There’s nothing quite like the crisp air on your face as you stride out on an invigorating winter walk. However, as the nights get darker and the weather turns against us, it become increasingly difficult to find the motivation to brave the outdoors. It’s important that we don’t start slacking now and keep the good fitness regime going. Here’s what you need to do to be prepared for the colder conditions:
As the temperatures start to plummet, you’ll need appropriate protection from the elements. The coat you chose will come down to your experience level and the types of walks you’ll be going on. Thick insulated jackets are good for shorter walks when you’re moving at a relaxed pace. However, experienced ramblers who walk long-distances will soon end up too warm and lumbered with a cumbersome coat they can’t pack away.
Craigdon Mountain Sports sell a wide variety of winter jackets that should suit whatever your walking needs may be. We’d recommend a lightweight waterproof to protect you from any unexpected showers. If you’re getting the little ones involved, make sure they are suitably wrapped up, too – they’ll feel the colder temperatures a lot quicker than you will.
Winter walking can be hard on your feet. The terrain can be hard during frost, slippery in the rain and a muddy wasteland by the end of the season. Just like your coat, it’s important to wear footwear that’s appropriate for the walks you’re going on. Walking boots will provide a higher level of support for your ankles and are typically more appropriate for country walking where the moorland is more arduous (Millet Sports are worth checking out). For urban and costal walks, a flexible and comfortable trainer is more appropriate. The Walking Site has an excellent guide on selecting your shoes. Read through these tips before you go out and buy a pair.
Check the weather
This may sound obvious, but make sure that you check what the weather is forecasted to be for the time you’re walking. Popping your head out the window and looking up at the sky isn’t always a good indicator of what the weather will be like as the day goes on. The British Isles are prone to unexpected showers, so get an idea of what the day will be like and plan accordingly.
There are a number of fantastic apps that will give you detailed weather reports on the go, or you can simply check the BBC weather forecast before you leave. There’s nothing worse than getting caught in the middle of an isolated walking trail during an extended rain storm, so make sure you pack sensible clothing.
Now that you’re suitably prepared, all that’s left to do is lace up those shoes and get yourself out there! The Independent has a fantastic article that runs down 50 of the most enjoyable winter walks in the country. Pick the ones you think you can handle, and make the most of the season!