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Opinions--new safety system for hikers being trialed in Portugal

2020 Camino Guides
Camino(s) past & future
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
From the central Tejo news website: http://www.mediotejo.net/macao-apre...al-para-seguranca-em-percursos-pedestres-ser/

Edited translation:

'Participants in the auditorium of the Cultural Center in Mação will discuss a plan that will be integrated by the Camping and Mountaineering Federation of Portugal as a National Pilot Project for Safety in Hiking.

“There is a flaw in Portugal in the context of hiking assistance for those who feel ill in the middle of nature during a walk or pedestrian walk, and based on our experience, we created in Mação a plan that will be replicated, in a pilot phase, at the national level”, mediotejo.net was told.

The idea is to place relief beacons every two kilometers with numbered posts placed on the ground. If someone feels bad, call the fire department and the pole has a geographic coordinate that allows firefighters to know immediately where the person is.'

This would be particularly effective because every town over about 1000 people--and there are many!--has a volunteer fire department that typically also includes ambulance-driving first response tasks.

I believe they already have a similar system, with solar-powered phones, along the toll highways. Not on the minor untolled highways or other roads--the ones caminho walkers are likely to be near.

Image of possible post:
1582399755155.png

Portuguese local authorities love this kind of infrastructure projects. Would it be helpful to encourage it for the Caminhos Portugues? Opinions?

(By the way, I have no idea whether the government would consider this for the Caminhos; my curiosity is to whether pilgrims/potential pilgrims would consider it too much the "nanny state" and over-protective on what many consider an adventure, or whether they would find it welcome.)
 
Last edited:

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
From the central Tejo news website: http://www.mediotejo.net/macao-apre...al-para-seguranca-em-percursos-pedestres-ser/

Edited translation:

'Participants in the auditorium of the Cultural Center in Mação will discuss a plan that will be integrated by the Camping and Mountaineering Federation of Portugal as a National Pilot Project for Safety in Hiking.

“There is a flaw in Portugal in the context of hiking assistance for those who feel ill in the middle of nature during a walk or pedestrian walk, and based on our experience, we created in Mação a plan that will be replicated, in a pilot phase, at the national level”, mediotejo.net was told.

The idea is to place relief beacons every two kilometers with numbered posts placed on the ground. If someone feels bad, call the fire department and the pole has a geographic coordinate that allows firefighters to know immediately where the person is.'

This would be particularly effective because every town over about 1000 people--and there are many!--has a volunteer fire department that typically also includes ambulance-driving first response tasks.

I believe they already have a similar system, with solar-powered phones, along the toll highways. Not on the minor untolled highways or other roads--the ones caminho walkers are likely to be near.

Image of possible post:
View attachment 70144

Portuguese local authorities love this kind of infrastructure projects. Would it be helpful to encourage it for the Caminhos Portugues? Opinions?

(By the way, I have no idea whether the government would consider this for the Caminhos; my curiosity is to whether pilgrims/potential pilgrims would consider it too much the "nanny state" and over-protective on what many consider an adventure, or whether they would find it welcome.)
Personally I’m a fan of the Spanish ‘alert cops’ option.

To make a call you need a ‘phone, and to be able to remember the last post which you may gave passed half an hour ago.

These days, if you’re going to make a call then 9 times out of 10 you’ll be using a mobile ‘phone, and it’s increasingly likely that it will be a smartphone with in-built GPS.
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
Great! I actually saw these on some GR inland trails I hiked recently around Monchique in the Algarve.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
The more infrastructure to insure safety of pilgrims the better. Especially on the CP which seems to have more creeps exposing themselves and bothering women than any other Camino. This is great.
 
Another way to give exact coordinates for most of the time, is to open Google maps on your phone and hold your finger on the blue position marker for about 3 seconds.

It will display your exact coordinates at the top of the screen.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Navarra!
Emergency services in the UK are increasingly using an app called What3Words to locate incidents as it gives a three word tag to anywhere in the world (and in different languages).
For instance the Portico de la Gloria is tagged as pigment.erupts.charmingly in English and rumor.tiran.nombra in Spanish (we should, obviously, use the language of the host country).
There was a case last year where a group of walkers got lost in open moorland (but luckily in and area with cellphone coverage) and the emergency services were able to tell them how to download the app and provide a location within minutes.
More recently, in the terrible weather the UK has been experiencing, a group of "mountain climbers" decided to hike Scotland's highest mountain with no safety equipment, dressed in jeans and trainers, in a snow storm. Due to the what///words app they were found swiftly.
 

Lindsay53

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April / May 19
Is all this emphasis on safely encouraging people into the countryside who really should not be there?
 

Lindsay53

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April / May 19
I am sure someone said that about Marco Polo once
Macro Polo did not set off expecting to have others around to rescue him from his own foolishness, so I imagine he was as well prepared as he could be.
 

Jay Es

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017 the del Norte, home via the Portuguse to Vigo, Planning a Via de la Plata for October 2018.
Give freedom over safety. I'd rather die in nature than be forever tagged by society. Thanks. Everytime you want safety and agree to this sort of nonsense you become less free. Control by fear....
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Another way to give exact coordinates for most of the time, is to open Google maps on your phone and hold your finger on the blue position marker for about 3 seconds.
It will display your exact coordinates at the top of the screen.
I didn't know this! It works on my phone! Thanks.
 

Galloglaigh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), Postponed (2020)
Macro Polo did not set off expecting to have others around to rescue him from his own foolishness, so I imagine he was as well prepared as he could be.
@Lindsay53

You raise a serious point and I apologise for my flipancy. I am guessing you may have had some personal experience related to this.

My wife is in charge of health and safety at a large holiday company with millions of bednights each year. They have trained staff, warning signs, policies to prevent harm, relevant equipment and yet still have tragedies. The latest one was a member of staff who climbed over the fencing and the safety signs he had erected to swim in a lake. He drowned because he took a wager he could swim the lake.

At the coroner's inquest, there was a suggestion to remove the lifebelts from around the lake as there is the idea that people take risks if there is safety equipment about. This is a new emerging line of thought. Her company has rejected the idea as in their experience, safety equipment and warnings are necessary to save lives and does.

There are people who, no matter what you do, are terminally foolish. So I'll vote for the posts.
 
Emergency services in the UK are increasingly using an app called What3Words to locate incidents as it gives a three word tag to anywhere in the world (and in different languages).
For instance the Portico de la Gloria is tagged as pigment.erupts.charmingly in English and rumor.tiran.nombra in Spanish (we should, obviously, use the language of the host country).
There was a case last year where a group of walkers got lost in open moorland (but luckily in and area with cellphone coverage) and the emergency services were able to tell them how to download the app and provide a location within minutes.
More recently, in the terrible weather the UK has been experiencing, a group of "mountain climbers" decided to hike Scotland's highest mountain with no safety equipment, dressed in jeans and trainers, in a snow storm. Due to the what///words app they were found swiftly.
Emergency services in the UK are increasingly using an app called What3Words to locate incidents as it gives a three word tag to anywhere in the world (and in different languages).
For instance the Portico de la Gloria is tagged as pigment.erupts.charmingly in English and rumor.tiran.nombra in Spanish (we should, obviously, use the language of the host country).
There was a case last year where a group of walkers got lost in open moorland (but luckily in and area with cellphone coverage) and the emergency services were able to tell them how to download the app and provide a location within minutes.
More recently, in the terrible weather the UK has been experiencing, a group of "mountain climbers" decided to hike Scotland's highest mountain with no safety equipment, dressed in jeans and trainers, in a snow storm. Due to the what///words app they were found swiftly.
All you have to do is push the blue button on Google maps and it gives you the coordination to within a metre of where you are anywhere in the world. The 3 word system sounds very complicated.Screenshot_20200225_172106_com.google.android.apps.maps.jpg
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Navarra!
All you have to do is push the blue button on Google maps and it gives you the coordination to within a metre of where you are anywhere in the world. The 3 word system sounds very complicated.View attachment 70231
You're probably right, can't imagine why the Emergency Services over in the UK are promoting it.

On the other hand, you might, in a panic, misread the numbers when you relay them over the phone . . .

55.188950, 9.155398 would send rescuers to a spot 22km west of where you are while
55.818950, 9.515398 would send them 70km to the north.

Even if Rescue mistype ///overbevis.klædeskab.sympathiske W3W will come up with likely solutions:

///overbveis.klædeskab.sympathiske will bring up this box:

1582651965328.png
And I'm hoping that the Danish Emergency Services would opt for Denmark rather than Turkey or Romania.

Yep, thinking about it I'll stick with W3W 😉
 
You're probably right, can't imagine why the Emergency Services over in the UK are promoting it.

On the other hand, you might, in a panic, misread the numbers when you relay them over the phone . . .

55.188950, 9.155398 would send rescuers to a spot 22km west of where you are while
55.818950, 9.515398 would send them 70km to the north.

Even if Rescue mistype ///overbevis.klædeskab.sympathiske W3W will come up with likely solutions:

///overbveis.klædeskab.sympathiske will bring up this box:

View attachment 70233
And I'm hoping that the Danish Emergency Services would opt for Denmark rather than Turkey or Romania.

Yep, thinking about it I'll stick with W3W 😉
I dont think that would stand up. Surely, as well as giving the coordinates you would also tell them which town you had left and where you were heading. You always repeat coordinates. Coordinates of one type or another have always been used. Which is what makes the new system so unusual.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Navarra!
And yet GoogleMaps sees fit to use something even more complex with their Plus code system? (5GQ8+H5 Haderslev, Denmark)
I think we'd better agree to disagree on this one! 😉

PS lovely wide open landscape in that area - reminds me of Norfolk in the UK, big skies!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Seems like overkill to me. I have the Alert Cops app on my phone for Spain, pre-programmed so that it automatically sends my location and details if I press the button on the side of my phone. In Australia I have a similar app, which has an automatic dial for the emergency services together with a large, easy to read GPS locator. I've also got the What3Word address, but that's still just fun at the moment!
 

Paintboy2

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP-Coastal Route(2016), CdN (2017) CP-Senda Litoral (2018), Way of St. Francis (2019)
Knowing your precise position WILL NOT HELP if (as happened to me last summer in Italy) emergency services are not capable of locating that position. In my case a passing car stopped, took my phone, and told the authorities where I was. Since then I've always been prepared to describe my location by distance from landmarks in several directions.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Give freedom over safety. I'd rather die in nature than be forever tagged by society. Thanks. Everytime you want safety and agree to this sort of nonsense you become less free. Control by fear....
I do not understand what you mean by being tagged by society? For what? Requesting assistance? I have come across people in need of help before and summoned for assistance via emergency telephone numbers. I have never felt this caused me any negative views towards me.
 

CaptainBonnie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan: 2 week to arrive at Santiago de Campostela in 2 weeks. Start 12th Nov 2017
From the central Tejo news website: http://www.mediotejo.net/macao-apre...al-para-seguranca-em-percursos-pedestres-ser/

Edited translation:

'Participants in the auditorium of the Cultural Center in Mação will discuss a plan that will be integrated by the Camping and Mountaineering Federation of Portugal as a National Pilot Project for Safety in Hiking.

“There is a flaw in Portugal in the context of hiking assistance for those who feel ill in the middle of nature during a walk or pedestrian walk, and based on our experience, we created in Mação a plan that will be replicated, in a pilot phase, at the national level”, mediotejo.net was told.

The idea is to place relief beacons every two kilometers with numbered posts placed on the ground. If someone feels bad, call the fire department and the pole has a geographic coordinate that allows firefighters to know immediately where the person is.'

This would be particularly effective because every town over about 1000 people--and there are many!--has a volunteer fire department that typically also includes ambulance-driving first response tasks.

I believe they already have a similar system, with solar-powered phones, along the toll highways. Not on the minor untolled highways or other roads--the ones caminho walkers are likely to be near.

Image of possible post:
View attachment 70144

Portuguese local authorities love this kind of infrastructure projects. Would it be helpful to encourage it for the Caminhos Portugues? Opinions?

(By the way, I have no idea whether the government would consider this for the Caminhos; my curiosity is to whether pilgrims/potential pilgrims would consider it too much the "nanny state" and over-protective on what many consider an adventure, or whether they would find it welcome.)
The more infrastructure to insure safety of pilgrims the better. Especially on the CP which seems to have more creeps exposing themselves and bothering women than any other Camino. This is great.
it is important to have safety on all Caminos... who are these creeps who bother Ladies...the Portuguese Police must put a stop to this if not the Camino Portuguese will dwindle and Portugal will lose greatly ... the system of placing poles as one sees on the French Pyrenees is a great source of comfort to peregrinos...🙏
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
it is important to have safety on all Caminos... who are these creeps who bother Ladies...the Portuguese Police must put a stop to this if not the Camino Portuguese will dwindle and Portugal will lose greatly ... the system of placing poles as one sees on the French Pyrenees is a great source of comfort to peregrinos...🙏
Perfectly stated. It is something that has always troubled me about the CP. After walking the CP for a month and arriving in Santiago a few years back I was convinced that the Portuguese people were the nicest, warmest, friendliest most generous people overall of any country I have ever visited. After walking the CF in November/December 2019 I met my daughter for a week in Porto and she told me one day, Daddy you tend to exaggerate alot (and laughed because I do alot!) but you are right on about Portugal.
This reinforces my puzzlement and sadness that with so many fantastic people that Portugal seems to be the epicenter of all caminos for creeps who hide in the shadows harassing and traumatizing women. I can't say factually that this is the case but based on posts here on this website it is about the only conclusion one can draw form antidotal information.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Give freedom over safety. I'd rather die in nature than be forever tagged by society. Thanks. Everytime you want safety and agree to this sort of nonsense you become less free. Control by fear....
I am not sure what control is being given here that counts as "forever tagged by society". It doesn't seem much more intrusive to my personal liberty than giving my address when calling an ambulance. It is just that on hiking trails there is no street name and number to give. So they put up a pole with a pole number. That seems no less intrusive than the markers they put up with shells, arrows and distance to Santiago.

You may think the availability of people who will come to give aid a terrible limit on your freedom, one you would die to avoid. Most of us dont share that opinion, which is what allows ambulances to function.
 
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CaptainBonnie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan: 2 week to arrive at Santiago de Campostela in 2 weeks. Start 12th Nov 2017
I am not sure what control is being given here that counts as "forever tagged by society". It doesn't seem much more intrusive to my personal liberty than giving my address when calling an ambulance. It is just that on hiking trails there is no street name and number to give. So they put up a pole with a pole number. That seems no less intrusive than the markers they put up with shells, arrows and distance to Santiago.

You may think the availability of people who will come to give aid a terrible limit on your freedom, one you would die to avoid. Most of us dont share that opinion, which is what allows ambulances to function.
i concur Sir / Ma’am... there are enough of e trackers through your mobiles who will track you 24/7 even in to your next life...
If someone needs safety and comfort on the Camino and is give assistance and assurance I would always give my details.
I am planning my walk in the 4th week of April 2020 from Lisboa.. Looking forward to meeting any and all who start around that time. Warmest Wishes
Vivek
 
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
cassieryle Personal Safety 4
SuperGirl Personal Safety 8
Tiff and Z Personal Safety 21
K Personal Safety 30
T Personal Safety 24

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