SEARCH  
New to Leap Local? Learn More

Safety & Going Local

If you are going to take the Leap…

Being safe when you travel is often a case of applying common sense. However here are some guidelines to help you keep safe when trekking or camping. If you decide to use a local guide or service in a country where safety guidelines are unclear or unenforced, as is the case with many developing countries, looking after yourself and being sensible is particularly important. If you remember nothing else, then remember these five things:

  1. Know as much as you can about your guide and their capabilities and previous experience
  2. Find out as much as you can about the local terrain and weather conditions
  3. Know yourself, your own limits (altitude sickness?), and whether your equipment is appropriate for local conditions (e.g. waterproof?)
  4. And finally, TELL SOMEONE WHEN AND WHERE YOU ARE GOING, WHO YOU ARE WITH, AND WHEN YOU'LL BE BACK.
  5. Make sure your travel insurance covers all your activities

There are some other things you can do to make sure your trip goes well:

  • To make it safer and more affordable, try to arrange a small group
  • Confirm the price before you set out, especially what is included or excluded in the price
  • Be flexible as delays and changes of plan are likely, especially if there are changes in weather conditions for example.
  • Be aware of local etiquette e.g. tipping local guides, etc. (more Leap Local resources e.g. - trekking in Peru - bartering over price )

Below are some further guidelines for if you are trekking or camping:

HAZARDS IDENTIFIED  POSSIBLE CONTROLS ACCEPTABLE RISK?
Slips, trips and fallsCorrect equipment (e.g. walking boots, walking stick), first aid training, a guide with good knowledge of local terrain, emergency communications   
Weather deteriorationUp to date weather information, seek local advice before the walk, leave details of planned route and ETA with base, planned alternative escape routes,  assess timing of trip according to visibility and local weather conditions, site planning for camping including awareness of temporary flood paths, tents to be erected to reduce the effects of the weather, tents are appropriate for conditions and have been checked for parts and spares  
HypothermiaAppropriate clothing, temporary shelter,  
Heat exhaustion/dehydrationAppropriate clothing, appropriate carrying load, carrying sufficient fluids, carry water purification tablets for additional water sources, sun block, headwear, rehydration sachet 
Flowing waterSelect suitable crossing points, do not walk up and down stream beds 
Getting lost or separated Arrange emergency procedures e.g. meeting point if you get lots, whistles and torches, appropriate guide/tourist ratio, roll call  
Fire - tents and burns No cooking or smoking in tents, site cleanliness, correct storage of fuel and ignition sources, instructions for cooking equipment, stoves are serviced  
Drinking waterEnsure all drinking water, unless from a known source, is boiled before use. If using water from a stream check upstream for dead animals etc., prevent contamination of water from other sources e.g. washing up or toilet use etc.