Weather conditions in the UK can vary from hour to hour. There are also specific risks when venturing out into mountainous terrain in winter, particularly after heavy snowfall.
It’s important, therefore, to understand what weather conditions you’re likely to experience on your adventure so that you can plan and prepare accordingly. Some useful websites for assessing weather conditions are listed below.
- Link to MWIS (Mountain Weather Information Service) – http://www.mwis.org.uk/
- Link to SAIS (Scottish Avalanche Information Service) – https://www.sais.gov.uk/
- Link to Mountain Weather Forecasts – https://www.mountain-forecast.com/
- Link to Met Office – https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/
Always remember to double check the forecast on the day of your outing in case it changes.
There are many skills that you can learn, or be taught, to improve your confidence and competence when undertaking outdoor activities. For example you can learn to interpret and understand weather forecasts, how to navigate, how to undertake emergency first aid, and even such basic skills as how and where to go to the toilet.
Training courses can be booked through the websites of the respective governing bodies (BMC, MTA, Mountaineering Scotland, British Canoeing) or at one of the UK’s National Training centres, such as Glenmore Lodge, Plas-Y-Brenin, or Tollymore Mountan Centre. Training sessions can also be provided by qualified leaders and instructors via the Mountain Training Association: Find a Leader database.
The Mountaineering Scotland website also has an extremely useful page on safety and skills, which gives information on such things as how to use an avalanche forecast, general tips on outdoor hygeine, and essential skills like navigation and first aid.
Outdoor activities by their very nature can involve a risk of injury. It may be worth considering personal insurance, particularly if you plan on heading into mountainous terrain.
Basic insurance packages are available to members of both the BMC and British Canoeing to cover UK activities, which is just one of the many benefits of subscribing for membership.
- Walking & Climbing Insurance – https://www.thebmc.co.uk/membership-benefits
- Canoeing Insurance – https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/membership/why-join-british-canoeing/insurance-towergate
For international expeditions you should discuss insurance requirements with your expedition lead / guide. Again, the BMC can provide bespoke insurance packages for most trips, and there are other organisations out there too that will provide one-off policies.