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Mobile phones and safety


Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
The recent discussion about this reminded me of my own anxieties preparing to walk the remote Via De La Plata in January. Like any walk in a remote area if you are walking on your own, as I was, it is sensible to let people know when/where you are leaving and when/where you expect to arrive. Stretches of the VdlP are so remote that it is only sensible to take a mobile phone ( and a whistle and compass! ) - what I discovered before going and checked out with Ivar today is that:

112 is the number to use for real emergencies.

It works all over Europe - I tried it on my UK mobile - it isn't stored
in my mobile phone book but when I dialled it up it came as EMERGENCY - so the phone recognised it.

Significantly it works even if you have no money in a pre paid phone or even if your supplier has no network - it is universal. Ivar says there does have to be some reception from another of the networks though

It works 24/7 365 days - and the operators speak in many languages

In confirming this Ivar also said:

"The important thing to remember is that you need to have cellphone
coverage (coverage by any mobile operator). Most any corner of Spain
has coverage by either Vodafone, Movistar or any other... but let's
say high up in the Pyrenees there may be spots with no coverage by any
operator. In these spots 112 would not work. I have lived in Spain for
almost 3 years now and have yet to find a spot with no coverage, but
it is important to know about it.

For a coverage map of Spain by Movistar (one of the biggest mobile
operators in Spain) have a look here:

I found this very reassuring and I hope others do too.


Many thanks for that - and good to know that the emergency operators speak different languages. I'm learning basic Spanish, but had decided to learn how to describe both my position in relation to landmarks, and injuries/medical conditions or other emergencies. I was until recently an ER nurse practitioner (now moved on to much more enjoyable work!), and found myself packing all kinds of stuff to deal with injuries and medical emergencies. I really don't need to be a walking emergency response unit - so out it has all come again (well...apart from airway, aspirin and suture kit...)
Do they do one under 7Kg? I'm sure I could manage without clothes, toiletries, maps, sleeping bag, or any of that other unneccessary stuff.

I know, I over-prepare... I never was a Girl Guide, you see - so never got it out of my system.



Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
Ah yes - before I went I bought a double capacity battery for my phone just in case, but the reality was that there was ample electricity supplies in albergues and hostals along the way.

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