Winter Walking In The Peaks - How To Beat The Conditions
Walking in winter is one of the most exhilarating activities you can do, but it also offers a time to relax and escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life. Walking in the Peak District is peaceful and calm even at the busiest of times, and in winter, this peace is only augmented. The chill of a winter’s day combined with the freshness of the frosty or snowy day is a feeling that is not equalled. However, it is important that if you do choose to walk in the winter, particularly if you enjoy more challenging walks, you are fully prepared and kitted up for the winter weather!
The first and possibly most obvious piece of advice is to layer up! It may seem tempting to wear only a few thick layers, but it is actually more sensible to wear lots of thin layers, so that you can adapt your temperature more precisely. You do not want to be too cold, but keep it in mind that you will be walking, so you will warm up as you move. Ensure that your top layer is a waterproof, because no matter how many layers you wear, if they get wet they will become useless.
An important fact to be aware of is that seventy percent of your body heat is lost through your head. For this reason, it is crucial to wear a hat. It is such a simple item of clothing to remember but can be vital when it comes to winter walking. Remember that if you are walking in the Peaks, you will be climbing higher, and you will be less protected from the wind. The wind gives another level of chill so a hat will be good to carry along even if you do not need it at all times.
Your boots should match the level of walking that you plan on doing. If you know you will be walking in icy areas with little grip, particularly higher up in the Peaks, you should take crampons. Make sure your boots are waterproofed and wear thick, warm socks. Because of the shorter hours of daylight in the winter, it is advisable to carry a torch, or even better, a headtorch.
Finally, plan your route carefully and check weather and avalanche reports before you leave. If the forecast is ominous, stay indoors and plan your walk for another day. It is very dangerous to be stranded in such remote areas as there are in the Peak District, and this risk is even worse in the winter. However, if the reports are fine, wrap up, boot up and enjoy your walk!
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