The old ways are the best, say experts

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Walkers and climbers are being warned not to rely on satellite navigation devices and are urged to know how to use a map and compass.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland is concerned GPS systems may be resulting in outdoors adventurers being less safe in the hills.

The council’s mountain safety advisor, Heather Morning, said: “Navigation in the Scottish mountains can be challenging.

“There’s a temptation to think that splashing out lots of money on an electronic gadget is going to solve all your navigation and safety concerns.

“But recent trends with mountain rescue call-outs suggest the opposite.”

Her views are echoed by Scottish Borders Council senior countryside ranger, Keith Robeson.

He said: “You can’t rely on an electronic device, you need to be able to use a map and compass to be safe. It’s basic.

“The good thing about a map is you can see a good chunk of the countryside on the map and you can see features at a distance which is more difficult to do on a GPS system.”

He and the ranger team run an annual map-reading workshop, which this year will take place at Harestanes, Ancrum, near Jedburgh, on October 18.

The council also warned walkers should especially not reply on GPS during cold conditions when battery life is markedly reduced and gloves hamper using small buttons and touch-screens.