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Keeping safe on a trek

Mr Noor Hisham, assistant director for training and operations at Outward Bound Singapore, has some tips:

BE PREPARED

Plan a detailed route of the hike or climb.

"The planning stage is vital. Planning the route allows you to better pinpoint your location along the way and lets you know roughly how long the climb will take to complete," he said.

INFORM OTHERS

Always inform the relevant authorities or hotel staff about your destination and when you expect to return.

This makes it easier for them to know if you have gotten lost, and can inform the authorities.

Mr Hisham said: "The authorities will also be able to provide valuable information on the potential dangers or important landmarks to look out for on the trail."

HAVE PROPER EQUIPMENT

"A compass and map are staples in any climb. GPS (Global Positioning System) is also recommended."

Communication is crucial, so take along a satellite phone or mobile phone with spare batteries.

"Modern phones are likely to be drained in half a day with constant GPS usage, so spare batteries are very important."

Other essentials include a torch, first-aid equipment, water purification tablets and a shelter.

TAKE EXTRA SUPPLIES

On top of the usual food and water, Mr Hisham advises hikers to pack emergency rations such as muesli bars, trail mix, chocolate and energy drinks as a precaution.

IF YOU GET LOST

Do not panic and try to stay at the same location.

"Staying put makes it easier for a search team to find you. If you keep moving, it is going to become like a cat-and-mouse game," he said.

- COLIN THAM