The weather in East Yorkshire can change rapidly – it can even differ from one side of the Wolds to the other. Conditions in the Vale of York may be dry and bright, whilst the coast is shrouded in mist and several degrees cooler. If it snows heavily, some isolated Wolds areas may be cut off from the road network. Don’t forget to allow enough time to complete your walk before dusk, especially in winter.
Before you leave home remember to check the weather forecast for the day. Watch out for changing conditions and turn back if the weather is against you. It may be disappointing, but you can always complete your walk another day. Don’t forget the wind chill factor which can lower the temperature in exposed locations. Even in summer the weather can catch you out so prepare for anything.
Clothing and Equipment
There is an abundance of shops and suppliers of outdoor equipment – but you don’t need to buy it all. Here are some tips:-
If you want to walk only our shorter routes, then a pair of comfortable trainers will be perfectly adequate (remember that they will not be waterproof).
For longer, more challenging routes you will need a pair of strong but comfortable boots. A good, deep tread is essential for grip and support. If you buy leather boots make sure you ‘break them in’ before going for a long walk. There are some very good lightweight boots on sale these days, which are great for leisure walks and don’t take long to settle in.
Some people prefer to wear two pairs of socks for a more cushioned feel, but modern walking socks are ideal and often come as a double layer of thin material. There are even waterproof socks on the market.
Wear several layers to allow you to remove or add to your clothing depending on the temperature and conditions, and the amount of heat you are generating. Carry an extra jumper or fleece top in your rucksack.
Rain and wind can cause hypothermia in lower temperatures. Make sure that you have a water and windproof cagoule and overtrousers. Goretex fabric is best as it keeps out the rain whilst letting out condensation.
Hats and gloves
You won’t need them all the time but keep them handy.
The size of your rucksack is important. It should be roomy enough to carry all of your kit and refreshments without being packed too tightly.
To enjoy one of the shorter walks carry a printed copy of the map from this website. For the longer routes, we suggest that you carry a good map of the surrounding area in addition to a printed map from this website. We recommend the Ordnance Survey Explorer Map series.
It is unlikely that you will become so lost in the East Riding as to need a compass. However, the compass can be a lifesaver if visibility fails in more remote countryside.
Whistle and torch
These can both be useful in case of emergency (six blasts of the whistle/flashes of torch, repeated at one minute intervals). A mobile phone can be useful, but there are some reception black spots.
Simple first aid kit
This should contain plasters, blister pads, bandages and lint, and salt tablets in warm weather.
Food and water
Walking on the Wolds can be strenuous, so it is essential that you carry sufficient food and liquid, including extra rations for emergencies (not to be opened until you’ve finished your walk if you have no emergencies!).
You need to be prepared before heading out into the countryside. This will help you to avoid most accidents.
The golden rules
Check the weather forecast before setting out.
Check tide times if you intend to walk along the coast.
Make sure that someone at home knows your route and when you expect to return, especially if you are walking alone.
Wear suitable clothing for the time of year.
Take essential gear, including a first aid kit.
Carry a map, making sure that you know how to read a map.
Take a supply of emergency food and drink.
Walk at the pace of the slowest member of your party.
Keep children under control and away from dangerous situations.
Consider alternative routes if conditions deteriorate.
If possible, carry a mobile phone for use in emergencies (be aware that there are reception black spots in East Yorkshire).
Pack some emergency food, even if it’s only a chocolate bar.
During an emergency
Make the injured or exhausted person as comfortable and warm as possible.
Give basic first aid: stop any bleeding and keep airways clear. Don’t move the casualty if there is a risk of spinal injury.
Use the distress signal - six blasts on your whistle/six flashes of your torch, repeated at one-minute intervals.
Use a mobile phone if possible (there are some reception black spots). If you are in a ‘black spot’ and have no signal showing on your mobile phone, try dialling 112, as this number is said to work in all locations.
Send one person, or two if available, to contact the emergency services, but never leave the casualty alone.
Dial 999 and give the time and location of the incident, the number of casualties and the nature of the injuries/illness.
Give an Ordnance Survey grid reference if you can.