Repeat after me: Prepare, prepare, prepare

If you remember one thing before embarking on a winter walk in in Cumbria or any other hilly place, make sure you prepare.

We have talked about preparations before including my stupidity, another count of my stupidity and other people’s less clever decisions.

The Types of Preparation

Preparation doesn’t just mean simply packing and wearing the right outdoor gear, it also means planning where you will be going and worst case scenarios.

Preparation also means thinking ahead, and thinking behind – who did you tell where you were going?  When do they expect you back?  What forms of procedure are in place if you do not return by your designated time…these are the kinds of question you need to answering before you embark on any walk, run or ride in the countryside, especially over Winter months.  The UK seasons are changeable though, so do not let this limit you in your preparations.

The Risks

The risks of going camping or hiking aren’t always too apparent, so just because it’s not likely doesn’t mean it can’t happen.  Ensure you take adequate precautions and some.

Just a couple of weeks earlier, we saw a strong wind chill factor that led to temperatures fall to -16C (3.2F) on Helvellyn’s 3,114ft (950m) summit.  Not something that is typical, but something you can be prepared for.

Mr Palmer, an outdoor guide and instructor, who is qualified in Arctic survival, said: “We’ve seen some crazy sights over the Christmas holidays.

One walker was wearing wellies, jeans, t-shirt and a fashion jacket on Swirral Edge, a challenging route at the best of times…A lot of family groups are setting out in sunshine on the valley floor and find themselves freezing cold as they head up the hill…However, without warm clothes and the right gear they are putting themselves at great risk.

So repeat after me: prepare, prepare prepare…

Outdoor Experience

Experience can go a long way, especially where preparation is concerned.  So many people have been caught off-guard by the weather or their vulnerability to hiking, climbing or mountain biking in the wilderness.  It’s vital that you develop experience under the guidance of a seasoned outdoor lover.

You will never complain about being over prepared if you know the risks

From Experience I know it’s far too easy to make stupid mistakes, as highlighted already, so the risks are all too clear.  It’s especially easy to complain about the burden of the extra time, effort and money you might incur from tackling a new mountain, hill, forest, etc…But ultimately, you will never complain about those extra minutes, that extra weight or extra pounds if you are aware of the risks you are facing.

Preparations and Kit Lists

We have provided various list of outdoor sports and camping gear lists in the advice pages on the main website.  I’d advise you to take some time to look through these lists and see if there is anything from your preparations that you are missing.

It sounds like we are mothering a little, and I guess we are, but it’s just an opportunity for us to remind all those who enjoy their outdoor activities to enjoy it responsibly.

Lecture over!   🙂


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