Safety advice for outdoor activities

Safety advice for outdoor activities

Know before you go

Mountain Rescue England and Wales has a handy Stay Safe guide which gives you excellent advice before heading into the hills.

Always check the weather forecast before setting off. If you're planning a longer walk through the Military Training Areas check the training and firing times first and pay attention to signs and warning signals.

Places on Dartmoor can be very wet and boggy so planning your route - and knowing when to turn back - is essential. The moor's rivers can rise very rapidly so it's sensible to have an alternative way to go. Never attempt to cross a river in spate.

Tell someone where you are going and leave details if your planned route, and let them know when you've finished. Our visitor centres sell maps, walk leaflets and booklets if you need some inspiration.

The ability to read a map and use a compass is essential, especially if you are heading into Dartmoor's wild heart. GPS is a fantastic aid to navigation but shouldn't be relied upon entirely - the same goes for mobile phones.

Clothing and equipment to take

This is Dartmoor where the weather can change within minutes!

Wear suitable clothing and footwear - take spares as well including a hat and gloves - and take ample food and drink. Pack your map and compass, whistle and torch and a first aid kit too. Double check that your GPS and mobile phone are fully charged too.

While Dartmoor is generally a very safe place to park your car, it's never worth leaving valuables if you're leaving your car in a remote location.

On the ground

  • Use stiles and gates to cross boundaries - don't attempt to climb over walls and fences
  • Do not pick up any strange or metal objects, especially in, or near, one of the three military firing ranges. Report the location of anything suspicious to the Police.
  • Keep away from all moorland livestock as they can be unpredictable in their behaviour. If you're with your dog keep it under close control and on a lead.
  • Please take all litter home with you, or dispose of it responsibly.


Ticks are small small spider-like parasites which climb or drop onto you or your dog's coat. Tick bites can carry diseases so it's important to check for ticks and remove any you find. Lyme Disease Action has information including reducing the risk of a tick bite and tick removal.

Military debris

Don't touch any military debris because it may be dangerous. Please note the location and contact the Training Safety Officer on  01837 650010 or phone the police.