Winter Walking

OK, so you’ve read all about how good for body and soul walking in the winter can be and you’re raring to go. But before you step outside the front door, read LK’s top preparation and safety tips…

Before you begin…
Invest in some suitable footwear. Smooth-soled affairs are a no-no, especially if there’s even an inkling of ice. Non-slip and grooved are just fine, and make sure they are warm and weatherproof.

Wear two thicker layers topped by a thinner (and waterproof) layer, which you can remove and carry easily if you get too hot. Ensure your ‘top coat’ is brightly coloured – be safe, be seen! Hat and gloves are also recommended. 

Grab a bag to keep essentials safe – a light-weight rucksack is ideal, as it doesn’t hinder your actions. Essentials should (depending on how adventurous and far from home your walk will be) include, water, snacks, a torch, a blanket, suncream (if you’re daylight hiking), mini first-aid kit and a mobile phone.

Ensure you have a GPS app installed on your phone. If you can spare the cash, and are serious about your new walking regime, buy a standalone GPS device.

Staying safe en route…
Always plan your route (ones recommended by other walkers or groups are best) and don’t test out a new one in the dark.

As above, sport bright (ideally reflective) clothing, even if it’s 10am and the winter sun is shining.

Walk with a group or a friend – not only does it turn walking into a super-social event, there really is safety in numbers.

If you’re new to walking, and even though you might think walking ‘isn’t a sport’, ease yourself into it and leave your competitive streak at home in front of the TV. 

Check the weather and tell family or friends exactly where you’re headed.