Smart Phones No Match for the Traditional Map and Compass

Traditional Compass“Don’t rely on smart phone apps for mountain safety’ is the message released today by the Irish Red Cross.  Aaron Byrne, Challenge Co-coordinator for the Irish Red Cross Sunrise Summit Challenge, said, “New technologies, such as smart phones with compasses, have certain advantages and uses – but use them as a backup.  A traditional compass won’t run out of battery and doesn’t need a signal!”

Speaking ahead of the charity’s Sunrise Summit Challenge, an event in which participants will hike through the night to watch the sunrise from ten mountain tops around the country, Byrne said, “Regardless of the season, with the right skills and knowledge, hikers can safely enjoy Ireland’s slopes.  Ireland offers a diversity of mountain types suitable for all levels of hiking experience.”

5 Tips for safe hiking from the Irish Red Cross

1.    Regardless of the season (this is Ireland after all) be ready for any kind of weather it can change very quickly

2.    Have the right footwear – focus on the sole of the shoe as well as ankle support

3.    Take enough food and water for the whole day

4.    Learn how to use a traditional compass and map

5.    Research the walk before setting off – don’t bite off more than you can chew

Byrne, a seasoned mountaineer who also volunteers with the Irish Red Cross Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue Team in Wicklow, adds, “If you plan on doing winter walks, do them with a guide and proper preparation at first.  Even an experienced hiker may come into difficulties without proper winter skills training.”

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 April 14th  event, which will simultaneously take place at ten mountain locations across Ireland, will be led by fully trained Irish Red Cross mountain guides.

For more information and for individuals and groups wishing to register for their place in the Sunrise Summit Challenge visit  or contact the Sunrise Summit Team at or telephone 01 642 4659.

The registration fee is €40 per person, and participants are asked to raise €85 sponsorship (€125 total).  All participants must have registered in advance of the event; registration closing date is April 8th.