Spring in England can be beautiful, as the grey of winter is replaced with lush greens, it really is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy what the countryside has to offer. We are extremely lucky that we live minutes from numerous walking and hiking trails through beautiful landscapes and over the past couple of weeks we have taken advantage of the lighter nights and nicer, if sometimes iffy, weather. Plus after the over indulgence at Easter, the fresh air and exercise has been doing us good. We love getting out of the house and walking, and talking, for hours, we find it a great way to reconnect with nature and each other. Regardless of if you are a serious hiker or a gentle walker, staying warm, dry, comfortable and safe are paramount. Here are a few things and ways this can be done.
It’s important to take things that you will need for your hike, but it’s also important not to over pack, no one wants to lug a heavy backpack around with them, just pack the essentials. This obviously depends on where you are hiking and the specific terrain. The main things we carry on a day hike are:-
- A mobile phone portable charger in case our batteries run out and we need to use Google Maps or make a phone call for help (or in my case update Twitter/Instagram).
- An Ordanance Survey map should Google Maps not be accessible or available. Yes it’s great just to wander and sometimes go off the grid, but it’s also important to be able to find our way back if we get lost.
- Water to stay hydrated
- Snacks in case we are out for longer than we anticipated and/or get lost or I get hangery which I have a habit of getting.
- A whistle, it’s important to remember that three short blows means you are in trouble and need assistance
- Torch in case we are out later than we anticipated and start to lose the light
- And as the weather moves from spring into summer, then a bottle of sun lotion, as I can get sun burnt even on a cloudy English day
Look after your feet
Blisters hurt, that’s a fact and on more than one occasion have I been the resentful owner of them because of not wearing the right footwear when hiking. I have a habit of walking 20km in a brand new pair of converse and then not being able to walk across the room for the next 3 days. It’s important to protect your feet. It’s true not many pairs of walking boots look as stylish as fashion trainers but wearing them is for the good of your foot health and vital if you do not want days of hobbling around afterwards. I also recommend in investing in some hiking socks too, which will give you that extra layer of protection, preferably ones which have a moisture absorbing function if you are prone to sweaty feet as they will keep your feet dry which again can prevent you getting blisters.
This is the most important one for us, there is nothing worse than being caught in a downpour miles from home and then having to trudge all the way back soaked to the skin, it’s just not enjoyable. Therefore, it’s important to invest in a good light weight waterproof jacket for spring hiking. Spring usually sees warmer days, meaning the big winter coats can be left at home (finally!), however it’s just not warm enough to go bare armed yet. Mr ESLT recently received the Boone Men’s waterproof jacket from Trespass which he has worn continuously, not just when hiking. With its shell being 100% polyester TPU membrane and it having a number of other great features including: mesh lining, lots of zipped pockets both at the waist and the on the chest which are great for his wallet, keys and phone, together with underarm ventilation for the more strenuous hikes on warmer days.
If you have read our Iceland Winter Wardrobe post, you’ll know I’m already a massive Trespass fan and love my ski jacket which has accompanied to Sweden, Iceland and America, just to name a few and still looks as new as the day I bought it. Now Mr ESLT is a proud owner of his own Trespass jacket, he can understand my love for the quality, design and value for money of their products.
The weather during spring can be extremely unpredictable – one minute the sun can be shining brightly in the sky and the next rain can be bouncing off the ground, or even snowing as has been the case in Yorkshire recently. Whether you opt for a proper jacket or a packaway jacket, the constant threat of a spring shower or on some occasions spring storm, is a good reason to wear one or carry with you. Mr ESLT chose his primarily for the colour, as I am a magpie to anything pink, he is the same when it comes to things which are blue. It also helps me when out walking as I can spot him straight away if we get separated. Another plus point is the concealed hood, which when raining can keep your head dry, when windy can keep your eyes protected and when not in use can simply be rolled away. Also, if your budget allows, we’d recommend investing in a pair of waterproof trousers too, to protect yourself as much as practicable against the elements.
Trespass jackets are available in a variety of styles and colours, each offering various degrees of technology to suit your needs, yet all sharing the same three core features: waterproof, windproof and breathable. I personally am very jealous as my jacket is only showerproof and having been caught in a downpour last weekend, which left me wringing wet and resembling a drowned rat, it has reaffirmed my belief that everyone needs a waterproof jacket, even if not a hiker. Especially as Mr ESLT was bone dry. We’re heading on two road trips over the next month or so, one through Wales and one through California, and Booney, as Mr ESLT’s jacket has now become affectionately known, is top of his packing list.
Let someone know where you’re going
Obviously, if you are heading out for a leisurely Sunday stroll, this probably wouldn’t be necessary. However, if you are heading out for a full day hike, try to have an idea of the route you will take or at least a rough idea of the area you will be in, especially if you are heading out on your own. Then tell someone, just in case you do get lost and you are unable to contact anyone or if something worse were to happen – I mean come on, no-one wants to face a 127 Hours scenario!
- Jacket from Trespass provided in exchange for honest review. HAPPY HIKING!