Dartmoor is a haven for hikers, home to tumbling rivers and lush fields of heather that attract outdoorsmen and nature enthusiasts year-round. Despite the land’s natural beauty, though, both the terrain and the climate in Dartmoor can be unforgiving. Visitors can check the local five-day forecast on the Dartmoor National Park weather page, but conditions can be unpredictable. It’s best that hikers come well-prepared before heading off on a day hike across the Dartmoor landscape. Here are some tips on what to wear if you’re planning on heading out, no matter what time of year.
The easiest way to ruin an otherwise fun hike is by wearing the wrong shoes. It’s best to opt for a pair of heavy, waterproof boots to protect your feet from rain, mud, and cold. Whether you opt for wearing leather or a synthetic pair, you should also make sure that your shoes offer plenty of support so that you don’t have to worry about coming home to bruises and blisters. If possible, try to opt for hiking boots with a heavy tread on the sole. This will give you more grip as you walk, reducing the risk of you slipping on wet rocks, moss, or mud after heavy rainfall. Avoid wearing light tennis shoes, sandals, or slip-ons, as these provide neither the support nor the protection that you need.
The best way to come prepared for any weather condition is by layering your clothing before heading out of the house. When hiking through Dartmoor, you should be wearing at least three separate layers. Start with a light layer of clothing made from cotton or another moisture-wicking material. This will help to keep you dry and prevent sweat from building up. Your second layer should be made of a heavier insulating material such as fleece or wool to keep you warm. For your outer layer, you should choose a waterproof coat in case it starts raining during your hike. In the wintertime, it may be a good idea to select a padded raincoat for extra warmth.
Even on days where it’s cloudy out, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. You should cover exposed skin in sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. It’s also a good idea to wear a hat to protect your scalp and sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Before hiking through Dartmoor, it’s important that you prepare yourself for any weather condition. Layering your clothing will help you to warm up or cool down as needed, while a pair of quality boots will protect your feet and your posture. It’s also important that you don’t forget sun protection, regardless of the weather.