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Winter Hiking Tips


Before you head out on a hiking adventure, it is important to check the weather, prepare for the worse conditions and make a plan based upon your personal abilities in mind. Check the map and pick an alternate route in case of bad weather, injury, illness or slower than expected travel time. Before departing, make sure someone at home knows your plan: where you are going, with whom, and when you plan to return. And make sure you know how to use the gear you carry.

Wear layers

Layering is a three-part: A base layer, an insulating layer, and a shell. You can always shed one if you get too hot.

Avoid cotton and instead opt for synthetic layers that wick moisture and are quick-drying.

Cover your skin

For your hands, try wearing lightweight or midweight fleece gloves under waterproof shell mittens or shell gloves. For your feet, wear synthetic or wool socks that fit well. For your nose and cheeks, try a neck gaiter for face mask. And for your ears, a winter hat or headband can do the trick. 

Wear a hat

You can lose heat through the top of your head, so pull a winter hat on if you’re feeling cold.

Wear Winter Boots & Gaitors

It's good to wear waterproof and insulate hiking boots, If your hike will take you through deep snow, gaiters are a must for keeping snow out of your boots. 

Bring goggles or sunglasses

It's essential to protect your eyes from the sun and wind.

Apply sunscreen

It is very important to apply sunscreen even in wintertime. Because there’s snow on the ground and the sun’s rays can reflect back up at you.

Start early & small

Be reasonable about the distance and difficulty of the trail. Don’t forget that the sun sets much earlier in the winter season, we recommend not being too far from the trailhead. Also, many access roads to your trailheads are closed.

Warmer packets

If you feel your fingers or toes getting cold. Using hand warmer and toe warmer packets is very effective.

Pack warm drinks in a Thermos

Fill up a vacuum-insulated bottle with hot tea, hot chocolate or soup broth to sip on when you take a break.

Don't forget to eat

Pack snacks that are high in protein to give you energy. It’s important that the snacks you bring are quick and easy to eat while you are hiking. 

Be prepared to turn around

Don’t hesitate to turn around if you run into conditions that look dangerous. Focus on the entire trip, not just the ascent.