Communication Tips for Your Hike

Before visiting a country park, you should think about how to keep in touch with others during your trip. Here you can learn about how to plan your trip with telecommunications in mind.

General Planning

Always find company, and make sure you can remain in contact throughout the trip. You should ensure that your mobile phone, or walkie-talkie if you have one, is fully charged before you leave and that you have a spare battery ready. When hiking, you should try to switch off at least one mobile phone in your group and keep it as a backup.

Use a Roaming Service or IDD Service

When in a country park, you might not be able to use your mobile phone at all times. Network coverage is sometimes patchy. You can subscribe to a roaming service or bring along a prepaid SIM card with IDD service issued by one of the Mainland mobile network operators. In case of emergency at a place with no coverage of local mobile phone networks but signal from the relevant Mainland mobile network can be received, you may then call for assistance using roaming service (if using Hong Kong mobile SIM card) or IDD service (if using Mainland mobile SIM card). With either of these options, you should be able to call for assistance during an emergency. Using a multi-band mobile phone, which works in multiple frequency bands (including 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300 MHz and 2600 MHz bands), will also give you a better chance of successfully contacting the 999 emergency centre.

Using Walkie-Talkies and Global Positioning System Devices in Country Parks

Walkie-talkies and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices can also be useful in emergencies. A walkie-talkie helps you keep in touch with your hiking group and can be used to monitor for distress calls from other hikers in more remote areas. A GPS device cannot be used for communications, but it will give you your exact location should you need the help of emergency services.

More on Using Walkie-talkies and GPS Devices in Country Parks

50222 SMS Hiker Tracking Service

With the support of mobile service operators, the Communications Association of Hong Kong (CAHK) has launched the 50222 SMS Hiker Tracking Service (50222 Service) to help search and rescue lost hikers. Hikers can use the service by sending short messages to a designated number 50222 to report periodically the unique numbers of Distance Posts they encounter along their hiking trails. This will help keep track of their positions. For example, sending the number M001 means the hiker is at the first Distance Post of the MacLehose Trail. In any event that a hiker is lost, rescue parties can make use of the data stored in the system of 50222 Service to improve the time and success rate of search for the lost hiker.

More on 50222 Service (PDF File)

GPS Hiker Tracking Service

In addition, a new GPS Hiker Tracking Service has been launched by CAHK since October 2013 to facilitate speedy and effective rescue. If you want to use this service, you may install the Enjoy Hiking app, developed by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, or the Security Bureau’s Safeguard HK app onto your smartphone. Before your hiking trip, launch either of the apps and activate its Hiker Tracking Service function. The GPS system will then auto feed your tracking locations and record the relevant data at the service centre. The data can be retrieved and used to facilitate rescue if any need arises from an emergency situation.

More on GPS Hiker Tracking Service (PDF File)
Last review date: May 2019
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