A Guide to Winter Hiking
Hiking is a great way to explore the world around you, reach new heights, and spend time in the great outdoors. But as winter brings its icy chill, it is harder to motivate ourselves to get outside and get moving.
But winter hiking can be just as fun and rewarding as hiking during more mild weather. With the right gear, the right mentality, and the right goals, you can make winter hiking your favorite cold weather activity.
Benefits of Winter Hiking
Getting moving in colder weather might be harder at first, but it has a variety of health benefits. First, you burn more calories in the cold than in warm weather - including when at rest - so you don’t have to work as hard to feel the effects. Even on cold days, getting outside is guaranteed to help you get some much-needed vitamin D and boost your immune system. Considering flu and cold season comes out in winter, it is good to know that the simple act of hiking can help you feel better inside and out.
Stay Safe Hiking in the Cold
Just like any other season, hiking in winter comes with its own set of risks. Before heading out there, it is important to let someone know your plans and where you will be - just in case. Always make sure you have a pack stocked with essentials including first aid items, duct tape, a map or compass, food, plenty of water, a multi-tool, sun protection, and other safety items such as a light and fire starter.
Cold weather brings a few health risks to look out for as well. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, make sure you are well hydrated and have enough water to sustain you for longer than your hike. Be on the lookout for hypothermia, whose first signs include shivering, exhaustion, confusion and slurred speech. If it is too cold, stay home.
Keeping an eye on your body and being prepared can make all the difference for enjoying winter hiking.
Find the Right Winter Hiking Gear
Starting from the top, your head and ears need protection. After applying sunscreen - which you should apply year-round no matter the weather - it’s good to invest in a warm hat or earmuffs. Your ears will feel the cold first, so ensuring they are fully covered is important. When the temperature drop, layers are your friend. The right winter gear includes a lot of layers that you can put on and remove as needed. These typically include a thermal undershirt, warm loose shirt, and jacket for example. Gloves are always recommended to keep your hands warm and usable. If you are prone to getting cold more easily, a gaiter or face mask can help keep every inch of your face warm. And don’t forget the warm thermal socks to keep your toes cozy. And of course, spikes to add to your shoes in case of ice.
The Importance of Winter Walking Shoes
Shoes are probably the most important part of your winter ensemble outdoors. A good pair of insulated hiking boots are the best for hiking in colder and inclement weather such as snow and ice. The best winter hiking boots have good insulation, a lot of support, and keep your feet warm. Look for winter hiking boots with good traction on the outsole, but still able to keep you walking comfortably once you’re off the trail.
Looking for the support, insulation and grip you need for winter hiking? The Lone Peak All-Weather Mid is designed to get you to the peak and back, all while protecting your feet and ankles. The Lone Peak All-Weather were designed to be water-resistant to keep your feet warm in inclement weather, and have DuraTreadä outsole to help you feel more connected to the trail – no matter how much snow is piled on it.
Get outside this winter with the gear and goals you need to take on the trails in any weather.