(pdf download link at bottom of page)

This document is produced as a control measure following a risk assessment of the hiking and camping elements of the Acorn Hike. It is NOT intended as a First Aid training device – this should be trained separately. 

All team members should be briefed / trained on the following items prior to the event, a copy of this form (download link below) should then be signed by the leader and handed in by the team at check-in. 




The hiking terrain may be uneven, team members should watch their footing, it is very easy to twist an ankle, particular care should be taken on hilly sections, boots must be worn and properly tied.


Team members may not be used to walking with a heavy rucksack, they should ensure they are fitted correctly, take time to get used to them, they should not push/pull on the rucksacks carried by fellow team members, they should take extra care on hilly sections, and take them off whenever possible to rest.

Exposure to wet/cold weather

Team members should use layers/waterproofs when needed, they should not hike in the rain without protection, they may not dry out! They should keep an eye on each other for symptoms of Hypothermia, calling control for assistance if needed.

Exposure to hot weather

Team members should use sun cream and wear sun hats as needed, as well as drinking plenty of water, use your emergency water if needed (and refill at next checkpoint). Keep an eye on each other for symptoms of sunstroke/heat exhaustion, call control for assistance if needed.

Personal Hygiene

In the outdoor environment lack of personal hygiene can lead to illness, particularly due to animal pathogens, contact with animals should be avoided and hands cleaned when possible.

Personal Medication

Team members should ensure they have personal medication if needed, and should stick to dosage instructions, all details should be on their Health Form.

Open Water

Routes will only cross water at recognised bridges etc, teams MUST NOT attempt to cross water in any other way. Extra care should be taken when walking near water.


Routes are designed to use footpaths wherever possible, team should always choose footpaths when working out the route to the next checkpoint. There may be short sections of road walking to link footpaths together, these will be on ‘B’ and ‘C’ class roads only, teams will NEVER be expected to walk along an ‘A’ road (marked RED on the maps).

Team members must ensure they have High-Vis clearly displayed/on, on top of coats/bags, not underneath, they must be VERY vigilant when walking along or crossing roads, and will stay together.

If walking along a road they should walk single file facing oncoming traffic UNLESS it is safer to cross to the other side (sometimes necessary when approaching blind bends).

Railway Crossing

Routes will only cross railway lines at recognised footpath crossings or road level crossings, all footpath crossings will have a leader at them. Teams MUST NOT cross a railway line at any other point.


Teams should be aware of animals when hiking, especially cows with calves in a field, they can be aggressive to protect their young, they are particularly upset by dogs being near them. The advice is to give herds a wide berth, keeping calm and quiet, if in doubt don’t enter the field and call control for assistance.

If teams are confronted and cannot easily exit the field then they should quietly spread their arms to ‘look big’ as they move away, this can discourage them from approaching.

Getting Lost

Getting a bit lost is perfectly normal, the trick is to realise it early on. Teams should re-locate themselves, checking their map and looking for features nearby, they should consider re-tracing their route to their last known location, if teams have been ‘lost’ for more than 30 mins, they should call control, they will not be disqualified for doing so, we’d rather get them going again.


If teams need urgent medical help for serious injuries then they should call 999, giving them their location and circumstances, THEN they should call control. For all other assistance, minor injuries, getting lost etc, they should call control using the number on your emergency card.


Once on site teams should still look after their personal welfare, ensuring clothing is appropriate for the conditions, changing into dry clothing if needed. Personal hygiene and cooking hygiene remains important, they should ensure both themselves AND their kit is clean.

Teams should be trained to use their stoves, and will use them properly, aware of the risk of burns/scalds.

Knives and other cooking equipment will be used sensibly and safely.

Coping with the heat

Tips for coping in hot weather

There is a risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke during hot weather or exercise.

  • Drink plenty of cold drinks, especially when exercising. Avoid caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar
  • Wear light-coloured, loose clothing Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors
  • Sprinkle water over skin or clothes
  • Avoid extreme exercise


What to look out for

  • Feeling thirsty, dry mouth, lips and eyes
  • Headache, feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Loss of appetite and feeling sick
  • Excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin
  • Dark yellow and strong smelling pee


Use your emergency phone to contact control if you see any of these

  • Feeling unusually tired
  • Confused and disorientated
  • Dizziness when you stand up that doesn't go away
  • Pulse is weak or rapid
  • Cramps in the arms, legs or stomach
  • Chest pain

Call 999 and control if anyone is unconscious or has a seizure

Things you can do to cool someone down

  1. Move them to a cool place.
  2. Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly.
  3. Get them to drink plenty of water.
  4. Cool their skin – spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs around the armpits or neck are good too.

Stay with them until they are better.They should start to cool down and feel better within 30 minutes

You are a team, look after each other


Download this file (Team Safety Briefing.pdf)Team Safety Briefing.pdf[ ]97 kB