We have nine more weeks of Winter and that has not stopped us from going on country walks around our area of Bath, England. However the shorts, sleeveless shirts, and trainers of our summer attire have had to be replaced by our winter wardrobe. When you are in England I always recommend double checking the weather right before you head out. Check the temperature, the wind, and if rain or snow might be a factor. Next, it is always good to plan your route before hand to give yourself a good time reference for how long you will be out. With your information gathered you can than gauge how to dress appropriately for your country walk. Remember just because you are going for a country walk, does not mean you have to dress frumpy. There are so many fashionable looks from Peter Hahn you can put together for your country walks from practical footwear to appropriate coats.
Here are simple simple ways I plan out what to wear on a country walk:
- Layering Smartly. I have made bad choices in the past and have layered with the wrong items for a walk with the knowledge that I do not like to be cold. The end result has been being too hot and having to carry excess article of clothing in my arms. On the other hand you do not want to skip out on wearing your jumper and being cold once the sun goes down. Answer the following questions to execute your layering correctly.
- What temperature is outside?
- How long will you be out?
- Will the sun be going down while you are outside?
- Is there a chance you might get delayed? (ie. walking with small children or trying a new route where you might either get lost or have to alter the route, making it longer)
- How strenuous will the country walk be? (ie. Will there be a lot of climbing up hills? Will you be doing any running?)
- Any weather factors you need to prepare for? (wind, rain, snow, etc)
My Tip: If you are going to be walking at a good pace, walking on an incline, or doing any strenuous actions like climbing or running than remember your body temperature will be raised. If I am still a little cold when I first step outside I know that in ten minutes my body will be acclimated to the weather and the country walk. However if I am worried the temperature might drop I will bring an extra layer in my bag so that I do not have to worry about carrying something in my arms.
- Plan to get Dirty. It is winter time in England and we get a lot of rain. Which means there will be a lot of mud or rain puddles. Opt for wellies instead of your trainers and make sure your trouser legs are tucked safely inside. Depending on the situation you might want to opt out of your wooly coats for a parka or a trench coat that is easier to clean.
My Tip: Do not worry so much about the mud and more on having a great time. We like to take bets on which family member might slip in the mud first on really muddy days. Laughter is more fun than tears, especially if you are on a country walk with children. When you get back you can have everyone put their dirty clothes straight in the washing machine on their way to changing their clothes.
- Protect those feet. My family has experienced the downsides of not wearing proper socks with your wellies. You will either have your socks constantly slipping down and making it uncomfortable, or you will have painful blisters caused by the rubbing of the boot material on your skin. If you do not own proper wellie socks you can try this DIY trick of using gapper or duct tape around your socks to keep them up.
My Tip: Wear winter sport socks. I found that my DC snowboarding socks work perfectly with my Hunter wellies for our country walks. They stay up to the knee and never slip, keep my feet and calves warm, and never cause any chaffing or blisters.
- What To Wear Essentials. These are my favourite items of clothing to wear on a country walk for the Winter season of 2013-2014:
- Comfortable trousers. I do not wear sweats outside the house, but I am not wearing my skinny jeans either. Well fitted and comfortable trousers that will make climbing easy and that will keep my legs warm. Layering Option: Fleece lined leggings or thermals under your trousers for more blustery cold days will keep your legs warm.
- Quality Socks. Now is not the time to wear ankle socks or worn out socks that will constantly slip down your leg. Keep your feet happy by investing in a great pair of boot or wellie socks.
- Long Sleeve Shirt. You will want something that will keep you both warm but also be able to have the sleeves rolled up easily in case you get too warm. Layering Option: Depending on what your needs are you can then layer under and over your long sleeve shirt. Thermal undershirts or a quality vest top underneath works great. I also like to wear a fleece vest that zips up the front over my shirt if I need a little extra warmth.
- Jumper. A nice jumper is a great way to keep you warm or even finish off your look. If you are stateside a jumper is a sweater. Layering Option: Depending on what you are layering with underneath the jumper you may or may not need to add on a coat if you are warm enough with your jumper.
- Coat. Go back to your questions above when deciding on what coat or jacket to select for your country walk. I will wear my wool coat with a hood when I need to be warm in the wind or colder temperatures. However if I know it will rain a lot or is a little warmer I will opt for my light weight rain jacket. Layering Option: Go with a coat that has an inner layer too it. If it is not as cold you can unzip that inner layer and leave it at home.
- The Extras. It is the little things that can make a country walk miserable if they preoccupy your thoughts too much. So make sure to keep the rest of you warm by thinking about gloves, hats, ear muffs, and scarves.
Here are photos from our recent country walk in our town outside of Bath, England
Q: What are your favourite things to wear when going on a Country Walk?