While most outdoor enthusiasts prefer to put away their hiking gear as winter sets in, there are others who love the wonders of hiking during the winter season. As the outdoors turn into a winter wonderland, one can get to witness a different aspect of nature’s beauty without the usual tourist crowds.
However, the cold weather can have many undesirable effects, turning a fun winter hike into a nightmare. Keeping the body warm is most essential. Here are a few tips that can help ensure that you are warm enough to fully enjoy the winter adventure.
Wearing the right clothes
Wearing appropriate clothing is a must, more so during a winter hike. Layering clothes will help maintain body temperature. You can take off a layer as the body starts generating heat during the hike, or put on an extra spare layer when you reach atop the summit, where temperatures are much colder.
One should always remember to wear a base layer that not only helps retain heat but also keeps moisture away. Always opt for light, non-cotton materials, like cotton, once wet, does not insulate the body from cold. It also saps the body heat away and increases the chances of hypothermia.
Next, one can opt for a fleece jacket as it will help in insulating and keeping warm. Finally, a shell or a softshell jacket will complete the layering. One can even carry an impermeable rain poncho to stay dry if it starts to rain.
Adding the right accessories
Apart from clothing, you should use the right kind of accessories to ensure that the exposed parts of the body are kept warm as well. The feet and the toes are most susceptible to frostbite in higher snowy terrain, and it is important to keep the feet dry to keep them warm. Therefore, it is better to use winter hiking socks made of either wool or synthetic materials that will lock in the warmth, keep the feet dry. Moreover, one should always carry an extra pair while hiking.
During extreme trails where snow covers the ground, it is advised to wear above-ankle hiking boots or gaiters if the snow is inches deep. Other accessories that are important are gloves, hats, sunglasses and scarves or mufflers.
Keeping warm at night
When it comes to overnight hikes, keeping warm through the night is an important consideration. The temperatures could really dip low. It is important to have a quality sleeping bag that can keep you warm and yet light enough to carry in your backpack. Mummy sleeping bags are a great choice, especially if you add in a liner.
Hiking in the winter can surprisingly cause dehydration too. Therefore, it is also important to keep drinking water or carry hot cocoa, soup, etc. in a flask to ensure the body is warm inside out.
Careful planning and preparation will ensure that your winter hikes are full of warm fuzzy fun!