https://frugalbackpacker.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SnowDay_TestShoot_9636.jpg 2000 1335 Frugal Backpacker /wp-content/uploads/2016/04/frugal-backpacker-logo.png Frugal Backpacker2019-01-28 16:10:292019-01-28 16:12:556 Tips for Winter Hiking
Fewer crowds and bare trees make winter hikes unbeatable for solitude and sweeping views. Be prepared to get the most out of winter adventures with these 6 tips.
Check the Weather
Before any hike you should check the weather, but this is even more important when winter hiking. You’ll want to check not only the temperature, but the predicted precipitation, wind and daylight hours so you can plan accordingly. Don’t forget that high elevation and bald peaks can make trail temps much colder than in town.
Layers, Layers, Layers…
Be prepared for all conditions. You may work up a sweat going up a steep incline and times but be cold walking a flat section or taking a moment to enjoy the view. Be prepared for unexpected changes in the weather by bringing layers that offer insulation and wind/water protection.
Pack Safety Equipment
Hiking in the winter can be unpredictable at times. Trails and conditions may not be what you are used to during the warmer months. Make sure that you have the necessary emergency equipment (see our blog post on Outdoor Safety Basics). It is always a good idea to throw a basic first aid kit in your bag and let someone know your planned route and return time.
Start Early and Be Flexible
Because of the limited sunlight during the winter months, you might want to start earlier than usual on your adventure. Plan a turn-around time and stick to it so you can get out of the elements before the sun goes down and the temperature drops.
Invest in Good Gear
With winter hiking, it’s critical to have the appropriate gear when heading out. Avoid cotton, it loses its warmth when wet and takes a long time to dry. Instead opt for synthetic, merino, or bamboo apparel.
A few gear essentials are waterproof or insulated boots, baselayer, something to keep your head warm (hat, balaclava, etc), an insulated jacket, and a weatherproof shell. It is always good to have a change of clothes in your bag or waiting for you in your car!
Treat yo’ self!
After braving the harsh conditions of winter, treat yourself to a nice warm meal and a hot cup of cocoa or tea. It’s always good to have a thermos of something hot waiting for you at your car or in your pack.