There’s an old saying which goes “There’s no such thing as bad weather, instead just bad clothing,” and to a certain extent they may be right. The problem is that the weather in the UK can be extremely changeable, so when you are out walking in the winter, how can you ensure that you’re always dressed for the weather?

Green Park
What to Wear When Winter Walking in UKgrytr / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Here are some pointers you may want to follow.

Walking Low Level

The main challenges when walking at lower levels in the winter is to make sure that you stay reasonably dry. Therefore a good lightweight waterproof jacket and trousers are always a must. Even if it looks like it’s going to be relatively dry, the weather can be unpredictable during the winter. Try to purchase a waterproof jacket and trousers that are breathable because by doing so, you won’t sweat. It’s always a good idea to layer up with material that has sweat wicking and thermal properties. Look for lightweight but strong material as opposed to heavy duty layering to prevent moisture build up. Footwear again should be lightweight but waterproof and make sure that socks are also made from breathable fabric.

Mountain and High Level Walking

High level walking particularly during the winter brings with it a whole new set of problems. Ice, snow and most importantly the wind will make even the most simplest of tasks energy sapping and time consuming. Look for clothes that can adapt to changeable conditions. So invest in a wind proof jacket large enough to zip up the hood whilst wearing a hat, and one which has a fully waterproof outer shell that lets out water rather than soaks it back in. Brands like GoreTex, Simpatex and Triple-Point jackets that can be found online at Regatta Outlet do exactly this. Always carry a hat or balaclava as a significant amount of heat can be lost from the head area. If you’re taking a hat try to get one that protects the ears fully. Also think about your hands and feet. Take a spare pair of socks, just in case your feet get wet and take two pairs of gloves (an inner and an outer pair) as your extremities are always the most difficult to keep warm. If your gloves do get wet, then you can always use your dry pair of socks instead.

Remember a bit of careful planning before you set off, will ensure that you are comfortable and dry on your walk and are prepared for all eventualities, whatever the weather.