Photo by James Grant
Winter can be a wonderful time to walk in the Peak District. The crisp, frosty mornings, winter sunshine or a sprinkling of snow can add a great dimension to a walk.
Expert walking guide, Cath Lee from Peak Walking Adventures is here to tell us her tips to ensure you stay safe and love every minute of your Winter walk:
Keep yourself warm and dry. It might sound obvious, but the English weather can change very quickly and can easily catch walkers out. It is therefore important that you carry a few spare layers of warm clothing such as fleeces, hats and gloves to put on if it suddenly becomes colder. Lots of thin layers are much better than one thick layer. Avoid cotton as an underlayer as it has a severe chilling effect if it becomes wet or damp. As rain is often a possibility, spare clothing should always be carried in a waterproof bag and waterproof clothing should also be carried or worn.
Take more food, snacks and drink than you think you will need. Your body burns off more calories when it is cold and it is always good to have some emergency food in case you get delayed on your walk for any reason.
Plan your route in advance and tell someone where you are going. That way if you are unfortunate enough to have a problem on your walk and are unable to finish, someone will know the right area in which to instigate a search for you.
Ensure that your navigation skills are good enough to find your way around your chosen route if the visibility deteriorates. If for example cloud comes down on featureless moorland, or if it goes dark early it is essential that you have a good map and compass, and that you are skilled in their use. Don’t rely on GSP devices – they have been known to fail! If you have any doubts as to whether your navigation skills are up to scratch, then walk with other competent navigators, maybe by taking a professionally guided walk, or by joining a walking club.
Take a torch and spare batteries. They will be invaluable if your walk takes longer than anticipated and you have to finish in the dark. Head torches are ideal for walking.
Footwear is one of the most important aspects of any walker’s kit. Unsuitable footwear isn’t only uncomfortable, it can also lead to injuries. Your walking boots should be strong, comfortable, waterproof, and have good grip to avoid slipping.
Hi-Tec are the perfect brand for the utmost Winter walking safety; the boots pictured below are the perfect example of what you need:
These are leather, waterproof but equally as important quite light and comfortable to wear, perfect for those fresh Winter walks.
Be visible, particularly when walking on country lanes. Fluorescent tabards, or sashes are cheap and lightweight to carry but can make a huge difference to your visibility to motorists.
The only other piece of advice we have is to enjoy your walk!