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How to stay safe when going for winter walks

Safe winter walking on the beach

Cornwall, Devon and Dorset are all spectacular locations to go hiking. With the scenic coastal views and picturesque nature easily accessible to visitors, going for long walks is the perfect way to appreciate these great features. If you’re heading to Cornwall, Devon or Dorset this winter, rest assured that you’ll still get to soak up all these terrific views on long coastal strolls. In fact, with the crisp winter air and the sun shining, a winter hike can be the ultimate relaxing activity. But if you’re thinking about going for a hike at this time of year, there are a few things to note to ensure you can enjoy safe winter walking for your time away.

Avoid hazardous weather and timing

It’s important to note that the colder weather can produce more potentially hazardous walking conditions, particularly due to windy, wet and snowy weather. So, be sure to consider the conditions of the day and any expected weather changes prior to undertaking a large trek. Certain marked/recognised hiking areas may also have a conservation hut you can contact to check that you’ll be safe winter walking that day. Even if you’re just thinking of going for a walk along the beach, be aware of rough conditions, strong winds and changes in tide. Mornings are generally the most hazardous time of day to go out walking, due to icy conditions. Additionally, the most safe winter walking is done during daylight hours. Avoid nighttime, during which it is difficult for you to be aware of your surrounds or any hazards, and remember that the sun sets much earlier during the winter months. You can easily check sunrise and sunset times online each day.

Getting the right gear and preparations

Having appropriate walking gear is always a must at any time of year when you’re looking to complete a large trek. However, it is even more crucial in winter to have the necessary gear to ensure you stay safe walking in winter. Start off by ensuring you have appropriate footwear that is closed in and provides a sturdy grip for uneven surfaces. Next, ensure you wear plenty of layers to keep you warm as well as comfortable. The other thing to bring with you is snacks such as high-calorie bars that will give you an extra boost of energy for your trek.

Be cautious during your walk

The most safe winter walking also entails general logic and being cautious throughout the walk. Don’t approach an area that looks unsafe or too icy. Don’t rely solely on navigation from your smartphone as poor weather conditions can affect signal. Likewise, always let someone know where and when you plan to take a hike in case your phone dies or becomes wet. Taking steps slowly and knowing your limits are important strategies to ensure safe winter walking.

Walking is such a great way to genuinely enjoy the magnificent natural landscapes that Cornwall, Devon and Dorset have to offer. By applying these three simple steps, you can help to ensure that you enjoy safe winter walking. For ideas of where to walk in the UK check out Rough Guides top 10 British Hikes!

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