To spread our love for winter hikes, here are five tips on how you can enjoy the snowy, cold environment without worries. Use these tips as your guide when planning your hiking trips.
Wear the Right Clothing
The key to a winter hike lies in staying warm and dry. Wearing the right materials can keep you from sweating and getting wet and cold.
For cold-weather hikes, having three layers of clothing is a must. First, you need to have a base layer that wicks sweat away from your body. Thermal base layers can also help you stay warm by locking warm air around your skin. This is followed by an insulating layer that maintains body heat and provides insulation. The middle layer(s) should be roomy enough without feeling bulky. Thus, fleece, especially the gridded and high-loft ones, is a perfect mid-layer option. To top everything, you need a shell that protects you from the elements. It should fit over your base and mid-layer(s) easily without being so loose or restricting your movement.
Bring a Warm Drink in a Thermos
It’s always nice to end a cold hike with some hot beverages to share with friends and fellow hikers. If you’re like us, I’m sure you also love filling up a big thermos with your favorite drink. Hot drinks like cocoa, tea, or even soup, are perfect for warming yourself up. While alcohol can make you feel warm, it’s best to leave it at home. Wine and other alcoholic beverages can lower your body temperature and induce dehydration.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Aside from ensuring that your body stays warm, it’s also essential to keep it hydrated. Although you may not be sweating, you still need water to regulate your body temperature. Moreover, having enough liquid in your system helps ensure the maximum function of your cells, tissues, and organs.
Hike with the Sun
During summer, we tend to avoid the sunniest part of the day. But during winter, the sun is very crucial in planning hikes. Winter hiking is best done when the sun is at its peak because it provides enough warmth and light. If you plan to catch the sunset, make sure to pack extra layers of clothing. In addition, stay near the trailhead.
Pack Portable Snacks to Eat without Stopping
Since it’s cold, your body needs to work extra hard to keep warm. Thus, you need to increase your calorie intake, especially during winter hikes.
Bringing quick and easy to eat snacks that are high in protein gives you the energy that you need without having to stop. Leave out food that you need to prepare. It will prompt you to stay still for a long time and will leave you cold. Once your muscles harden, it will take time to warm them up again.
Do you have winter hiking hacks in mind? Please share them in the comment section below!