Just because the weather isn’t ideal doesn’t mean you should stop walking! In fact, some of the most beautiful, peaceful walks can be done in winter. There are a few extra things you need to think about when the temperature drops though.
1) Wrap up warm!
This may seem basic, but after an hour outside even your puffy coat may not feel warm enough. Always make sure to wear a thermal base layer when the temperature drops, plus warm socks, gloves, a scarf and a hat. Cover all these cosy layers in some waterproofs on wet days to avoid getting chilled through by the rain.
2) Wear sensible shoes
We’d recommend ankle supported, grippy walking boots. If you’re planning to walk somewhere with lots of snow and ice, then you may even need something more heavy-duty, such as snow spikes that you can attach to your boots.
3) Don’t Rush!
At this time of year, the weather can be wet and cold, often resulting in slippery paths. Take your time, walking isn’t a race, that way you’re less likely to fall over!
4) Check the weather before you leave
This one is a no brainer – check the weather. Check it the week before, the day before, even the hour before you leave. During the winter, particularly if you’re walking in the hills or by the coast, the weather can change quickly. One minute it could be beautifully sunny, the next it could be pouring with rain!
5) Check what time the sun goes down
Since the clocks went back the days have started getting darker far earlier. Don’t get caught out by the dimming light, make sure you’re aware of what time the sun goes down and plan your route accordingly.
6) Take a torch (and spare batteries!)
If you do happen to be out past sundown (something that has happened to us all!) you’ll be grateful to your past self for packing a torch. Make sure it has charge before you head out and take spare batteries with you just in case!
7) Wear Bright Colours
Even when the sun hasn’t fully set, the dark gloomy weather can mean that you’re a little tricky to see. Even if your route doesn’t incorporate roads or other multi-vehicle paths, it’s best to wear something bright so people can see you!
8) Take lots of snacks
During colder weather our bodies burn far more calories than during warmer weather, so you need to make sure to keep fuelled up. Cereal bars, nuts, dried fruit and other easy to eat items are all great. Just make sure you take your litter home with you!
9) Bring a warm drink along in a flask
Perfect for keeping you warm as well as for perking you up when you start to flag. We always make sure to have a nice flask of tea, coffee or hot chocolate with us on chilly winter walks.
10) Take a friend
Walking, particularly more ambitious walks, are never risk-free, but those risks are amplified in the winter. Try to take a buddy with you so if something bad does happen, you’ll have someone to help you out.