Winter is here, and that means the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder. While it’s easy to lose all motivation to get outside and stay active during these months, it’s still possible to get outdoors and stay healthy. It may not be as easy to do so as in the Summer, but keeping an optimistic attitude and a positive outlook can make all the difference. Take the time to review some of the following Winter hiking tips and get out on the trails!
Take the time to plan out the hike accordingly. There are several factors to take into consideration when planning things out. Getting an early start is essential as it gets dark earlier during the Winter months. When getting a late start, there is the risk of being stranded out on the trail in the dark which is never safe. Hiking in the winter also takes more time as opposed to in the Summer. Hikers tend to move much slower and there is a more likelihood of running into obstacles during a Winter hike.
Exercising during the Winter months burns far more calories. It is critical that hikers stay both nourished and hydrated when setting out. This also helps to keep the body much warmer as well. When dehydration sets in it can quickly induce hypothermia, so staying hydrated has an even greater importance. Anytime a hiker begins to feel thirsty, it means that dehydration has already started to set in.
The key to staying comfortable while on the trails during a winter hike is to stay warm and dry. Clothing that causes the hiker to sweat is not appropriate as it can cause them to become wet and cold while out there. It’s important to have three layers on top including a base layer, insulating layer, and a shell. When it becomes too hot then simply shed one of the layers before sweating occurs. Try to avoid any type of cotton materials at all costs, and opt for synthetic layers for quick drying. Pants should include a base layer and a water proof layer. Ski pants or fleece leggings are excellent options when selecting a pair of bottoms. These provide both comfort and warmth.