Hiking in a Winter Wonderland? Keep These Tips in Mind

Hiking in a Winter Wonderland? Keep These Tips in Mind

Hiking definitely isn’t limited to summer. It’s a year-round activity that avid adventure-seekers and campers like to enjoy, even when the weather outside is frightful.

But, winter hiking isn’t exactly the same as its summer counterpart, or even hiking in the fall. There are a few extra steps you should take to keep yourself as prepared and safe as possible.

If you’ve ever tried winter hiking before, now is the time! It’s one of the best ways to appreciate nature’s beauty, especially when the freshly-fallen snow is untouched and you can truly feel at peace with the world around you.

With that in mind, let’s cover a few tips that will make hiking in the winter easier for you.

Plan Ahead

This tip should seem obvious, but far too many people hit the trails without a strategy in place. That might work in the summer, but even if you’re on a familiar trail, planning ahead is crucial for winter hiking.

Your plan should include looking at the weather forecast days ahead of when you’re supposed to leave and right up until you get started. It should also include some over-packing, including clothing and the basic necessities you’ll need on the trail.

Staying warm should be your top priority on a winter hike. Pack more socks than you think you could ever possibly use, as well as gloves, hats, and scarves. You can always remove layers if you get too warm, but you’ll never regret having extras with you.

Keep Yourself Dry

Staying dry is one of the most important rules of hiking, and it’s especially necessary when it’s cold outside.

You should dress in waterproof layers, and make sure all of your equipment is waterproof, too. That includes your backpack, sleeping bag (if necessary), and your tent. Try to avoid materials like cotton that absorb moisture. They’ll weigh you down and can cause you to become incredibly cold.

Don’t Do it Alone

Hiking alone can be an incredible experience, but it can also be dangerous. If you’re new to hiking, heading out in the winter by yourself isn’t the best idea. It’s a good time to bring a friend along, or even a canine companion to keep you company. Even if you’re an avid hiker and want to experience the trails on your own, make sure you have some way of communicating with people back home if something were to happen.

Stay Properly Fueled

Now is the perfect time to enjoy some hearty meals! Your body burns more energy in the winter trying to keep itself warm, so make sure you have enough snacks with you on the trail to keep yourself moving.

When you’re ready to set up camp, enjoy filling dishes like chili and stews. They’ll warm you up quickly and give you enough energy to do it all again tomorrow.

Again, hiking in the winter is an amazing experience. Depending on where you are in the country, being able to look out at glistening, untouched snow in nature is nothing short of magical. If you decide to hit the trails this season, make sure you keep yourself as safe as possible, so you can enjoy everything nature has to offer. 

Dec 14th 2021 Stacey Koziel

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