The Lake District with its high mountains, deep lakes, and breath taking vistas is a hiker’s paradise, and not just for a summer holiday. Winter offers the prepared hiker unique and rewarding challenges, but what are the essential kit needed to tame this wonderful place?
There are five winter must haves for hiking in The Lake District, outdoor clothes, foot gear, rucksacks, emergency kit, and other useful items.
Proper outdoor clothes make the difference between a fantastic holiday and a miserable experience. The Lake District averages two hundred centimetres annual rainfall. Winter can bring snow and gusty winds to the higher elevations along with near freezing temperatures. Dress in layers. Start with a base layer made from a moisture wicking, synthetic fabric, never cotton, to move perspiration away from one’s skin. Next, synthetic fleece or wool sweaters, hat and pants for insulation. Cover all this with water and wind proof jacket and pants made from breathable material such as Gore-texž. A light, well insulated jacket that compacts for easy storage is also an excellent idea. This heavier jacket should have synthetic insulation as down can become water logged and ineffective.
Good boots are vital. They must be sturdy and supportive with a waterproof, breathable membrane. Select boots with an aggressive, high traction sole. Water proof gaiters that cover the gap between the boot top and one’s pant legs are advisable. Also, ensure that the boots are fully worn in before setting off on an outing. Ice traction devices that attach to the boot sole are advisable.
Select a rucksack with capacity appropriate for the planned excursion. High quality mountaineering packs are preferred by seasoned outdoor adventurers. The pack should sit comfortably and distribute loads evenly over one’s body without any pinching or binding. Try as many packs as possible before purchasing.
Plan for the worst and hope for the best is the experienced hiker’s motto. Unforeseen events happen despite the best plans, so bring some basic survival equipment. A sturdy emergency blanket is versatile; it can serve as a ground sheet, impromptu shelter, or many other useful things. A high quality torch or headlamp is a must have. Have a means to start a fire in wet conditions, there are many fine products available. Carry more than one signalling device such as a military signal mirror, a flare, or police whistle. Satellite based communications technology that is lightweight, compact, and powerful is an excellent addition to one’s kit.
There are a few other items that can make a Lake District adventure more pleasurable and safer. A GPS navigation device is very useful. A high quality multi-tool can solve many problems, but be sure to check with the local constabulary to ensure legal compliance. Hiking poles are a great help in rugged, uneven terrain. Most are light weight and compactible for easy storage. Longer hikes, beyond a day, require a tent and sleeping bag. There are many fine mountaineering tents available, select one that is designed to withstand high winds and snow. Sleeping bags should have synthetic insulation and an additional waterproof outer bag. Lastly, do not forget spare batteries, or a small solar recharger, for all those useful gadgets.
Lake District Hotels literally offer a holiday adventure in a true sense, whether day hiking or a longer expedition. What better way to start or end an excursion than to relax in an excellent lodging? Hotels are available throughout the area such as the Lodor Falls Hotel in Dernwentwater, or the Inn on The Lake in Ullswater.
5 Winter Must Have’s for Hiking in the Lake District Photo Gallery
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