The benefit that comes with the heavy rainfall that lands on Britain, is that on those rare, bright days, we are blessed with some of the greenest and most pleasant countryside in the world. It also happens to be perfect hiking terrain. So if the weather isn’t to frightful this Christmas, pick up your walking stick, have a read of these helpful pointers, and step heartily out the front door.
What to wear?
Though there is no reason to expect hurricanes across the Brecon Beacons or an avalanche on Ben Nevis, don’t underestimate the extent to which a short rain shower or persistent light drizzle can darken your spirits, and soon extinguish all enthusiasm for the Great Outdoors. From top to bottom, waterproofs are an essential. Layers are the key, both in protection from the rain and insulation, allowing you to peel on and off as the weather changes. If you are to be walking in long grass or heather you might even want to consider a pair of gaiters, to combat dew creeping up your trousers. Concerning footwear, sturdy and comfortable boots are vital, both for comfort on the day and support for your knees and back in the long term.
What to bring?
If camping, choosing the right tent should be carried out after conducting careful research. A few extra pounds is worth peace of mind and a dry night. It is recommended that you try putting the tent up at least once before heading out, as reading instructions in the rain and dark is no fun at all. You also need to balance up the virtues of a roomy tent and a light backpack. Finally, make sure you have a decent and up-to-date map. There is nothing more up-to-date that a smart phone, admittedly, but an old-fashioned physical map won’t turn blank – Aw Snap! – when you have no signal in the middle of Dartmoor. It is also worth knowing where you are, independent of technology, in the case of an emergency. A little preparation before your venture into the countryside will help ensure that you get the most out of your time. Neither does it have to be a disproportionate weight upon the festive balance sheet, so long as you pick your purchases carefully and make the most of sites offering sales discounts. With just a little planning, and more than a handful of adventurous spirit, a walk into the hills can be a great way of spending quality family time, and combating the Christmas binge.