This resource is intended to help people gain enjoyment and be challenged safely in the outdoors. However, individuals must take responsibility for their own safety to ensure safe participation in the outdoors. Here are a few things you can do to minimize your chances of requiring emergency assistance.
Take clothing layers for temperature changes
Clothing is important, always wear proper footwear, supportive hiking shoes or boots, a lightweight, long- sleeve shirt and a hat can help you stay cool. Carry sunglasses and sunscreen. Be prepared for temperature extremes. At certain times of the year, it can get cold almost instantly at sunset. Even if you do not plan to be out after dark, take insulating clothing and gear that will help you survive in case you happen to get off the trail or are delayed for any reason. In colder months, take a jacket.
Take plenty of water
A basic rule of thumb is a 4 litre per person per day. You may need even more, depending on the time of year. You may only plan to be out for a few hours, but plan on the unplanned. Take extra water.
Electrolyte replacement is also essential, so take powdered or liquid electrolytes or something salty.
Adventure activities require energy. Maintain your energy levels with adequate food. Salty foods such as trail mix or energy bars are good choices.
Know your location
Research and study your planned route. Know how to navigate with a good map and compass and a GPS. Practice with each. Do not rely on cell phone or tablet navigation apps that require cell service to function. Cell service is not totally reliable in many mountain areas. If you do become lost or disoriented, don’t compound the problem by trying to get un-lost. Stay where you are.
Know your skill and fitness level
Be honest in assessing your skill and fitness levels. Some trails can be extremely difficult, even for experts. While some experts may be able to do a certain trail in 2 hours, most people might require 4 or 6 hours to do the same trail.
Take a Flashlight
Even if you plan to be back well before dark, take a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries. Once it gets dark, do not attempt to travel without light. The consequences could be deadly.
Take a Mobile phone
Mobile phones have helped Search and Rescue in many situations. Make sure your battery is fully charged and leave the phone off unless absolutely necessary or carry a spare battery.
Carry first aid supplies
Accidents happen. Be prepared with a basic first aid kit that can make a casualty more comfortable and prevent an injury getting worse, until you can get to medical assistance.
Know the Weather
Check the forecast before you go out. Pay attention to the weather during the day. In summer months, choose to be active during the cooler hours earlier or later in the day. Watch for lightning and listen for thunder. Avoid wadies and drainages when thunderstorms are in the area.
Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back
Do not change your itinerary without updating this person. The first-place rescue services will look if you are reported overdue is on the trail that you are supposed to be on.
Where are you going?
Carefully consider the location of your trip and how it will affect your experience:
- How long will it take you? Ensure you leave yourself enough time. You need to think about how much daylight you have to walk in.
- You don’t want to get caught walking in the dark if you weren’t expecting to.
- Don’t forget to factor travel time into your trip planning, especially if you’re planning a long walk. What’s the terrain like? Check a map or ask someone who knows.
- A trip’s distance might look short on a map, but it could take much longer if it’s on a rough track or up steep hills.
- Can others in your group, such as small children, cope with the terrain? Will your phone work? Mobile phones have limited coverage in most outdoor locations.
- You may need to have another plan of what to do if something goes wrong. Consider where the nearest emergency help is.
Who are you going with?
Be aware of the abilities and needs of everyone in your group:
- How experienced and fit is each person? Make sure everyone in your group is physically ﬁt enough to enjoy the trip.
- Does anyone have any pre-existing medical conditions? This is a really important thing to know, partly to make sure each person can cope with the trip, and partly to know how to deal with any medical situations that may arise while you’re out.
- Are there any kids going? Depending on their ages, this can have an effect on how challenging a trip you can plan or how long that trip might take. Remember, children need more regular breaks so factor this in.
- Does everyone have what they need? Make sure you have the appropriate clothing and equipment for the track, terrain and weather.
What information to leave
Telling someone your plans is as simple as letting them know where you’re going and when you expect to be back. You should give them the information in the diagram below. You can write this down for them. If you change your mind about any of this, try to let your contact know with a quick phone call or text on the day. For example, someone might bring a friend or decide not to go, or you might decide to take a different track. If something does go wrong, it’s much better if people know exactly where to look and who they’re looking for.
What your trusted contact should Do if they haven’t heard from you
Your trusted contact needs to know exactly what to do if they don’t hear from you, and when to do it. If they don’t hear from you by the stated time, they need to:
Minimum Impact Practices
- Tread Lightly when Traveling and Leave No Trace of Your visit
- Drive only on roads and trails where such travel is allowed; hike only on established trails, on rock, or in Wadies (dry stream beds). Camp at designated sites or, where allowed, at previously used sites. Avoid placing tents on top of vegetation and use a camp stove instead of making a campfire. Unless signs indicate otherwise, leave gates open or closed as you find them.
- Help Keep the Environment Clean - Pack out your trash and recycle it, clean up after less thoughtful visitors, and dispose of human waste properly.
- Protect and Conserve Scarce Desert Water Sources - Camp at least 300 feet from isolated water sources to allow for wildlife access. Carry your own drinking water and wash well away from pools and springs.
- Allow Space for Wildlife - When encountering wildlife, maintain your distance and remain quiet. Teach children not to chase or pick up animals. Keep pets under control.
- Leave Historic Sites, Rock Art, Ruins, Burial sites and Artefacts Untouched - Admire rock art from a distance and never touch it. Stay out of ruins, leave artefacts in place, and report violations.
Getting to Masfout
Masfout is an easy 90-minute drive from Ajman city. Take Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Street out of the city, turn right onto Emirates Road and then follow the Sharjah-Kalba Road to Masfout. Hidden at the foothill of the Masfout Castle mountain.