The UK is a pretty safe place to walk. The weather, for example, is rarely life-threatening, even though we Brits have elevated complaining about it to an art from. The crime rate, too, is low relative to many other parts of the world. Nor is there much wildlife worth worrying about, and volcanoes, earthquakes, typhoons and tsunamis are things that tend to happen elsewhere. Even the highest points in the country are nowhere lofty enough to disconcert, disorientate or discombobulate.
But just because you’re unlikely to get into trouble on any given day doesn’t mean you should mock those who take precautions. After all, too much scoffin’ could put you in a coffin. People do still come a cropper on the various long-distance trails that criss-cross this lovely land. Below we have listed the main dangers on any trail, together with some sensible advice to keep you safe, sane, happy and healthy on the trail.
It’s not really the weather that will kill you in the UK: it’s being unprepared for it. Of course, knowing what the conditions are likely to be at the start of a day is useful, but Britain’s climate is famously unpredictable. And nor is it just the rain and cold that causes people to meet their maker ahead of schedule. The heat – and the consequent dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke – is also a potential killer.
The simple way to avoid being caught out by the climate is to pack for every type of weather.In other words, good waterproofs (including waterproof boots) for wet weather; and suncream and plenty of water for hot weather. Always carry a spare set of warm, dry clothes (or at least a set of warm inner clothes) too, so you’ve something to change into in the evenings.