Walking in Britain can be immensely rewarding, but it is not without danger. The changing weather in this country can be a serious hazard for people who are not prepared. Whenever you set out on a walk over open ground, you should consider how to minimise the potential risks to you and your companions.
You should always take a torch with you when you go out on a walk in an uninhabited area. Bad weather can actually reduce visibility to the extent that you will be put at risk if you continue walking without additional light. A torch can help you to continue walking back to safety, rather than being forced to stay put in low light conditions.
If you are buying a new torch for walking, you should consider buying a head torch. These torches are held around the head by elastic cords meaning that the hands can be kept free for other important tasks.
Waterproof gear is essential if you plan on going walking in Britain. The weather can change in a few moments, especially on higher ground. It can be very uncomfortable to get caught out in a rain storm. In addition to this discomfort, wearing wet clothes for long periods of time can reduce your body temperature which leaves you more vulnerable. People who are stuck in wet clothes are particularly vulnerable to hypothermia.
Waterproof clothing helps to reduce the amount of water that is able to penetrate the outer layers of clothing. Good waterproofs will help to keep you dry in even the heaviest rainstorms. Some waterproof clothing also helps to reduce the effects of wind.
Warm clothing should be taken on most high ground walks, even if the weather forecast is showing high temperatures throughout the day. The temperature on higher ground is usually much
lower than the temperature at sea level, so you may need to put on extra layers as you move higher. If the wind picks up, it will also make it feel much colder. Keeping body heat up during any walk is essential because the body works most efficiently whilst it is at the optimum temperature.
Layering is the best way to keep the body at the optimum temperature because air gets trapped between layers and stays warm. It also makes it easier to control temperature than it would be if you were to only wear one thick item of clothing. Carrying warm clothing will help to prevent you from being caught out if the temperature suddenly drops.
Hat and gloves
Hats and gloves are important for keeping your extremities warm if the weather starts to turn cold. Once the temperature starts to drop, it is important to do everything that you can to maintain body heat, because your energy levels will start to decline as you begin to get colder.
Camping and outdoor stores often sell lightweight hats and gloves which are easy to carry but act as effective barriers against the cold. It is important that you choose gloves which allow you to maintain dexterity, so that you can continue to use your hands properly.
Bad weather can force you to make camp in an area that you are not expecting to have to stay in. Alternatively, it could force you to take a route which may take longer than planned. It is important that you have a few emergency rations to help you to keep fed and hydrated if your walk takes longer than expected. High energy foods are a great choice for emergency rations, because they can help to give you a big energy boost whilst adding very little extra weight to your rucksack. Adequate water is essential if you plan on walking in high temperatures, because dehydration can be fatal.
You should always take a mobile phone with you when you go out walking, even if you do not expect to have full phone signal for parts of your walk. If you are in signal range, a mobile phone can be used to get up-to-date information about the changing weather conditions, so that you can base your choices on the most relevant information. Alternatively, a mobile phone can be used to summon assistance if you do find that you need help.
All mobile phones in Britain can be used to phone the emergency services using any available network. This means that your phone may be able to be used to call 999 even if you cannot connect to your standard mobile phone network. If you cannot find phone signal in the area where you are, moving towards higher ground can help. You may also be able to find your location using the GPS on the phone.