Walking in Winter
I love getting outside for a walk. It never fails to put me in a better mood, the fresh air, the gentle exercise and changing scenery really is good for the body and mind. Spring walks are great for spotting signs of new life emerging. A walk in the summer usually means good weather, and great views from the hills in Gloucestershire. Autumn walks are my favourite as I love the colours at this time of year. Winter walks become more problematic. It is cold, usually wet and not that much to see. This is the time of year when it becomes too easy to skip going outside in favour of cosying up on the sofa.
However, there is no reason to let the cold, shorter days of Winter beat you from getting outside. With the right clothing and equipment, I believe there is still lots to enjoy at this time of year. It is a really good time to look for wildlife. In this country, we get birds migrating here from further north to avoid harsher conditions. With fewer leaves on the trees it makes them easier to spot. Shorter days, mean that you can do a spot of star-gazing without having a late night. And anyone who has children knows that a winter walk in the snow, or even a bit of puddle-jumping never fails to go down well.
I am a firm believer in there being no such thing as bad weather – just the wrong clothing. So here are the essential Winter Walk must-haves to help you enjoy being outside at this time of year:
- Layers – these need to be warm and breathable.
- A water-proof coat – worth investing in a decent one which will protect you from the elements and allow moisture to escape.
- Hat and scarf – to prevent heat loss from your head and neck.
- Gloves – waterproof ones if possisble as if your fingers are dry, they will stay warmer. If you have children, consider taking multiple pairs as they inevitably get lost!
- Sturdy shoes – ideally they need to be waterproof so your feet stay warm and dry as you are walking through puddles, but with good traction to cope with ice.
- Walking poles – whilst these might not be appropriate for a walk to the nearby park, if you are hiking in hilly areas, then walking poles may help with your balance on a slippery track.
Some of these items can be obtained very easily, others you will need to visit a specialist shop, such as Simply Hike. Of course, the most important thing to do on a walk at any time of the year, is be mindful of how you are feeling and stop and rest when you need to!