Police urge hill walkers to use maps not smartphone apps for navigation

NORTHERN Constabulary are urging hill walkers not to rely solely on ‘smartphone’ apps for navigation.

One two occasions in recent days, both Police and Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team have been involved in the rescue of lost walkers who were relying entirely on apps which proved to be insufficient on their own.

Aviemore Acting Inspector Kevin MacLeod stated: “When you consider the dangers of getting lost in the mountains or of taking a false turn, it would be difficult to overstate the importance of being able to navigate accurately.

“‘Smartphone’ apps are a great innovation but, on their own, they are not reliable enough for navigation in the mountains.”

And Simon Steer, Deputy Leader of the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team, said: “Last night alone we were involved in two separate incidents, involving a total of 16 people, who had relied on ‘smartphone’ apps to navigate on the high tips, were very poorly equipped for the conditions, and became lost in the Cairngorms.
“It’s great that more people are venturing into the hills, but we need to be very aware of the limitations of new technologies and avoid relying solely on them.

“Apps don’t give you a risk free passport to the mountains – if nothing else, the batteries don’t last indefinitely.”