“Tabbing” or “yomping” as it’s sometimes referred to, involves running, speed marching or walking with a weighted backpack, and comes with many benefits for fitness and health. A tabbing workout is the perfect way to build muscle, stamina and endurance, and tabbing in cold weather provides even more of a challenge. Tabbing in cold weather might be more challenging but it’s also more rewarding. In order to enjoy a safe and successful tab in the cold weather, it’s important to consider the following factors:
When the weather’s colder and you’re not sweating as much it can be harder to keep yourself hydrated - in short, you feel less thirsty when exercising in winter. However, even though you may not feel thirsty, it’s just as important to keep yourself hydrated when tabbing in winter. Make sure to bring plenty of water with you based on the distance you’re planning to cover.
Wear The Right Footwear
Choosing the right footwear for a tabbing workout in cold weather is essential. You’ll need a boot that is waterproof and provides you with the grip and stability that you need on snow and ice. LOWA have a range of Gore-Tex® options in their collection of military boots that are perfect for cold weather tabbing. Gore-Tex keeps water out whilst allowing moisture to escape. Alongside this, each sole unit is specially designed to offer unrivalled grip and stability.
Tab With A Buddy
Like most things, tabbing is more fun with a friend, however it also ensures that you can keep an eye on each other. If you run into trouble whilst you're out, then one of you will be able to call for help. Training with other people also helps you to stay motivated, and pick your energy levels back up when you’re starting to get tired.
The key to dressing successfully for tabbing in cold weather is wearing layers. This will make it easier to maintain a good core temperature without overheating. Start with a thermal base layer, followed by an insulating mid layer and waterproof outer layer. Whilst you don’t want to overdress, it’s better to have more layers than you need as you can always remove them if you start to get too warm.
Wear Gloves, Face Covering & Hat
When dressing for the cold weather, you certainly don’t want to forget about your face and your hands. Gloves and a hat are a must. Merino wool is an excellent choice for gloves and hats to use for exercise in winter, as it is naturally moisture wicking and thermal regulating. In addition to gloves and a hat, you may also want to wear a face covering or a neck buff in order to help further stave off the wind chill.
Check The Weather and Route
When planning your tabbing trip, it’s crucial to check the weather forecast in detail to ensure that you plan your route safely. You want to avoid extreme adverse weather, like heavy snowfall and heavy rainfall that could make the ground uneven or cause obstructions. It’s also important to plan your route towards the middle of the day when visibility is at its highest.
Bring Emergency Supplies
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail - it’s a saying as old as time, but one that’s particularly true when planning a cold weather tab. It’s always sensible to bring emergency supplies with you, including a first aid kit, survival bag, emergency rations, and spare layers, including spare gloves, scarf and hat. In addition to this, make sure to bring a mobile phone or satellite messenger to call for help in case of emergencies.