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Winter is coming and you have a few options. You can either sit inside in front of your laptop and watch Netflix with hot chocolate, or you can embrace the cold and spend your winter outside having fun.
Winter is coming and you have a few options. You can either sit inside in front of your laptop and watch Netflix with hot chocolate, or you can embrace the cold and spend your winter outside having fun. The key to enjoy the cold winter is being prepared with the right gear, clothing and attitude. We have put together a list of winter hiking tips to help you to stay warm on your cold, rainy and snowy adventures. Hopefully this advice will give you the information and inspiration you need to give winter hiking a try.
It is very important that you drink enough while you are hiking in winter. You can use an insulated hose for your camelback or an insulator bottle sleeve for your bottles. This will prevent your water from freezing if you are in hiking in extreme temperatures. If you do not have a special water bottle for the winter, wrap your bottle in wool socks to help insulate it.
A warm drink in cold weather is always nice. Fill up a big thermos with thee, hot chocolate or soup. Try to not fill it with alcohol for serious cold weather hikes, as alcohol reduces your body temperature. You can enjoy that mulled wine when you are back at home.
The key to comfort when winter hiking is staying warm and dry. If you wear the wrong material and you start to sweat, you will end up wet and cold. When it is cold outside you should wear at least three layers. The first one is a base layer, the second one is an insulating layer and the last one is a shell. You can always take of one layer when you get too warm. Try to avoid cotton and instead go for synthetic layers that wick moisture and are quick-drying.
Wearing a hat is one of the most important winter hiking tips! You lose a lot of heat through the top of your head. Check the temperature and then bring a hat that is of the appropriate thickness, even if you do not think you will need one put it in your hiking pack just in case.
For snowy winter hikes you will want a good pair of boots. If you are going to hike a lot in the winter it is advisable to invest in a pair of insulated winter boots. These hiking boots will keep your toes a lot warmer than regular boots of running shoes. Also consider bringing an extra pair of hiking socks in case the pair you are wearing get wet.
In the winter it is nice and good to walk in the sun, it keeps you warmer. As soon as the sun drops behind the clouds or mountains, the trail becomes shady and the temperature drop quickly. If you plan to go for a hike to see the sunset, stay close to the trailhead and make sure to pack extra layers.
You body will need twice the calories it usually does when you make a hike in the winter. Your body is burns through the calories to stay warm. Pack snacks that give you energy. It is important that the snacks you bring are easy to eat while you are walking. Stopping for a long time to eat will leave you cold and your muscles will have a harder time warming up again.