Be aware of the light.
As the days get shorter, the amount of time you’ll have to walk gets shorter too. After all, the last thing you want is to end up stranded somewhere unfamiliar or remote when the sun sinks below the horizon. We recommend starting your walk a little earlier than you’re used to – and make sure you allocate more time if it’s rainy, snowy, or icy. As an extra precaution, make sure you’re carrying a good torch – and don’t forget the batteries!
Know your route.
While it can be tempting to explore somewhere completely new and exciting during the winter, it’s much easier to get lost than in summer – and more dangerous to do so. Poor visibility and concealed landmarks may be working against you, and mist, snow, and heavy rain can all cause you to take the wrong turn. Always make sure it’s safe to go out – and try to familiarise yourself with any routes you’re going on before heading outside.
Plan, plan, plan!
Somewhat linked to the above point, perhaps, but worth repeating all the same – planning your route is the key to keeping safe. That’s true year-round, of course, but in winter it really helps to have several back-up plans in case a route is impassable, in case somebody gets hurt, or just in case you forget to pack some kit. Try and have at least a couple of exit routes, and make sure that everybody you’re walking with is aware of them.
Prepare your kit.
While summer walking can be quite forgiving on old, worn out, or leaky gear – after all, you might only experience the slightest of showers – walking in winter definitely requires that your kit is in top condition. Make sure your waterproofs are all actually waterproof, and that your boots, hats, and gloves are all in good condition. If you’re wearing wool or down-filled clothing, make sure you wash those with appropriate cleaners too – Granger’s has a huge range of products that’ll make kit preparation a whole lot easier!
Finally, it’s important to remember that you’re walking in winter because it’s fun! Don’t be put off by our list – being sensible, conscious of the difficulties winter walking brings, and prepared to plan a little more thoroughly is all it takes to enjoy walking, whatever the weather. And, whether you’re enjoying a gentle stroll, or you’re planning a more taxing journey, make sure you soak in the fantastic winter views!