Hundreds of Lake District visitors have shared their winter walking tips and hiking hacks in a series of short films launched by the Lake District National Park Authority this week.
As more people than ever are choosing to spend time outdoors to benefit their physical and mental health and wellbeing, the National Park Authority asked a range of outdoor enthusiasts at last year’s Kendal Mountain Festival: how do you enjoy the Lake District in winter? The films feature a wide range of Lake District fans, from wild swimmers to hikers and mountain guides through to families. Their answers ranged from preparing for the famously changeable Lake District weather and taking a spare socks through to low level walks and what to pack for lunch.
Adventurer, James Forrest features in the first Lake District winter campaign film. He says: “My top tip for winter safety is to know your own limits. The great thing about the Lakes is that there are so many smaller fells and low level walks which still give you an amazing experience in the great outdoors.”
The winter campaign aims to encourage visitors to plan ahead when heading out into the fells this season and reduce the increasing number of avoidable accidents supported by volunteer mountain rescue teams.
In 2021, the twelve volunteer search and rescue teams covering Cumbria recorded their busiest ever year, with 680 callouts.
Chair of the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association (LDSAMRA), Richard Warren comments: “Winter is upon us and when the high fells are covered in snow and ice then ice axes and crampons are essential items of equipment. To help our volunteer mountain rescue teams we ask those who wish to venture into the hills to prepare themselves properly. All the necessary guidance and advice is available at www.adventuresmart.uk which has been created to keep everyone safe and make their good day better.”
Before setting out for a day in the Lake District you should ask yourself:
The Lake District National Park’s team of Fell Top Assessors provide a daily ground condition report throughout the winter months to help people be prepared. Their report is published on www.lakedistrictweatherline.co.uk and on Twitter @LakesWeather.
Kate Applebee, adventurer and wellness advocate also contributes to the National Park Authority’s first film. She comments: “My top three tips are to always plan an ‘escape route’ from your hike so you can get back to safety if the weather turns. Always prepare for the weather with your equipment and clothing, and stay well hydrated, even in the winter months.”
The first film, released today, encourages people to know their limits and consider if they are equipped and able to tackle any given route in the winter conditions. A further six films will be released over the next few weeks covering what to wear, what to take with you, what to eat and how to navigate when you are out and about in the Lake District.
All of the contributors to this series of films were captured at last year’s Kendal Mountain Festival. If you can spot yourself please share on social media using #LakeDistrictKind
More information on the Lake District National Park’s winter safety campaign here: lakedistrict.gov.uk/kind