5 Simple Tips to Follow When Walking in a Winter Wonderland
Winter hiking is a magical season. The air is crisp, the ground is cold, and the trails are usually void of people, which means that you get to enjoy some proper solitude! But before you go out on your next winter hiking adventure, be sure to follow these 5 tips to get the maximum amount of enjoyment out of your wintery walk.1. Planning
As with all hiking trips, you have to start with the plan! This is especially important during the winter, as the forecast will tell you how many layers to pack as well as whether it’s going to snow while you’re out. Be sure to check the weather report a couple of times when planning your next trip. Check at least a week in advance as well as the morning before you go out.
Be sure that your vehicle is prepared in case you encounter snow. Pack along a shovel and cat litter or sand in case you get stuck! The cat litter/sand will provide you traction in the event you get stuck, so although it might sound silly, it definitely is advantageous to keep it in your vehicle before you go hiking this winter!2. Clothing
Winter hiking is challenging because you’ll likely encounter a wide range of temperatures during your trip. That’s why it’s important to dress in layers, so that you can strip off excess layers when you get hot and add layers when you get cold. Before you go hiking this winter, be sure to bring along the following:
- A warm hat
- A Down Jacket
- A set of warm gloves
- Merino baselayers to keep you warm
- Warm pants
- Merino woom socks
- Waterproof boots or shoes
The gear that you bring along with you will also vary based on the conditions that you are going to encounter. If you’re planning on going hiking in deep snow, consider bringing a set of snowshoes to make your hike as efficient as possible. Snowshoes distribute your weight over the top of the snow, so you don’t sink in as much when walking through deep snow.
If deep snow isn’t a factor, but you’re expecting icy conditions, bring along a set of crampons to make sure that you don’t slip and fall. Crampons are easily placed over your shoe, so you can put them on and take them off with ease.
Although you won’t be hiking in hot temperatures, winter hiking requires that you still drink plenty of water. Cold air tends to dry out the air, which means that you need to be sure to consistently hydrate as you hike. Every time that you inhale, the air is dry and will contribute to dehydration as you hike, so be sure to take time to drink water throughout your hike.
Be sure to keep on the lookout for signs of hypothermia. It’s normal to experience feeling cold during a winter hike, but if you are unable to warm up while you are exerting yourself, you notice that your extremities are getting numb, and you notice yourself becoming delirious, it’s time to turn around and seek shelter so you can warm up.
Winter hiking is an excellent way to stay active during the winter months. With the right plan, clothing, gear, and knowledge you can safely enjoy the solitude of a winter trail.