Tips for Hiking in the Snow
Just because the snow has hit doesn't mean the fun has to end. This winter let's seize the day, get out, and hit the trail. Here are some tips on how to make the best of a winter hike.
Check the weather. One of the best ways to keep yourself safe is preparedness. Don't head out on the trail uninformed. This will help you pack and dress accordingly or possibly postpone a hike due to an incoming storm.
Be sure and hit the trail early. The sun goes down a lot earlier in the winter months, and you don't want to get caught in the cold and dark. Hit the trail early and take account for the change in daylight hours. Start small and don't plan a hike that is too long. Pick a short hike to ease yourself into the winter hiking season. In the wintertime you will run into a lot more obstacles that you might in the warmer months. Again begin small and be aware of how long the sunlight will be in your favor.
You burn more calories in the cold. So you need to stay fueled. Always pack snacks that will help you keep trucking. Staying fueled will not only help you keep going when you're tired it will also help you stay warm.
Fill your water bottle. Packing water is a no-brainer, but did you know that dehydration helps lead to hypothermia? Thirsty? Drink. Not really thirsty? You should probably take a drink anyway.
Don't go alone. Anything could happen when you are out on the trail. Especially when conditions are cold, slick, and the ground or snow can give away unexpectedly. Bring a buddy so you don't end up in a dangerous situation without anyone to help.
Bring some hot tea, coffee, or hot cocoa in your Yeti or Hydroflask thermos. It will warm you up from the inside and gives you a good reason to stop and take a break. Just be sure that you are also drinking water to avoid dehydration.
Bring the right gear. Sure winter gear can be expensive, but good gear can often make the difference in both the experience as a whole and the safety of the expedition. Look into purchasing some high quality waterproof hiking boots, waterproof jackets and pants, crampons or snowshoes, base layers, gaiters, trekking poles, nice sunglasses or goggles, waterproof matches, a light backpacking stove, warm gloves, a hat, a face buff, and of course a map or compass to help you if you lose sight of the trail due to heavy snow pack.
Keep your phone and any other tech that runs on batteries as warm as you can. The cold will slowly drain the power out of your devices. Keep your phone close to your body. You body-heat will help keep the phone from losing power quite as quickly. Also pack extra batteries for any other devices you bring along such as a GPS, flashlights etc.
And finally tell someone where you are going. Don't hit the trail without someone knowing where you are headed. If disaster strikes, this could be the difference between making it home or not.
Check out our huge selection of winter outdoor gear in order to get prepared for this snow season. Enjoy the beautiful outdoors during the late-fall & winter months without being miserable or putting yourself in a dangerous situation.
Talk to our experienced staff and gain some valuable knowledge on hiking trails, conditions, safety measures and more.
Written by: Alyx Zgurich