Adventure: 6 Outdoor Winter Tips for Newbies

Picture this… a few years ago I went camping on the Welsh coast. The tent was situated on a hill overlooking the sea, it was sunsets  and scenic views galore and it sounds perfect right? Well it nearly was except we chose to camp mid winter with a tent designed for the summer and suddenly that sea air didn’t feel too romantic.   We’d had a few sunny days prior so  didn’t feel it necessary to bring any warm clothes and the moral of the story is,  we froze!

 

Still winter is one of my favourite times of year to get outdoors. I like to do land based activities  such as hiking and camping. Over my 4 years of learning to not be a nuisance to myself and the environment,  I’ve picked up some obvious (to me now) and valuable winter tips.

I’d love you to contribute yours….

1. Seek out the right kind of information

If you’re an avid blog reader like myself, I’d recommend that you seek out people who are credible – easy said than done, in this soup of information. Mountain Rescue and the RNLI are always sensible sources of information.   I like to read the blogs that belong to Outdoor instructors because 9/10 they know what they’re talking about.   I’d always treat general outdoor blogs (like mine)! as guidance and encourage you on a journey of further research.

2.  Invest in your kit

You don’t have to spend lots but it’s worth taking some time to read reviews online.  I’d recommend you invest your money into a decent base thermal layer,  3in1 waterproof coat and light weight waterproof hiking boots.  These three items have been a god send!  I go to Mountain Warehouse for a lot of my things because they’re great value for money and ideal for those new to the outdoors. You may find yourself upgrading the more you get in to the outdoors.

Carding Mill Valley

Oh and if you’re picking sleeping bags and tents for this time or year, go for season 4 and over.

Kit list inspiration here.

3.  Don’t choose a big walk, to break in your boots 

It’s taken me years to find the right type of hiking boot. I’m still dreaming of a custom made pair!  I’m testing out some from Hi Tech currently which are certainly proving their worth but I’m only taking short walks with them.  There’s nothing worse than blistered feet and rubbed ankles so early on, whilst on a long walk.

Get in to the habit of wearing them around the house, then in the garden,  maybe on a dog walk or a trip to the local shop and go from there.

4.  Take something warm to eat / drink

014

There’s been times when soup and hot chocolate has saved my soul. I think so much emphasis is put on warm clothes (and rightly so) but food and liquid is just as important. Even if you’re not a coffee / tea drinker – take some hot water, lemon and a hint of honey in a flask.

5.  Tell someone where you’re going

It may sound cool to just take yourself off in to the wild and not tell anyone but it’s not cool if something doesn’t go to plan and you need help. Even the most independent types know it makes sense to map their whereabouts. And this doesn’t include announcing it on social media (you never know who is lurking).  Tell a trusted family member, partner or friend and if you’re able to, invite someone to join you.

6.  Don’t take on too much

I watched some of the Children in Need program which covered a lot of rambling and hiking type of stuff. I was moved by the girl with prosthetic legs who hiked around the Lake District – things like that really motivate me to get out more and conquer fears and what not.  However,    I also think many and myself included (in the past) are in danger of taking on too much in such a short space of time.  Learning to be safe outdoors is the most important thing ever and it really is one step at a time.  Weather conditions play a big part in adventure, so does physical and mental fitness.  Start off small and build up….And remember with planning and preparation, you can do anything!

Got something to add?

Every time I get back from an activity, I say ‘Oh I should have or I could have taken…’  it really is a learning curve and even ‘the professionals’ make mistakes as I encountered recently with some instructors.  Ultimately it’s about constantly learning, asking questions, gaining feedback and never assuming you know it all because when Mother Earth’s involved, you don’t!

2128335142305213170416

Advertisements

3 Comments Add yours

  1. treksandtors says:

    Take a map and compass and learn how to use them. Plenty of courses for this type of stuff. Take a torch this time of year. And probably the most important of all, never be afraid to turn back and get down off the mountains when the weather turns or the ground is beyond your skills. I’ve had summit fever when you want to reach the top more than anything, however reaching the summit is optional getting back down is mandatory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Map and compass reading is a course for next year for sure – I’m doing it at Capel Curig with Plas Y Brenin – great place and centre.

      Oh yes summit fever rears its ugly head at times and yes I totally agree with you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Katy says:

    warm ribena is a good option if you don’t like tea/coffee/hot chocolate

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s