It’s time to get outdoors – I’m going stir crazy

Do you ever get that feeling of being hemmed in by where you live? I do, quite often and whenever that feeling hits I try to head for the outdoors. I usually head for the local forest or moorland.

Thick Trees in Forest

I have mentioned it several times on this site that I am a country boy at heart. I love being outdoors in all types of weather.

There is no such thing as bad weather, only poorly selected clothing.

However, whenever heading out, it is important to have the right equipment with you, even if you think you are only going for a gentle lowland walk. Whatever the time of day, early morning, evening or late at night it is extremely important you have everything with you to deal with any situation that may arise. This is not as complicated as it first may appear. It could be as simple as having wet weather clothing with you (when you have started walking in sunshine) or ensuring your mobile phone is fully charged before you set off. At the other end of the scale you could carry a personal locator beacon as part of a comprehensive emergency kit, which uses satellite connections to alert emergency services you’re in trouble. 

The message I am trying to underline here, is you should take full responsibility for your own safety and the safety of other members of your group on the outing. 

I spend a lot of time out in the forest and on the moors alone. If I am in my local forest, I know I cannot get a mobile phone signal there. So to make up for this, I carry two hand-held radios that operate on different frequency ranges. Yes they add weight to the pack, but a communication method is vital. My personal locator beacon is the most expensive piece of kit in my bag.  If I can see the sky, I can activate that if I get into ‘serious’ trouble and need assistance. The beacon acquires a connection to a satellite and reports my position. This then can be passed to the Police or local Mountain Rescue Service. (Whilst expensive to buy, I cannot stress how important this beacon is.) It must only ever be used in a true emergency.  

Also, even if I only plan to head outdoors for a couple of hours, I ensure I have enough water and food to last for 24 hours. You never know when you are wandering outdoors when you could be dehydrated, or hit dense fog and have to take shelter and remain where you are. Ensuring you have food and water is a great morale boost and can keep you going and in good spirits. 

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