How often these days do you hear someone say ‘there’s an app for that’. From recipe apps, to first aid apps, language apps to a magic 8 ball app, there really does seem to be an app for everything .
However, not all apps are what they’ve cracked up to be. Speaking to TheJournal.ie , Aaron Byrne, spokesperson for the Irish Red Cross, said most navigation apps on smartphones do not have enough details on them and often fail to show up important markers like cliffs and rivers.
“When your phone is giving you a location it’s relying on a 3G signal which isn’t great in Ireland at the best of times but especially in the mountains,” he said. “If you’re relying on your phone you better hope it has a proper signal or it won’t give you anything at all.”
“Another problem is that the battery doesn’t last very long on them and it that goes then you’re snookered,” he said. “The maps and compasses are the old reliables, they have all the information and don’t need batteries.”
Speaking ahead of the charity’s, April 14th, Sunrise Summit Challenge , an event in which participants will hike through the night to watch the sunrise from ten of Ireland’s mountain tops, Byrne said that while hikers should not completely depend on their phones for navigation anyone heading into the mountains should always have one with them in case they get into trouble.
“Sometimes people will leave their phone in the car because they want to get away from it for the day but then if something happens they have no way to call for help,” he said.
Byrne also encouraged hikers to attend a training course to learn about the proper use of a compass and how to read maps as it can be confusing for people.
“The courses are well worth it, you don’t just learn about maps and compasses, they teach you about other potential hazards like hypothermia and about route planning, preparation work and equipment,” he added.
The Sunrise Summit Challenge offers a unique opportunity to take part in an unforgettable mountain adventure whilst also raising funds for the Irish Red Cross’ humanitarian work in Ireland and around the world . The event, which will simultaneously take place at ten mountain locations across Ireland, will be led by fully trained Irish Red Cross mountain guides.
All participants must have registered in advance of the event; registration closing date is April 8th.