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Message to the Adventurers: Play it Safe

ZAGREB, 18.7.2012.

The Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service are appealing to all the tourists, who will actively and adventurously spend their Croatian holidays, to carefully plan their activities and take care of their own safety.

Croatia is a country with a variety of natural resources, mountains, national parks and nature parks which, understandably, attract many domestic and foreign tourists and nature lovers with their beauty and diversity, to visit them.

However, before venturing into nature and the mountains one should remember several important facts, so below we offer you a few tips.

However, before visiting various speleological features and indulging in the adventure of discovering underground labyrinths, one should bear in mind some facts. Therefore, below, we offer a few tips.

  • Choose a trip that you can endure physically and time-wise.
  • Do not go into the mountains alone, do not stray away from the group.
  • Inform your family about your direction and the time of your return and stick to it.
  • Sign the guest-book at mountain resorts.
  • Ask and listen to the advice of experienced mountaineers or mountain house keepers.
  • Take into account a possible change of weather, carry warm clothing, a hat, and protection from rain and wind .
  • Carry a flashlight.
  • Carry matches or a lighter and a candle.
  • Carry a small personal first aid kit.
  • For every long trip carry a hiking map and, if possible, a compass.
  • Keep to the marked hiking trails.
  • Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes with ribbed rubber soles.
  • Be especially careful in the winter and remember - the night falls early.
  • In the winter, do not venture out to areas you have not visited in the summer.
  • Do not go hiking or mountaneering on higher mountains in the winter, without the experienced members in your hiking group.
  • After heavy snow, do not plan your trip to the mountains for three days .
  • Regularly follow the weather information and the risk of snow avalanches.

However, before visiting various speleological features and indulging in the adventure of discovering underground labyrinths, one should bear in mind some facts. Therefore, below, we offer a few tips.

  • Before venturing out to caves, enroll on a caving course, where you'll learn all the caving techniques as well as self-rescue techniques.
  • Before visiting a particular speleologica feature, inform your family and friends about the exact location you intend to visit and how much time you are planning to spend there.
  • Before visiting a speleological feature consider your psychophysical fitness and technical proficiency.
  • Get to know the hydrological characteristics of the feature and follow the weather forecast.
  • If you are visiting a speleological feature, thoroughly read the morphology of the feature, meet with the members of the team, evaluate the length of stay and provide the necessary technical equipment, spare clothes and food.
  • Visit complicated speleological features only if you have a draft caving plan, experience in underground orientation, or are accompanied by experienced cavers.

Here are some tips yu must consider when you are in the caves:

  • The pace is set by the slowest team member.
  • Make sure you always have backup lighting and a sufficient amount of carbide.
  • We recommend LED light as backup lighting because of its longevity.
  • If you have no light do not move but wait until someone from your team lights up the area.
  • Always carry a knife and a balaclava, and for longer stays bring spare clothing, gloves and socks.
  • Caves, especially larger ones, should be visited by at least three people, if one has an accident, one person stays with him/her and the other goes to get help.
  • Use standard speleological clothing (PVC or Cordura overalls, fleece thermals, synthetic underwear only and fleece socks or diving shoes and rubber gloves) because they provides a more comfortable, safer and longer caving.
  • With a standard personal equipment (belt, croll, ascenders, descenders, beal rope and several carabiners), also take a 5 meter long accessory rope and pulleys.
  • Always take astrofoil in your helmet, as well as bandages and a few plasters.
  • Consider that hypothermia is common in caves and that it is very important to keep yourself and/or an injured or exhausted person warm while you wait. Hypothermia is  potentially fatal.
  • If you have to wait in the underground for a long time, sit on the transport bag or something that will isolate the body from the ground, position a carbide with a flame between your legs and wrap up in astrofoil.
  • In ice caves (pits on Velebit, Dinara, Biokovo, etc.) beware of frozen rope (the use of additional carabiner with the descender when descending is obligatory), the falling and breaking off of ice, as well as frostbite on fingers and toes.
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