Stay warm – take layers!
You’ll need to be well layered to keep yourself warm enough when you’re out in the cold.
The premise is to have a thin synthetic base layer to wick moisture away from your body, followed by an insulating mid layer to retain heat, and then a waterproof shell layer.
There’s more nuance than this to getting a good layering system right, so do a bit of research to find out exactly what you need.
We like this YouTube video by Go Outdoors:
Walking boots with proper ankle support are a must, and you’ll be thankful for some thick socks too.
Here in the UK, our dress sense tends to be somewhat… subdued. Many of us will always veer towards dark coloured clothing, but this doesn’t help your visibility if someone needs to find you.
A bright red jacket or a yellow rucksack cover will make you easy to spot in the wild.
Start early to beat the sunset
Starting off first thing in the morning as the sun is rising will give you the maximum amount of daylight. If you get lost, time is on your side and you have plenty of time to re-orient yourself.
But in the evening when you’re already tired and the clock is against you, mistakes are more common and being out in the dark makes everything a lot more hazardous.
It’s much safer to already be on your way home when the evening starts to draw in.
Walking is a great social activity and is also one of the safest things you can do while you’re out walking. If something does go wrong, there will be another person to call for help, and you can put your heads together to solve problems like getting lost more effectively.
Friends can still be a help from afar if you do want to go alone. Before you head off, give a friend all the details of your trip (When, where, local authorities contact details etc.) and arrange a check-in time with them after you expect to finish.
If something goes wrong, your buddy will know you need help if you don’t check in with them and contact the right people to sort it out.
The equipment you take with you can help you out greatly in a pinch.
A compass and map will help if you loose your way, a torch will prove vital if you find yourself still out in the dark, and a GPS phone will let you contact emergency services even if your day-to-day phone can’t get signal.
Taking then may seem like overpreparing, but for a little bit of extra effort they can be incredibly useful if you do end up needing them.
Your own winter wonderland
Our year-round campsite Setthorns is nestled quietly amongst some picturesque ancient woodland a short drive from Brockenhurst. The tall trees provide a cosy atmosphere as they help protect from the winter wind and there are many beautiful waymarked walking routes which meander their way through the forest.
If you’re worried about being cooped up indoors over the colder season and want to get out of the house for a breath of fresh air and to stretch your legs, then a stay at Setthorns will be perfect for you!