Friday, 9 December 2011

Get the Right Equipment to Enjoy Your Hiking Holiday

If you’ve booked a country cottage for the break over Christmas and New Year, it’s likely that you’ll have picked an idyllic location and be planning to do some hiking and walking while you’re there.

Sunny winter days can make for perfect hiking conditions – and often holiday cottages are located within easy access of different trails and paths. If you’ve chosen somewhere mountainous, you could do some of the lower slopes safely - as long as you’re well-prepared. Being prepared means telling people where you’re headed, what route you’re taking and how long you intend being out. This way, if you get into any difficulty or get lost, then at least people will know when to start looking for you, and when.

You should also take plenty of water to keep you hydrated and some hi-energy food and snacks to give your body extra fuel en route. Supplies like this will be a godsend if you do get stranded.

Of course, the other thing to do is dress for the occasion. Make sure you wear base layers that will provide you with warmth for your body core – thermals and snug fitting garments that allow your skin to breathe are ideal. You’ll also need middle layers to provide insulation and warmth, and in winter it’s a good idea to have two middle layer garments, so you can peel one off if you get too hot as you’re walking along. On the top, wear a shell layer as protection from the wind and rain should the weather change while you’re out. North Face jackets are ideal for hiking and walking, as they allow you freedom of movement, offer protection from the elements and allow body heat to escape, too.

Depending on the kind of terrain you’re going to cover, you might also look at buying some crampons. These are devices to provide traction for walking on snow and ice. They can attach to your footwear in three ways – step-in, hybrid and strap bindings.

Don’t forget other essentials like gloves and a hat, and you’ll be all set to go and explore!

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