Sports Recommendation: Mountain Craft
(Image is designed by the student of Hong Kong Design Institute)
In addition to emphasizing essential safety skills, mountain craft also encourages you to exercise your willpower and perseverance, and helps you develop communication, cooperation and problem solving skills.
If you want to get closer to nature on an outdoor adventure to see natural views from high up, mountain craft, which consist of hiking and camping activities, is undoubtedly a perfect choice for you. But before setting out, remember that careful planning of the route and taking note of weather conditions are critically important to mountaineering activities as the mountains are dangerous.
Safety always comes first when participating in mountaineering activities, and you must ensure the adequacy of all climbing equipment. In terms of clothing, participants should wear loose and comfortable clothes, and should bring hats, waterproof jackets, towels and extra clothes with them. Hiking shoes should also be worn to protect the feet and prevent slips and injuries. Also, hiking sticks are great for supporting you and helping you keep your balance.
Bring maps, compasses, torches, whistles, multi-purpose pocket knives and sufficient food and drinking water, as well as insect repellent, personal medicine and a first aid kit with medicine, bandages and painkillers in case of emergencies.
Activities such as camping require the preparation of many items such as tents, camp lights, cooking utensils, fuel, sleeping bags and personal cleaning products. As such, it is recommended to come up with a checklist of necessary items beforehand.
Knot tying and protection
Depending on the difficulty of the route, you should be equipped with items such as a karabiner, climbing rope and slings that are suited to the difficulty of your hiking route. In addition to this, participants need to be familiar with basic binding and hitching methods and the following types of knots: overhand knot, reef knot, single figure eight, double figure eight, follow through figure eight, clove hitch, round turn & two half hitch, bowline, double fisherman’s knot, etc. Proper employment of the equipment and tying techniques mentioned above will reduce the chances of injury significantly.
Points to note when crossing rivers
If a river must be crossed as part of the hiking route, climbers must be led by an experienced leader when crossing the river. You should always walk in shallow and slow-moving areas of the river during the crossing and should avoid wet rocks and tree trunks. Slip-proof hiking shoes should be worn during the crossing. A hiking stick should be used for balancing and path finding purposes during the crossing. Do not risk water wading unless it is necessary. For safety reasons, it is best to form a group of at least two and consider the adequacy of equipment, the opinions of group members and the water temperature before risking a river crossing.
Mountain Craft training
To promote greater awareness of mountaineering safety and techniques among participants through systematic training, the China Hong Kong Mountaineering and Climbing Union (formerly known as Hong Kong Mountaineering Union) offers specialized training courses such as the Mountain Craft Certificate Course which targets participants at different levels of expertise.
The training courses include Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 Mountain Craft Training Course and Mountain Craft Coach Training. All courses are taught by registered coaches. The aim of the courses is to cultivate further interest in mountaineering among participants while teaching them essential mountaineering skills and knowledge.
For more information, please visit the official website of the China Hong Kong Mountaineering and Climbing Union or call 2504 8125 for enquiries.