• Discover Hidden Britain

GEAR | Ten things to have in your back pack in winter

It’s the beginning of the year, its cold, muddy and a bit frozen in places. That never stops the walker or the explorer. But how does my back pack change from month to month? What would I bring in January, that I wouldn’t bring in August? Or vice versa? Well stay with us, and you will see…

1. Gaiters

Short or long? Depends on conditions. But if its muddy out, and you want some protection against the worst of the weather conditions and the ground underneath, a pair of gaiters is the bees knees!

2. Pain relief tablets

For me as an older walker, it just makes perfect sense. The one thing that could make walking literally a pain is – pain. So I always make sure I carry some pain relief with me. It makes walking a joy, rather than a pain.

3. Flask of tea

I take a flask of tea – because I like it. It warms you up. Its refreshing and I like a cup of tea.

4. Walking Poles

Quite simply a pair of walking poles are essential in these wintry conditions. Mud, freezing ground, large puddles to vault over. It just makes walking and exploring so much easier, and more accessible.

5. Heat Patch

Try sticking a heat patch in your back pack. It covers those specific aches and pains that can come up when you’re walking, wandering or getting around. And if its cold or getting colder, it means you can carry on and get to where you’re going

6. High energy snack

This is essential. A personal choice on flavour. Sweet or savoury. Whether it’s a flapjack, a slice of rocky road or trail bars, make sure you’re covered. Think about how long you’re going to be out and make sure you well provided for. Maybe it’s a couple of biscuits to dip in your flask of tea. Your choice!

7. Spare pair of walking socks

At this time of year your socks can get wet whilst you are out walking. Always ensure that you have a spare pair of dry clean walking socks in your back pack. There are few things worse than having to tramp on for miles with wet socks and they encourage blisters!

8. Bottle of water

Always always always take enough water with you to cover the duration of the walk. Even when temperatures are low you will still perspire and you need some water to swallow your painkillers!

9. First aid kit

Probably the most important thing to take with you, that you hope you never have use. The contents are a personal choice but a range of plasters, support bandages and antiseptic will be a good start. In winter – its brambles, scrapes, tumbles and twisted ankles.

10. Notepad and pen

A personal choice. But its nice to keep a note of where you go, where you’ve been and where you’re going to… And if this is something that floats your boat – the mileage. Otherwise, birds that you see, animals that pass you by or views that simply can’t be described – but you can try.

Anyway, this is my winter top ten for my pack – what’s yours?