Preparing for adverse weather whilst walking

Preparing for adverse weather whilst walking

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

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

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

Adverse weather
Adverse weather

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.

Emergency rations

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.

Mobile phone

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.

Walking with children: Ideas for even more fun

Walking with children: Ideas for even more fun

Getting children to take part in physical activity can be very difficult but it is very important to keep your children active. Growing children should take part in a certain amount of physical activity every week to help their bodies to grow and develop. Getting children involved in walking is a great way to get them involved in a type of physical activity that the whole family can enjoy together. What is more, there are a variety of different ways to make walking for pleasure an even more enjoyable activity for your kids.

Map reading

Children can have great fun reading the map and using the compass when they go out on walks with friends and family members. Even when you are not trying to find buried treasure, there are plenty of unique sights to find and explore on any OS map.

Show them what all of the different map symbols mean so that they will be able to understand how to relate the land to the paper that they are holding. Allow them to be in charge of holding the map and keeping track of where you are as you follow your route. Make sure they still know where you are and where you are going when you get to major junctions. They can use ‘navigational handrails’ to figure out where they are on the map based on all of the major geographical features that they are able to see around them.


Orienteering is a fun walking or running based sport which can be done in the great outdoors. It is the perfect choice for children who find a normal walk to be a little bit boring.

Participants are given a map which shows the location of various different checkpoints. There will also be a short description of the location of the checkpoint. Participants use the map to navigate between checkpoints. A small device, known as a dibber, is used to record the visit to the checkpoint. At the end of the route, all of the times are collected and downloaded. Orienteering adds a subtle competitive edge to walking.

Flora and Fauna

If you go out walking in the British countryside, there are plenty of fantastic plants and animals to see. Make a game out of spotting as many different types of flora and fauna as you can. There are plenty of books and apps available to help you to identify the things that you find.

If you do see any animals, make sure that you only watch them from a distance so that you do not scare them. Do not feed any of the animals, because human food may not be suitable for their digestive systems.

Never pick or destroy the flowers and plants that you find. Teaching young children how to interact with wildlife and plants will help them to give them a better understanding of how humans can have a negative impact on the natural world if they do not treat it with respect.

Myths and Folklore

Most areas in the United Kingdom have their own local myths and folklore. These tales tend to have been created centuries ago by people who were trying to explain wonderful and mysterious things that they didn’t understand. Stories include ghosts, ghouls, giants, elves, fairies and other fantastical tales. Children seem to love these sorts of stories, because they are often still trying to make sense of the natural world around them.

Check in the local tourist information office to see whether there are any books or leaflets about the areas that you want to walk in. Share these stories with your children whilst they are on route. Looking out for faeries and exploring haunted hillsides will keep them busy whilst you enjoy the beautiful natural wonders around you.

Making trail mix

Trail mix is great to take on walks with you, because it will help to keep your energy levels up. Most children love trail mix because it is a handful of tasty treats. Your children will be even more excited about walking if they are allowed to help you to make trail mix.

Give them a list of potential ingredients for a trail mix under specific columns, such as nuts, seeds, dried fruits and chocolate. Ask them to choose two ingredients from the first 3 columns and 1 ingredient from the chocolate column. Once you have been out to buy all of the ingredients, they can help you to mix it all together in a ziplock bag so that it is ready to take with you on your walk. Carry the trail mix with you in your rucksack and ration it out to your children to help to keep their energy levels up. Do not let them try any of their trail mix until they are out on the walk, because the anticipation will help to keep their enthusiasm levels high.