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July 2018 Issue
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Keeping upright in strong winds

In strong winds, taking small steps will help you maintain your balance. Photo: Amanda Wells
How to keep your feet on the ground when the gales start blowing. 

Strong winds can be a force to be reckoned with, especially when you find yourself travelling on the tops and along ridgelines. Here are a few tips to help keep your feet on the ground.

Stay low: Focus on keeping your centre of gravity closer to the ground. Keep your knees bent and imagine that you are ducking down.

Take a wide stance: Be prepared to get buffeted by the wind from either direction. Take a wide stance with your feet so you can shift your weight to either side depending on the wind.

Feet on the ground: Try to keep your feet on the ground – literally, take smaller steps. It’s easier to keep your balance and you’re more likely to have your foot back on the ground before the next burst of wind.

Keep hands low: Don’t be afraid to put your hands down. You can even keep your hands hovering just above the ground in preparation for the next big gust.

Train for it: One tramper told me walking in strong winds is a lot like standing on a bus or train and trying to keep your balance without holding on to anything. In fact, you could use this as your training ground.

Turn back: And don’t forget, if the wind is too strong to stand up or you’re at risk of taking a serious tumble, it might be time to turn around.