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If you’re an outdoorsy kind of person, a bit of wind and rain probably won’t stop you from donning your walking boots, grabbing your waterproofs and heading to the hills for a Sunday afternoon walk. Not only is walking great exercise, but you get plenty of fresh air and can enjoy the stunning British countryside.

When winter arrives however, it’s a whole different story and the sub-zero temperatures, icy conditions and heavy snowfall we’ve been plagued with over the past few years are enough to put even the most hardened of walkers off going outside.

What you need is a way to ensure you stay warm so you can go outside whatever the weather – and hopefully the tips below will allow you to do that.

Wear a hat
It’s really important to ensure you wear a hat when you’re going outside in really cold weather. You might not feel like your head gets particularly cold, but this is where you lose a lot of heat and your body will start to close off circulation to your hands and feet. Put a hat on to warm up your head and boost circulation. It’ll keep your ears warm too!

Don’t wear cotton
Cotton traps moisture near your skin and means you’ll get colder quicker. If you buy outdoor clothing from a specialist retailer, you’ll be able to purchase garments made from synthetic materials to keep any moisture – such as perspiration – away from your skin.

Wear layers!
The more you layer up, the warmer you’ll be. Vests, T-shirts, jumpers, leggings and trousers can all be layered under a thick waterproof jacket to keep you nice and cosy. Remember, you want soft, cosy materials against your skin and clothing specially designed to withstand the elements on the outside. What’s more, you can take off a few layers if you go for a drink in the pub after your walk.

Have something to eat before you go
As your body burns fuel from what you’ve just eaten it will generate heat, helping to ensure you stay warm. Obviously you don’t want to eat so much you feel uncomfortable, but a good lunch or breakfast is perfect. Take a snack if you’ll be out for a while. It’s also important to drink liquids and stay hydrated. If the temperature is below freezing the air will draw moisture out of you and mean you get dehydrated and cold much quicker.

Choose the right shoes
If water gets into your shoes you’ve got no chance of your feet staying warm, so waterproof footwear is absolutely essential. Waterproof work boots for men would be an excellent choice. If you find your boots aren’t particularly cosy, get a good quality pair of woollen socks. You can also get sock liners, which help to draw moisture away from your feet – also helping them to stay dry and warm.

Wool is your friend
When you’re looking for cosy clothing, look for items made of wool, or with a wool or shearling lining. Wool is an excellent insulator and will help to keep you nice and warm. If it’s good enough for sheep during the colder months, it’s good enough for us too.

  • image reference, attribution licence from creative commons on Flickr
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This post was contributed by Shauna Stevens a freelance writer with a huge interest in the outdoors and ensuring that you are properly equipped with items such as mens jackets and winter boots.