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Walking in the Mountains | A Beginner's Guide

Posted by Bethan Bithell on 7th Feb 2017

It is always important that you are well prepared when walking in the mountains . Whether you plan on going with a walking group or on your own with your pet dog, being prepared is essential for your enjoyment and safety.

We have designed some tips to keep you safe on your wonderful excursions in the countryside. If you are missing any equipment, take a look on our website where I am sure you will find what you are looking for.

Plan your walk!

Decide where you are going! Tell someone your planned route or location…and what time you expect to return. It's always wise to decide on a time to raise the alarm if you have not returned!

Choose a route that is suitable for your level of fitness and experience (of each member of your group) and do not stray off paths.

Prepare for your walk!

  1. Suitable Clothing when Walking

Make sure you are wearing the appropriate footwear and clothing. It is important you have a good treaded sole unit and the boots support your ankles (Check out our blog on FIVE Essential Features of Comfortable Walking Boots).

Clothing should be warm, colourful, waterproof and windproof….it is all about layers!

Even in the summer months it can be cold at the summit, so always take a pair of gloves and a hat.

  1. Weather

Remember to check the local weather forecast before you go and plan for the change in weather, take appropriate clothing and equipment with you such as thermal base layers, a survival bag, crampons and perhaps an ice axe.

In the summer you may want to take sunscreen and midge repellent too.

  1. Take food and drink

Take plenty of food and drink for every member of your team, you will burn those calories fast and it’s important to maintain your energy levels. Remember water, even in the cooler months you can get dehydrated (take extra in the summer).

Remember a hot beverage in the colder months, trust me…you will appreciate it!

  1. Take appropriate equipment

A map and compass are essential and should be easily accessible. It is all well and good taking them…but make sure you know how to use them!

You may wish to take a GPS, although they are not always useful so do not rely on them. Make sure you remember to fully charge your mobile phone, however you may not get signal in the remoter parts of the country. Take a whistle and learn the rescue signal in case of emergencies.

A torch is an important piece of equipment, however remember to take spare batteries- this can also be used to signal for help. Lastly, a small travel first aid kit could come in handy and a survival bag (whether it is summer too).

Hiking and walking poles are great tools to help climb steep mountains. Poles reduce the impact on knees when walking down hills, whilst offering stability when dealing with difficult terrain. For more information on the health benefits of using a hiking staff or walking pole check out our 10 useful tips on using a hiking staff.

Climbers and mountain bikers should wear helmets and in winter, ice-axe, crampons and survival bag are essential.

Plus, don't forget your camera to capture those breathtaking views!

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