My Top Tips for Safe #SeasonalTravels

My Top Tips for Safe #SeasonalTravels

The winter can be a stunning time of year to get outside and enjoy everything that the outdoors has to offer. It can, however, be a challenging time of year, especially when bad weather and the lack of sunlight comes into play. I am very much an advocate of spending time outdoors all year round, however, if you’re planning on getting out in winter, you need to take a few extra safety precautions to ensure you enjoy safe #seasonaltravels.  https://www.slatergordon.co.uk/ have put together a great infographic with advice for anyone planning a winter getaway, but first here’s a few of my own tips for enjoying the outdoors at this time of year.

Top Tips 

I love a winter hike, but there are a few things that you need to be aware of.

  • Dress appropriately. “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing” goes the old saying, and there’s a lot of truth to it. Making sure you are dressed for the conditions is not only a question of comfort, it can be a matter of life or death. I recently wrote a post about the layering system, with some good advice for dressing for the colder weather.
  • It gets dark quickly. In the winter the days are very short. You may not intend to stay out long, but what if you take a wrong turn, or a member of your group is taken ill? It’s wise to be prepared for darkness. I always take a torch with me on every hike, even if I’m not planning on staying out for very long. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Take enough fuel. In the cold weather you use more energy, so be prepared with plenty of high energy snacks, plus emergency rations, and lots of liquid.
  • Take a paper map. This tip is valid all year round, but in the winter it can really be vital. Do not solely rely on technology, always have a paper map and compass with you and know how to use them. Make sure that someone knows your route and your expected time back.
  • Prepare for the worst. It may never happen, but it definitely pays to be prepared. Always take a first aid kit, plus a survival blanket and storm shelter are two lightweight items that could save your life. For the sake of a few extra grams and a little space in your rucksack, it’s definitely worth it.
  • Have an escape route. Conditions can change quickly in the winter. Make sure you have planned an alternative in case your route is inaccessible, or the weather closes in unexpectedly. Do you know where you can get shelter? Do you know an easier way to get back if necessary. It’s worth spending a little bit more time during the planning stage to iron out these questions.
  • Know your limits. Following on from my point above, there’s no shame in calling it a day if conditions deteriorate. It’s better to know your limits and live to fight another day.

Do you have any top tips for safe winter hiking?

This post is in collaboration with Slater and Gordon.

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