Don’t Let Winter Stop You From Hiking

Winter Hiking Tips

podcast-031407-roundtable-winter-camping-hiking-11Though it feels frigid at the trailhead, your body starts to generate heat after just 10 to 15 minutes of walking, especially if you’ve chosen a strenuous trail.

Dress like an onion – in layers

Still, layering is important to staying warm and maintaining a consistent temperature on the hike and at the top of the mountain, where it may be even colder than at the trailhead. When you layer, remember:

  • A base layer wicks moisture off your body
  • A fleece jacket is next—this is necessary for insulation and warmth
  • A shell helps to keep you dry and stops the wind from penetrating your core

Layers or no layers, always remember to avoid cotton. Once wet, cotton no longer insulates you from the cold. Moreover, it wicks heat away from your body and puts you at risk for hypothermia.

Start small and early – don’t over due it with a long distance hike through the snow. Take short hikes and start early. You don’t want to get caught on a snowy trail as the sun begins to set. Prepare and plan your hike so if need be you can turn around and go back. Invest in and pack a small thermos with something hot in it; soup, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc. Take a break on your hike to warm from the inside.

Always check the weather before any hike. An avid hiker is also a weather person. Knowing the weather conditions is a matter of safety on any hike.

Be sure to invest in good winter gear. We all want to save money but being cheap can cost you your life. And be sure to have a healthy hot meal when you return from your hike.

Other important winter hiking apparel includes:

  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Extra Socks
  • Scarf
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