By: Blonde Two

By Blonde Two

We Blondes didn’t make it up to Dartmoor on Saturday after all. Which is a great shame because I am sure that it was bracing and beautiful.

There was a good reason … It was too cold!

Now you might read this and think, “Those Blondes are wimps to be scared off the moor by a little bit of wind and chill.” You would, of course, be wrong. You have to be prepared to adjust your plans to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all of your party.

We had some youngsters who were new to Dartmoor coming with us. This meant that some of their kit (despite lists) was not quite up to keeping them warm all day, in wind chill of minus four. Not their fault, it is all about experience and money. Thanks to wonderful schemes like Gift Your Gear, we were able to give some suitable items out; but trousers are more tricky than fleeces and gloves.

There is an important lesson to remember here. If you are an adult leader on a cold day, you are likely to have warmer kit than the youngsters that you are walking with. You might also have more food, a hot drink and the experience to tell you when to utilise all of these things. If you are going to get cold, they are going to get colder; and being cold on Dartmoor is not just about feeling uncomfortable or unhappy, it is about being safe. We have seen kids with hypothermia, it is a scary thing.

So well done to Mr Welsh who was in charge and made the decision to orienteering at Haldon Forest instead. I had a lovely day, and so did the youngsters. We even got to nibble a few cheesy chips!

Haldon Nov1