29 April 2021

Pigeon & Potato Stew

A freshly knocked down wood pigeon, converted into pigeon and potato stew. Potatoes from the garden. Washed down with some homemade blueberry gin. Gin aged about a year now, with coffee beans and oak bark.

15 April 2021

Training Courses & Guided Kayaking Back

Now officially back (on a somewhat limited basis still) running Mountain Skills, Rock Climbing Skills and Bushcraft Skills.

Officially back running our Glengarriff Bay Sea Kayaking and our Killarney Lakes Kayaking from 26th April.

8 April 2021

Back To Kayaking Tours Soon...

Not much longer hopefully, and we'll be back running our guided kayaking trips; both in Killarney National Park and Glengarriff Nature Reserve!

28 February 2021

Discounted One-Day Training Refreshers; For When Things Open Up Again

Before covid struck - you may have been partway through training for Mountain Skills, Rock Climbing, Scrambling, Bushcraft or Kayaking.

Over the past year you potentially had very little practice; or possibly no practice at all. Maybe feeling your skills are back to zero, and you need to start your training courses all over again?

Working off the hope of things opening up a little in April/May (and obviously subject to guidelines at the time); I have scheduled some one-day refresher courses, to get you back in the saddle again, refresh any rusty skills, and hopefully after one-day's training be ready to progress and/or get back outdoors self-sufficiently and off the beaten track.

If you have, for example, completed a Mountain Skills 1 or Bushcraft Skills 1 and are feeling all those skills are forgotten; you will be surprised how much comes flooding back after just one day of refresher training. Plus a simple action plan. Plus some contacts you will make from the refresher course.

Price varies per course (see below), but will be hugely discounted. This is not just for Outdoors Ireland students - anyone can attend.

Dates are mid week and all courses are based in Glengarriff.

One-Day Refresher Leading On From Mountain Skills 1:
Thurs 15th Apr : €35pp

One-Day Refresher Leading On From Mountain Skills 2:
Fri 16th Apr : €35pp

Mountain Skills Night Navigation Refresher:
Fri 16th Apr : €35pp

One-Day Refresher Leading On From Rock Climbing Training 1:
(Rock Climbing / Belaying / Abseiling / Techniques)
Thurs 22nd Apr : €45pp

One-Day Refresher Leading On From Rock Climbing Training 2:
(Rope Work / Anchor Placement / Set Up)
Fri 23rd Apr : €45pp

One-Day Refresher Leading On From Scramble Skills 1:
Wed 28th Apr : €35pp

One-Day Refresher Leading On From Bushcraft Skills 1:
Fri 9th Apr : €55pp

One-Day Refresher Leading On From Kayaking Training:
Thurs 29th Apr : €35pp

One-Day Refresher Workshop Leading On From Business Training/Business Coaching:
Fri 30th Apr : €TBC

Click Here To Contact
Click Here To Book

27 February 2021

Treating Hyperthermia

Hyperthermia is becoming too hot. It can become very serious on the mountain or water. If there are other injuries involved - they are your secondary concern. However; different to hypothermia; generally if someone if suffering from heat exhaustion, followed by heat stroke - this is usually your main and only 'injury'. If their body core becomes too hot (heat exhaustion, followed by heat stroke/hyperthermia) - you need to cool them urgently.

Click Here To See The Recognition Signs For Hyperthermia

1. Stop sooner rather than later. Stop before the situation has spiraled into something very serious. You do not take heat stroke/hyperthermia lightly - is is very serious and can become life threatening.

2. This has probably happened because your patient arrived not fully prepared/slightly dehydrated/hungover. They perspired too much, did not carry enough fluids, did not drink enough fluids. Maybe their fitness levels were not up to the route. Maybe your route was simply too long and too exposed for such a scorching hot day. This is all preventable - and prevention in the first place is obviously much more ideal.

3. Find shade out of the sun. You may be able to utilise a breeze to help cool them, simply by moving from one side of a boulder to the opposite side, or from one side of a ridge to the opposite side.

4. As well as finding shade from the sun, you can build shade by making a barrier of bodies between your patient and the sun. You can spread out a storm shelter/kissu, survival bag, foil blanket or map - like an umbrella - between your patient and the sun. You could build something quickly, utilising the landscape you have around you - so a pit in the sand, a pile of stones, a pile of branches/debris.

5. Strip your patient down to the bare minimum of layers. Especially - ensure their footwear, socks, gloves, hat are all taken off.

6. If possible immerse them into a river, stream, boghole. The shock of full immersion into cold water will not kill them - don't worry. Don't immerse them into a river if there is any risk of being swept away.

7. If you have no cold water immersion access then sponge down your patient with water, especially focusing on their head and upper body. Dirty water from a bog hole or stream is fine as it is not being ingested. Save your clean water for drinking.

8. Fan your patient with a map to generate a breeze and help with cooling.

9. From the very start of this process they need to be drinking water. Constant sips, little and often. Hydration drinks such as a dioralyte sachet poured into their water bottle is best. You can make up a simple and highly effective hydration drink (details here).

10. Plain water by itself is not ideal at this point. Really they need to be getting salt and sugar back into their body urgently - to replace what they have lost through sweating. Carry hydration material in your first aid kit (such as dioralyte sachets).

11. Asses the ground your patient is sitting on. The ground may be warm, or rock/sand may be dangerously hot for your patient; so sitting on a backpack could be a better option. Sitting rather then lying could be a better option. Turn over hot rocks to sit on their cooler underside. Dig into sand to reach cooler ground lower down. Deeper you dig the cooler the ground will become, plus the deeper you dig the more likely you will reach dampness or water - which can be useful.

12. Food and drink. Ensure they are fully conscious, not sleepy/drowsy, with the possibility of choking on food. Even if not hungry/thirsty it is important to get fuel into them. Amounts little and often of good food such as brown bread sandwiches, and bad food such as chocolate/jellies. Both types of food are needed. Hot drink can be poured into a cup to cool for later. No coffee - it is no good for their compromised system. No caffeine energy drinks, again bad for their system. No alcohol.

13. The emotional care you give is hugely important. They need to feel calmed, reassured, as relaxed as possible, that they are in calm/confident/competent hands. They do not need to overhear conversations about how quickly they are failing, how serious the situation is. They do not need to see anxious, stressed, whispered conversations going on across the spot height. I would nominate someone to sit with them, hold their hand and talk with them/reassure them. It is important to find the balance with not bombarding or exhausting them with talk and questions!

11. Get vital signs (pulse and breath) regularly, so you (or mountain rescue) have a picture as to whether they are getting better or worse. Write them down or type them into a phone.

12. Get allergies, medical issues, past medical history. Record it all. This is important in case your patient deteriorates; or if they suddenly have a fit - it is great to know in advance that they suffer from epilepsy for example.

13. Better to call for help too early rather than too late. Mountain Rescue would much rather you call them before the situation has become desperate. I find a good rule is, if you begin to wonder should you possibly call mountain rescue; then it is time you called them!

14. Calling for help; ring 112 or 999. Both are identical. With no phone reception try anyway. Your phone may well piggyback onto another network in the area that has reception. If you are the most experienced person, you will probably be dealing with your patient; so nominate someone else to make the emergency call.
A. You initially get through to central dispatch.
B. Ask for mountain rescue (ideally know who your local team are; for example in Kerry and Cork you are asking for Kerry Mountain Rescue).
C. You are transferred to the main garda station, where a guard will take some details, then hang up.
D. Your phone will ring with a member of the mountain rescue on the line to take it from there. This may take 5 to 20 mins before mountain rescue contact you.
E. Starting to happen with smart phone technology - is a text message also comes into your phone with an app you open, which gives you/mountain rescue your exact location.

15. When do you call for help? Completely depends on weather/location/distance from road/severity of patient/other injuries of patient/your level of emergency gear/your level of experience. Some people would call at the UMBLES stage. Some people would do full above treatment, wait and assess for 30-60 mins, then decide to call or to walk off hill with patient. Both can be correct - it is all down to your exact circumstances.

16. Even if your patient is recovering, if in any doubt call for help. The energy required to walk off hill may push them back into the danger zone again.

17. Cold pads can be used. They are not essential and I don't personally carry them. However they can be useful. Put them as close to the body core as possible; inside armpits, against stomach, against lower back, between thighs - right up in groin area. Watch they don't ice-scorch your patient and watch they don't leak/burst.

18. Split Party? If one person has become hyperthermic, chances are conditions have others in your party also at risk. There is no right or wrong answer to splitting your party. Sometimes it can be good for some of your party to continue on downhill to safety. Sometimes it is better to stay all together. You can imagine what a nuisance it becomes if some of your party continues on downhill; then gets lost, gets injured, or you discover they have gone off with an essential piece of first aid gear or extra water you need...

19. No Reception? With no phone reception try anyway. Your phone may well piggyback onto another network in the area that has reception. A phone will make an emergency call even when locked/without pin code. With terrible reception/terrible weather conditions you can send an emergency sms text message to 112. You need to register your phone number with 112 first. Details here: www.112.ie/Sending_a_text_to_112/144.
With no reception whatsoever you move about, constantly trying to dial, and watching your signal bar icon. Do not get lost or walk off a cliff while doing this! Try different things - climb onto a boulder, climb onto a spot height, go into the middle of a saddle. With no reception still - you are heading downhill to the nearest house/road - like in the days before mobile phones. As you proceed keep checking your phone reception. This is why it is good to have an 'escape route' pre-planned as part of your route planning/route card. You want to be vigilant, as you are most likely rushing and stressed, that you do not become lost/injured/crag-fast.

20. Only One Rescuer? Less Than Three Should Never Be is a good rule of thumb. If one person becomes injured that leaves one person for perform first aid and one person to call for help/go for help. However if you are the only rescuer; you need to first stabilise your patient for the short term (no time consuming first aid yet - just make sure they are breathing, not bleeding heavily, not about to roll off a cliff or be swept away by a stream or avalanche). Then make the emergency call as quickly as possible. Then move into your proper first aid. If you have no phone reception then you need to stabilise your patient, do your full first aid/cooling/etc, then head off for help - noting the position of your patient.

To sum up, prevention is much better than trying to cure this. Generally hyperthermia creeps in simply because someone is not drinking enough fluids, or not drinking enough specific hydration fluids; combined with a hot day.

Before completing your Mountain Skills Assessment you must have completed a first aid course. Remote Emergency Care is a great scheme. A two-day REC2 course is fine; or a three-day REC3 course is even better. I highly recommend Marie Lyons of Remote West First Aid.

Click Here To See Our Mountain Skills Training Courses

19 February 2021

Explanation For Silva Military Compass

Explanation For Silva Military Compass (How It Works)

Irish artillery originally used guns calibrated in degrees, minutes and yards but changed in the 1960s to Mils and meters.

A full degree is too big a step for accurate artillery fire and combining degrees and minutes can cause confusion.

A full circle = 360 degrees = 6400 Mils (the word comes from milliradian).

There are a number of reasons why 6400 was chosen:
1. It approximately matches the accuracy/resolution capability of artillery optical sights.
2. It divides by two multiple times easily - all points of the compass are multiples of 200Mils.
3. It makes it very easy for artillery observers to convert distance to angles.

Point 3 Continued:
Imagine that you are at the center of a circle of radius 1km (1000m).

The circumference of that circle is 2 x pi x 1000 = 6284m which is pretty close to 6400 so each Mil of angle represents 1 meter on the ground when viewed at a range of 1km.

If a round lands just to the left of the target that is 1km away and your binocular graticule tells you that it is 50Mils left, you know that that represents 50 metres on the ground.

In general, distance left/right = angle subtended in Mils x range in km.

If a target is 4km away and the round lands 70Mils to the right, that’s 70 x 4 = 280 meters on the ground.

All western countries use 6400Mils but countries that were part of the soviet bloc use a 6000Mils circle on all of their compasses, protractors and instruments.

It is still roughly 1m at 1km but they reckoned that people were more used to breaking a circle into 60, like on the face of a clock.

Sweden used a circle with 6300Mils for a while but now uses the 6400 NATO standard Mils.

In scientific work, there are exactly 2 x pi x 1000 (milliradian) in a full circle.

More Reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angular_mil

17 February 2021

Emergency Text Message To 112 For Mountain Rescue Or Coast Guard

Did you know if you ever needed to make an emergency call from the mountain or water - and your reception is playing up - you can send an emergency text to 112?

You need to register beforehand, which is very straightforward. Just text message 'Register' to 112. All the details are here: https://www.112.ie/Sending_a_text_to_112/144

If you have ever had to talk to emergency services from a wet and windy mountain, with reception coming and going, you will appreciate what a handy option this is.

13 February 2021

Training Course To Become A Park Ranger

Looks like a really interesting course, based in Tralee, for anyone interested in becoming a park ranger. Apparently the course is free of charge.