When you think about the gear you’ll need to head out, you don’t need to have the most expensive, high-tech gear, but thinking about the conditions you might meet whilst out will help you to enjoy your day. Keeping warm and dry or cool and not burnt are essential, it’s best to wear sturdy boots (making sure they fit!) and carry insulating layers so you can change layers throughout the day depending on the weather.
Make sure you have some form of navigation with you whether that’s a paper map and compass or digital mapping on a GPS or phone (making sure to take a battery pack for back up). If you’re using your phone to navigate, make sure you have a waterproof case as if you’re relying on it for navigation and communication for emergencies, you don’t want it getting soggy!
Knowing what the weather will do during your adventure will help you to take the right gear and know what to expect. We all know the weather of the UK can be ever changing throughout the day and if out in the hills you can have all four seasons within 30 minutes so make sure to check the latest forecast before heading out. If the forecast doesn’t show what you wanted to head out then there’s no shame in rearranging plans; if you were heading for a summit, you could always take a low-level valley walk. If the sun is shining this can be a danger for our adventures if we don’t take enough drinks or our sun cream and cooling off in those inviting tarns can be dangerous on hot days due to cold water shock. Make sure to acclimatise yourself first or just cool off in the shallows.
Knowing your fitness levels, ability and skills is important when heading into the great outdoors. When carrying your means of navigation, you must have the skills to use them, a paper map and compass or phone with maps on are useless unless you know how to read them. Knowing your limits will help you straying into danger, if the route you’ve chosen is not what you expected, or the weather takes an unexpected turn, it’s always best to reassess the day and head back. Knowing what to do in an emergency situation can make all the difference, first aid is a simple skill but not something everyone has, so doing a basic course can have an incredible impact if the worst is to happen on an adventure.