7 Tips for Cold Weather Hiking
Hiking in the winter is not usually on my “to-do” list. But it really should be. With the holidays comes the parties, shopping, and food….did I mention food? It also brings all the craziness that comes with it. The Winter Time Blues. Maybe hiking should become a priority. There’s a saying “Take me to the mountains so I can lose my mind and find my soul.” A very apt saying for chasing away those blues.
Just with any hiking trip being ready is number one. So I put together some of my favorite tips to make sure your cold-weather trip is one for the books.
- Hand Warmers– I just love these guys. Open them up and shake them and they stay warm for up to 18hrs. I stuff these buggers everywhere. If they start to get cool, just pull them back out and expose them to the air and they’ll re-warm.
- Dress in Layers– Your first layer should be your moisture-wicking layer. Keep the sweat off ya. Thermals or cold gear are ideal for this layer. Your next layer should be fleece. Follow this layer with a windproof/rainproof layer. Don’t forget the hats, gloves and waterproof boots.
- Wool Socks– I’m Adding this as a separate entry because I feel it very important. There are many benefits to wool socks, not only will they keep your feet warm, because let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than cold feet, but they also help prevent blisters.
- Know the Weather and Trail Conditions– This is kinda a no-brainer, but many people venture out each year only to become lost because the weather came in and they weren’t ready. Don’t be that person…..
- Stay Hydrated– I know that when I hike in cold weather I don’t always realize how thirsty I can get. Just as you need to stay hydrated during the hotter months you also need to stay hydrated during the colder months.
- Eat on the Trail– While stopping on the trail and possibly getting cold is unpleasant to think about doing, you need to fuel your body. Your body is doing double duty not only working your muscles but keeping you warm. Keep it fueled and running properly.
- Remember the Days are Shorter– While that 9 mile in and out hike looks like a blast, stop and think if it’s feasible in the amount of daylight you have. There’s nothing worse than to be stuck on a trail after dark when the temperature drops.
These are my cold weather tips that I make sure are covered before we leave the house. We live in the deep south so these tips are for cold weather, not snow. I’ve never hiked in the snow but it’s definitely on my bucket list.
What are your cold weather tips?……