Special arrangements may need to be made during the event due to adverse weather conditions or other unpredictable occurrences. In such instances, Oxfam will inform walkers of arrangements by text message.
A heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature at high ambient temperatures. Sufferers often feel hot, dizzy and uneasy; can become unconscious, and in serious cases, go into shock. Lower the sufferer’s body temperature and seek medical assistance right away.
Safety guidelines: Drink plenty of water and take good rests during the hike. Try to avoid being in the sun for too long.
Emergency measures: Move the person suffering from heat stroke to a cool, shaded place. Remove their clothing and help them lie down with their feet elevated. Give them lots of fluids if they are conscious. Seek medical treatment right away. Give the sufferer plenty of space and use other body-cooling techniques like fanning, wetting the clothing and immersion in water, until the symptoms disappear.
Even in summer, a rapid drop in temperature due to a lack of sufficient clothing in a cold place or sudden rain can cause hypothermia. Its symptoms include fatigue, exhaustion, clammy skin, stumbling, shivering, muscle spasms, stammering and hallucinations.
Safety guidelines: Get a good night’s sleep before the event. Rest at intervals. Do not overstrain yourself.
Emergency measures: Remove wet clothes right away. Cover the head, face, neck and body with clothing to keep warm. Consume hot drinks and high calorie food to maintain body temperature.
Lightning normally strikes at the highest point of an object and the electric current is conducted to the ground via the least resistant path. Hikers hit by lightning may suffer from muscle spasms, scalding, suffocation and cardiac arrest.
- Listen to the weather bulletin. Avoid hiking when weather conditions are unstable, especially when the thunderstorm warning signal is hoisted.
- Wear shoes or boots with rubber soles outdoors.
- Do not stand on top of a hill or near any object with high conductivity. As trees and poles can easily be struck by lightning, remember to stay far away from these objects.
- After lightning strikes an object, its electrical current will spread through the ground. Therefore, avoid lying on the ground, especially on ground that is wet. Squat and minimise your area of contact with the ground as much as possible.
- Do not touch any wet objects.
- Stay away from iron fences or other metal objects. Remove all metal objects (e.g. gold ornaments) from your body and stop using mobile phones.
- Do not touch antennas, water pipes, iron mesh or other similar metal
- Do not touch inflammable materials, such as kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas.
- Be wary of strong winds which may be a signal for lightning.
- Take shelter in a building whenever possible.
- Hill fires advance rapidly upward and windward on a steep grass slope in dry weather. Never underestimate its devastating power.
- For the sake of safety, handle kindling materials with great care.
- Except at designated barbecue sites or campsites, never light a fire.
- Smokers should refrain from smoking and all cigarette-stubs or matches should be totally extinguished before being discarded into rubbish bins.
- Hill fires are difficult to detect in the Always pay attention to flying ashes or the smell of something burning. If a hill fire is spotted, leave the fire scene immediately.
- Do not overlook the spreading speed of hill fire. Do not continue your journey in case of a fire nearby or you may get trapped in the fire.
- When there is a hill fire, stay calm.
- Never attempt to extinguish a hill fire indiscriminately, except if
- the affected area is very small;
- you are in a safe place; and
- you can quickly evacuate from the fire scene.
- Evaluate the following when evacuating from the fire scene.
- The direction in which the fire spreads – avoid escaping in the same direction of the prevailing wind.
- The gradient of the paths nearby – choose the one which is the easiest for escape.
- The height and density of the vegetation nearby – find a place with less vegetation for escape.
- It is easier and quicker to escape through existing paths.
- If the fire is imminent and there is no way out, you should cover your exposed skin with wet clothing and then make way to the already burnt area. This can minimize the chance of getting injured. To conserve energy, never run uphill if the situation permits.
- Do not run into shrubs or grasslands, as fire usually spreads rapidly and the temperature may soar in these areas.
- The devastating power and speed of flash floods should never be underestimated. A stream may overflow and become raging torrents in heavy rain and wash away travelers, resulting in casualties within minutes.
- Avoid hiking when the weather is bad or unstable, especially when the rainstorm warning signal is in force.
- Don’t wade in the stream after heavy rain in summer.
- Don’t hike along any water course.
- Don’t stay at the water course to rest, especially at its lower reaches.
- When it rains, leave the water course immediately and head for a high spot ashore.
- Never attempt to cross any inundated bridges. In case of heavy rain, leave the water course immediately.
- Rapid flows, turbid water with sand and mud are early signs of flash floods. Leave the water course immediately.
- If you fall into water, grip or hold on to the rocks, branches or vines near the banks; try to get ashore and leave the river course right away.
- Landslides may occur when a large amount of rainwater has soaked a natural or artificial slope during a downpour or after days of heavy rain.
- Avoid going near or staying around steep slopes during heavy rain or after a few days of heavy rain.
- The oozing out of a large quantity of muddy water from the base or the weep holes of a slope indicates that the slope is saturated with water. Exposure of inner soil and appearance of new cracks on the slope are early signs of a landslide. Keep away from such slopes.
- Don’t proceed by stepping on loose mud. If a landslide blocks your way; retreat or seek another safe route to leave the scene immediately.
- Don’t try to rescue people buried in a landslide. You should call for a fully equipped rescue team for help.
International distress signals
- send out six long blasts within one minute;
- pause for one minute;
- repeat a. and b. Don’t stop until the rescue team comes. Keep on giving out the signals even if the rescue team has discovered you from a far distance so that the rescuers can identify your exact position.
- Blowing a whistle
- Flashing with your torch light at night
- Waving colourful or shiny clothes to attract attention
Morse Code Distress Signals
Sending out blasts in the sequence of three short, three long and three short.
SOS Distress Signal
If possible, use stones or tree branches to form the characters of SOS (Save Our Soul) on a flat and open space (Each character should be 6m x 6m).
6.2 Distance Post and “Your Location” Map Coordinate
- The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has erected distance posts at about 500m intervals along all long-distance hiking trails (MacLehose Trail, Lantau Trail, Hong Kong Trail and Wilson Trail) as well as all country trails for users to identify their location. In case of emergency, they can state their position by referring to the number on the nearby distance post or the coordinates marked at the location map, thus facilitating search and rescue operation.
- “50222 SMS/ GPS Hiker Tracking Service”: Hikers can punch in the numbers of distance posts they see along the trail and send them to 50222 via SMS or open the GPS Hiker Tracking Services of the “Enjoy Hiking” mobile phone application. In case of accidents, rescue parties can locate the hikers based on the data. Details please refer to the following websites:
50222 SMS Hiker Tracking Service:
GPS Hiker Tracking Service:
Emergency call: 999/112
The Organiser advises all participants to read carefully the information about country parks and hiking trails on the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department webpage carefully: https://www.afcd.gov.hk/english/country/cou_vis/cou_vis_gac/cou_wha_whe_sat.html