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  1. Keeping Warm If Your Boiler Breaks Down

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    Top Ten Tips For Keeping Warm Without Heating

    If your boiler gives up the ghost in the middle of winter then you are going to be cold unless you take some practical steps. Our ten top tips for keeping warm indoors are easy to follow and require very little preparation.

    Get It Fixed 

    A no brainer you would think but a lot of people procrastinate over important decisions like this. The truth is the sooner you contact a heating engineer for a call-out, the quicker your boiler will be fixed. Always check your home insurance policy first as you may be covered for emergency breakdown cover.

    Cuddle A Loved One

    We have all seen it in survival movies and documentaries, and even Luke Skywalker used a Tauntaun to beat the cold – although he was technically inside it rather than cuddling it – but sharing body warmth with a partner or a loving pet is a great way to keep warm.

    Wear Extra Layers

    Before your house starts to cool down, apply more clothing layers to trap body warmth. You don’t need to go over the top and look like the Michelin Man, but digging out your thermal base layers and woolly jumpers would be a good start.

    Be Active

    Standing still in a chilly house will soon lead to you getting cold. Do something active such as hoovering and cleaning to generate body heat and take your mind off your predicament, plus you get a gleaming house in the process.

    Stay In One Room

    Heat rapidly dissipates through an unheated house so close all the doors and concentrate heat in to one living area. If your house is relatively draughty then think about blocking the bottom of doors with a towel or old coat.

    Light A Fire

    If you are lucky enough to have a wood burner then now is the time to light it! Burn it hard to start with to warm up the fire and the room, and then reduce it for a steady release of heat.

    Emergency Heating

    For those people without a log burner, getting instant heat needn’t be difficult if you have an electric ceramic, halogen or fan heater. They are relatively inexpensive to buy these days and are always handy to have as a back-up.

    Eat and Drink

    Try and keep yourself well fed and watered to ensure your bodies internal heat supply works at maximum efficiency – mainly through digestion. Avoid foods that will chill your body such as iced drinks and frozen foods, and try and consume foods you can warm up.

    Boil Water

    Electric kettles are not the most energy efficient of devices, but they can be used to fill hot water bottles for a quick heating fix, as well as providing a hot drink – just remember to check the bottles rubber seal before use.

    Close Your Curtains

    Windows can be one of the biggest areas of heat loss in your house. Even double glazed units will allow warmth to be lost. To prevent unnecessary cooling of your room, ensure your curtains are closed at night.

    Keeping Warm Conclusions

    Obviously prevention is better than cure, so ensure your boiler is serviced regularly to avoid preventable breakdowns. Should you be in a situation where you heating is not available in cold weather, common sense is often the best remedy.

    If you are struggling to heat your house and pay your utility bills then speak to your supplier or get further advice and help from Citizens Advice

  2. Emergency Kit For Winter Car Travel

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    Even when driving a reasonable short distance during the winter months,  you should be prepared for all weather eventualities and keep the following items in your car at all times:

    1. Torch with spare batteries – for inspecting your car and signalling
    2. First aid kit
    3. Necessary medications
    4. Sleeping Bag or Blankets – even a few old newspapers can help to insulate you from the cold
    5. Hat and gloves
    6. Spare clothes  – layers add insulation
    7. Small bag of sand or rock salt – for generating traction under wheels
    8. Small shovel – for clearing away snow from your wheels
    9. Ice scraper or brush
    10. High visibility vest
    11. Jump leads and tow rope
    12. Cards, games and puzzles – keep you and your passengers entertained
    13. High energy food – such as a chocolate bar, nuts, dried fruit
    14. Bottled Water – it may be cold and snowing but you still need to stay hydrated
    15. Filled spare fuel can
  3. Top Ten Tips For Dogs In The Countryside

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    By law, dogs must be controlled so that they do not scare or disturb livestock or wildlife. On open access land, they have to be kept on short leads from 1 March to 31 July and all year round near sheep. Close supervision is also required on public rights of way.

    • Never allow your dog into fields where there are young animals.
    • Never allow your dog into cultivated fields unless you are on a right of way and then keep your dog on the path.
    • It might be only ‘play’ to your dog but never let your dog worry farm animals.
    • If you go into a field of farm livestock, steer well clear of them and keep your dog on a short lead to avoid potential confrontation.
    • If cattle do react aggressively or with curiosity and head towards you, let the dog go and calmly take the safest route out of the field even if it means retracing your steps.
    • During the bird breeding season (usually April- July) keep your dog on a short lead in sensitive areas such as moorland, forests, open grassland, lochs and by the sea.
    • Bear in mind ‘poop and scoop’ wherever you and your dog are even, or especially, in remote places to avoid spreading parasites to wildlife?
    • Many reservoirs and streams are used as drinking water sources so keep your dog out of the water.
    • As a courtesy to others, slip the lead on your dog when walking towards others on a narrow path.
    • What are exuberant expressions of fun and greeting by your dog may be misread by other people and can frighten children. ‘Don’t worry – he won’t hurt you’ is not an acceptable alternative to close control.

     

    Credit: Cumbria Tourist Board/Tony West

  4. Top Tent Pitching Tips

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    Pitching a tent in the correct location can make all the difference between getting a good nights sleep and having a complete nightmare. Follow these top tent pitching tips for a peaceful and comfortable slumber:

     

    • If you have never pitched your tent before always have a dry run in your garden to iron out any problems
    • There’s something quite relaxing about camping near water but beware of mosquitoes and boggy ground
    • If you cannot find some shelter behind a rock, wall or hedge, pitch your tent so the entrance faces away from the prevailing wind
    • If there is dry vegetation or leaves on the ground, pack it under your groundsheet for a free natural mattress
    • Try to avoid pitching in a dip in the ground or at the bottom of a slope – rainwater runoff and cold air creeping downhill may disrupt a good night’s sleep
    • Avoid pitching under a tree – unlikely though a lightning strike or falling branch might be, the drips from above will drive you mad long after rain has stopped
    • Try and pitch on level ground, otherwise you may wake up scrunched in the corner
    • Check the ground for rocks and holes masked by grass or vegetation. These can damage your ground sheet and will be uncomfortable if laid upon.

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