The Lake District is full to bursting with great places to walk. Whether it’s your first trip on the fells or maybe you are venturing to an area you haven’t been before it’s always good to know the basics to make sure you have a great day out and are prepared for any little hiccups.
Get kitted out
You don’t need loads of expensive gear to enjoy a day in the hills but a few of the basics will get you started.
Boots - a comfy pair of walking boots or shoes is essential, discovering a blister when you have another 10 miles to go is never going to be a great end to your day!
Clothing - layer up so it’s easy to add something if you are on the top eating your packed lunch or take something off if you have a long climb ahead of you. A decent waterproof (jacket and pants) will keep out the rain and also the wind and cold if the temperature drops. Proper walking pants, or shorts, are a must; jeans and cotton trousers aren’t going to be up to the job if it’s raining, cold or even too hot.
Rucksack - you are going to need a rucksack to carry all those spare layers and more importantly your packed lunch. It’s always a good idea to carry a basic first aid kit with you too, including a foil blanket, that can just be left in your rucksack so you never forget it.
Plan your route and research
The weather can be changeable in the hills and what might seem like a warm day when you step out of your car can be blustery and quite a few degrees cooler on the tops. Always check the weather forecast before you head out - Lakes Weatherline is a good one and during winter includes the Fell Top Assessors summary of conditions.
There is an endless supply of guidebooks and information giving route ideas or you can get the map out and make up your own. If you prefer the peace and quiet of walking by yourself then try and let someone know where you are heading, approximate timings and let them know once you are back.
Get the compass out
Knowing how to use a map and compass is one of the best skills you can learn and lets you explore new places or cut the route short if you’ve been out longer than expected. Using a GPS or smartphone can be an option but you always need a back up if the batteries run out! There are loads of navigation courses right here in the Lake District, the Lake District National Park offer a good selection, or take a look at some of the basics from the BMC (British Mountaineering Council).
Whatever your reason for visiting the Lake District you are guaranteed a warm welcome at The Regent Hotel, muddy boots and all, so why not come and visit us and start exploring.