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  • : frank beswick
  • : The blog of Frank Beswick. It deals with my interests in religious, philosophical spiritual matters and horticulture/self-reliance
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August 11 2011 5 11 /08 /August /2011 13:42

Winter walking is very enjoyable as long as you keep yourself safe from cold and accidents. You have to be properly equipped with suitable clothing and other equipment, such as a torch and a compass. You must also develop a strong sense of safety, knowing your limitations and being able to read weather conditions and to turn back when necessary.

Winter walking

If you walk in the hills in winter, you will see beautiful but dangerous places. The dangers are cold, which can cause hypothermia, slipping, getting caught after dark and occasional avalanches.

Gear

Ensure that you have warm clothes, including gloves, hat and a waterproof coat. Strong boots are essential. You need a good torch with spare batteries and a food supply that contains some carbohydrates to maintain your body heat. A Thermos flask and a small stove with cooking gear will be useful in emergency. Depending on how rugged the terrain and how thick snow is, you might need an ice axe.

If an accident happens

Nowadays, anyone can carry a mobile phone, which is a useful survival tool, but you will need a map and compass to identify where you are. A whistle is always useful in emergency. Some people carry a plastic bivouac bag [bivvy bag] in case they are trapped out. Going alone is rarely safe, so ensure that you have someone with you, and someone should know where you are going.

Weather conditions

Some winter days are beautiful with clear skies, but be careful. A lovely day at sea level might be very cold at two thousand feet. This is particularly the case with wind, where a sea level breeze can be a strong, freezing wind higher up. Remember that hypothermia from exposure to cold wind is a real killer. Mist is a dangerous enemy that can make you disorientated and lost, so think twice before you climb hills in misty conditions. Extremely wet conditions can cause chills.

Ice and snow

Do not walk on ice without the proper gear. You can break a leg or slide off a slope. Wading through thick snow drifts saps energy from you, and you can become exhausted and hypothermic easily. Do not go where there is a danger of avalanche.

Common sense

There is no shame in turning back if conditions become too bad. Nature is stronger than we are. Therefore, know your physical limitations.

mountain valley

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