at the end of the day.
So, have you checked the latest forecast for your route? Are you willing to change your plans? Have you everything you need to protect your body from the effects of the weather – hot or cold, sunny or foggy, windy or still…?
You don’t need the latest high-tech, high-performance, painfully expensive jacket to be AdventureSmart. The trick is putting a little bit of thought into what conditions you might meet and packing a bag with just enough to ensure you can cope with whatever the day may bring.
So, make sure you will be warm and dry, carry a fully charged mobile phone (and a power bank) with OS Locate downloaded along with all the maps you need, carry a paper map too, carry a torch & whistle, and carry plenty of food & drink.
Whatever your adventure, asking yourself these 3 simple questions will help you make really good decisions to keep your day on track, enabling you to stay safe and comfortable while enjoying the outdoors.
Accidents can happen to anyone however AdventureSmart you are, so whatever your activity make sure you carry an appropriate means of calling for help should you need to. If you find someone in trouble on land or in water, don’t put yourself at risk, call 999
INLAND: Ask for police & then Mountain Rescue
INLAND WATERS: Ask for Fire & Rescue Service
SEA & COASTAL AREAS: Ask for the coastguard
Give details of your location (grid reference if possible), name, gender, age of casualty, nature of injuries or emergency, number of people in the party and your mobile phone number.
Check out the website AdventureSmart.UK, it's a great resource for personal, professional and business use. The layout is easy to follow, mobile-friendly and packed with practical advice. There is even a quick quiz to test yourself, friends and clients and a toolkit to help businesses to engage with their customers; by staying safe they can enjoy their visit so much more, returning to regale their friends with wonderful stories of their great adventures. More than that there are free resources to use with specific information for Cymru – Wales, The Lake District and Northern Ireland.
AdventureSmart UK is a rollout of the safety campaign AdventureSmartWales which was launched in 2018.
Adventure Smart Wales was a 2 year project (2017-2019), funded via the Welsh Government’s Tourism Product Innovation Fund which aims to encourage new innovative product ideas working in partnership which will have a greater impact and attract more visitors; With additional contributions from Snowdonia National Park Authority, British Mountaineering Council and Welsh Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The aim is to reduce the number of avoidable incidents which the rescue and emergency services deal with each year. The objective is to establish a comprehensive set of safety messages and to work with the outdoor sector to promote these far and wide.
Experts from leading safety and sporting organisations have developed these messages to provide all the essential information needed for people to get outdoors, confident that they have prepared for a great day.
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