Getting outdoors is an essential part of staying fit and healthy and introducing much needed balance into our hectic lives.
To make sure you remember your hill days for all the right reasons, looking after yourself has to be your number one priority. So remember these top tips for staying safe in the hills:
1. Tell somebody your plans
Let someone know your expected route, when you plan to be back and what to do if you don’t return on schedule. This is doubly important if you are heading off on your own.
2. Check the weather
Check a decent mountain weather forecast before you go. Remember that just because it’s sunny and warm in the valleys doesn’t mean it’ll be like that on the summits. The weather can change quickly, so make sure you have extra layers and have planned escape routes in advance.
3. Carry the right kit
You should always pack appropriate kit for the conditions and know how to use it. Check out my guide to essential kit I’d never be without and how to remember it every single time! Swans and Essential Kit.
4. Be flexible
It’s so tempting to think you need to get to the top of a mountain when you’ve made the effort to spend a day in the hills. Be prepared to alter your plans if the conditions aren’t right. Trust your instincts on this one; they are usually correct.
Instead of focusing on a single goal (“I must reach the top of Scafell Pike today”), be more present and have an open mind. Not only will you keep yourself safe but you may end up having an even better adventure than if you’d stuck to your original plan.
Just remember, the mountains will always be there waiting for you another day. Turning back is often the perfect excuse to return to the hills sooner rather than later!