If, like me, you spend the majority of your winters outside whatever the weather, then you’ve probably got a bag or similar full of your winter essentials. As a keen horse rider, dog-owner and, dare I say it, fisherwoman, I find that it can be tricky to remember everything you need to keep warm whilst outside in the British winter.
What’s in this magical bag? Well, for starters, it contains a great deal of lip balm. There’s nothing worse than chapped lips when it’s minus five. Insulated gloves are another must, because my hands usually stop working when it gets too chilly. Woolly socks, dog treats and horse feed usually all end up in the bag too!
I tend to take a spare pair of shoes with me when I head out into the wild, just in case. My favourite winter boots are my Hunter wellies, but I find that a decent pair of leather knee-highs can also provide adequate protection if you’re just popping out for a walk with the dogs. Last year, I discovered the wonders of cable knit headbands – they are simply perfect for keeping your head warm without that all-enveloping feeling you get with a woolly hat.
Then there’s the big things of course, the stuff that’s really going to keep the cold out. My beautiful, beloved Barbour jacket, which I have been wearing for the past three years and which I intend to wear forever and with the help of embroidery design digitizing services I can have unique designs digitized on my Barbour Jacket so that I can keep repeating it without having a old look. A tartan lambswool scarf; which has a softnessso particularly comforting when I am standing on the shores of a lake in sleet, snow or, even worse, hail. Thermal boots that have both an excellent grip, and which make my feet feel as if they are holidaying in Barbados rather than tramping through undergrowth. And, of course, a gilet, if on a rare occasion the temperature does rise above lip-chattering degrees.
This winter has thrown up a new conundrum for me, however. Previously my partner and I used to go fishing on a nearby lake. We moved last year and as a result live nearer to a river, so we have started to fish here on occasion instead. I soon found out, after one or two disastrous attempts, that my walking boots were not up to the task of protecting my little toes from the icy depths of the riverbed. So I needed to find some proper, heavy-duty river boots. In the end I managed to bag a pair from a friend, but I was also recommended to try Dublin Waterproof River Boots, so perhaps these will be my next port of call!
With everything that is packed in to this bag, it’s a miracle I have any room left for perishables. Still, we managed to bring a good-size Thermos flask of strong coffee with us, and some hearty Cornish pasties to sustain us on our all-day long fishing trips. There may in fact be the odd occasion when we sneak something stronger into my winter bag, but that would be telling!