The mild winter weather we’re enjoying right now is encouraging more people than ever to get outdoors and explore. What is usually a quiet time for holiday cottages is actually turning out to be quite busy. The usual winter hiking routes across the UK and Ireland are seeing more traffic too.
If you’re considering using one of our holiday cottages for a little winter hiking, here is a quick checklist of things you’ll need to take. The list is designed for those new to hiking or to exploring outdoors and includes everything you’ll need to stay warm, dry and safe.
- Waterproof jacket
- Walking trousers
- Base layer
- Walking boots
- Walking socks
- Map and compass
- Food and drink
- Mobile phone (GPS a bonus)
- First aid kit
- Walking poles
- Extra layers and socks
- Camping equipment
It is essential that you’re prepared for your winter hike as chances are you’ll be far from civilisation. That means help will take a while to get to you. As you will be carrying most of this stuff, a balance has to be struck between packing absolutely everything and weight. That’s why we split this list into essentials and optional. In an ideal world, you would take everything on every hike, but that isn’t always practical.
For a short hike of up to 10-15 miles, it isn’t always necessary to carry kit spares, camping equipment, walking poles or sunscreen. However, if you’re driving out somewhere desolate and then going hiking, it might be worth taking some kind of shelter.
You should always carry plenty of water and some water purification tablets. You would be surprised how much water you lose when walking, even during winter. You still sweat and still burn liquids, so it’s essential that you’re able to top up as you go.
For hikes over 10-15 miles, it’s always useful to have shelter, spare sunscreen, spare batteries and plenty of water. The army has a saying, plan for the worst, hope for the best. You should adopt that saying whenever you’re preparing for a hike. The more isolated your route, the more preparation you should undertake.
When staying out longer, food and drink begin playing a more important part. Proper hydration can prevent many injuries and incidents. Food replenishes energy as you go. Both could save your life. Pack as much as you can comfortably carry for a few hours and eat well before you leave.
We have some amazing holiday cottages in some of the best walking regions in the world. We want you to enjoy your time with us and if you prepare properly, you’re going to love it!