Hidden delights of the Dales Way
Emily Thompson describes the hidden delights of the Dales Way.
Don't let the elements stop you exploring this year. With this guide to essential gear for winter walkers, you'll be able to stay comfortable, safe and warm!
It’s a beautiful sight, and you’ll be happy tonight, when you’re walking in a winter wonderland. The weather can be tumultuous, and the terrain can be difficult to trudge, but the beauty of the UK at wintertime can’t be compromised by a little wind, rain or snow. It actually often adds to it.
That’s why the winter won’t turn off keen walkers; it will inspire them to get out. The only thing that could put a damper on your ramble is not having all of the necessary gear along the way, and with that in mind we’ve put together a list of the essentials every walker should have this winter. Check it out.
There are many types of coat that will keep you warm, from cosy and lightweight to insulated waterproofs. For women going hiking in the cold, we recommend one of The North Face’s Thermoball hoodie jackets; it will keep you warm when it’s wet and chilly, and the bright colours it comes in make it ideal for visibility in foggy conditions.
For men, try the FuseForm Dot Matrix Hooded Down jacket, which shares the same qualities with the Thermoball, creating a light, less bulky, more durable coat, perfect for winter hikes.
If we had to pick one pair of winter walking boots for men and women this year, we’d go with the Columbia Bugaboot Plus II XTM. The heavy insulation keeps your feet snug, while the lightweight midsole provides a cushion that lasts a long time. They also offer a great grip on slippery surfaces.
The Camelbak Fourteener 24 Hydration Pack is the ultimate outdoor adventurer rucksack, regardless of the season. It creates the perfect balance between weight, comfort and ventilation whilst having plenty of storage space (three litre Antidote reservoir for hydration and 21 litre storage) and tool attachments.
An important piece of kit for any season, especially if you’re planning on spotting some wildlife (check out our handy guide if this is the case!).
The Barska Focus Free 9x25 is a lightweight pair of binoculars designed to be quick and easy to use during outdoor activities; perfect, then, for when you spot a rare animal and need to focus in on it quickly.
You wouldn’t want to get lost on a winter ramble when it’s freezing cold outside, so make sure you take the proper precautions. A GPS device is crucial for areas you don’t know well, and a paper map is a great back-up plan.
The Satmap Active 12 GPS comes with full mapping of Great Britain and even a free Pro Shield worth £40 (plus a 12 month OS Maps subscription worth £19.99). The 3.5” display screen offers crystal-clear clarity and it has a long rechargeable battery life. It also has a heart rate monitor and bike speed/cadence sensor. For a cheaper option, the Garmin GPSMAP 64 GPS is less than half the price of the Satmap Active but still offers plenty.
For paper maps, that all depends where you’re heading! Visit our shop and find your destination.
As the UK can be so beautiful at wintertime, you’ll probably want to document your walks along the way by taking some snaps. For this, there’s really only one make of camera right now – the GoPro.
The GoPro HERO4 Black camera provides the most advanced GoPro recording available, with incredible 4K30 high resolution and 1080p120 high frame rate, resulting in breathtaking footage. It’s also waterproof – perfect for rainy day snaps!
There have been countless great travel logs over the centuries, and more and more people are starting up their own walking blogs. If you want to make some notes in the rain without damaging your smartphone, try some waterproof paper.
The Rite-in-the-Rain waterproof journal is a notepad designed to not tear or dissolve when wet, so you can write with a pencil or pen even when it’s raining cats and dogs.
One of the most notable signs of winter, aside from the cold, is that it gets darker earlier in the day. To counter this, make sure you take some lighting on your walks.
For a simple torch, the Goal Zero Solo Solar Torch is ideal for winter walking. Its small size and bright light will help guide you when the moon isn’t quite enough.
For something a little more hi-tech, check out the Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern. It has an extended run time and can be charged from USB; it can even recharge your portable devices when you’re on the move!