Safety when walking

If you only plan to walk short distances you won’t need any special equipment, although it’s best to walk in comfortable shoes such as trainers. Make sure you are prepared for our unpredictable weather, and ensure that you are visible to other road users.

Walking longer distances

If you’re planning a longer walk here’s a checklist of things you should take with you:

  • Bottle of water – essential for long trips to prevent dehydration
  • Food
  • Proper walking boots if you will be crossing rough ground
  • A mobile phone
  • Basic first aid kit – including plasters, bite cream, antiseptic cream or wipes, glucose tablets and paracetamol

Depending on weather you may also need:

  • Hat
  • Suncream
  • Waterproof clothing
  • Warm clothing

And if the trek you’re planning goes through the countryside take a map and a compass, plan your route in advance and remember not to overstretch yourself.  Many walkers get into trouble by tackling ambitious walks through the difficult routes and not leaving enough time for the return journey or not knowing how to get back down once they’ve reached the top.

Especially if you’re going out into the wilderness tell someone where you’re going and if possible tell them you will phone them by a set time to let them know you’re home and safe.  (Make sure this time is an hour or so after you expect to be back so they don’t worry if you’re 15 minutes late.) Mobiles are brilliant things but, depending on where you go walking, your phone might be out of range so try not to rely on it!

Walking in poor visibility

In the colder months there are fewer hours of daylight, and even when it is daytime the visibility is sometimes quite poor.  Always put safety first with our simple tips:

  • Wear suitable footwear – if the footpath is wet or icy wear shoes or boots with a good tread, and take indoor shoes to change into when you get to work.
  • Wear visible outer clothing – most winter coats are darker shades, therefore a high visibility vest or other item is a good idea in order to ensure you are easily seen. Reflective snap-bands around your arms can also help to make you stand out.
  • If you are walking alone at dusk or in the dark always pay attention to your personal safety.  Stick to busier roads and avoid cut-throughs and quieter routes.

Walking is great exercise and a good way to get from A to B, so wherever you go stay safe and have fun!

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