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Winter Hiking, What?

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kasigo2526    0

Winter got you down and sniffly? Bogged down with studying? It’s time to put the books aside and breathe in some fresh air. Trust me, you will feel much better. Hiking is a fun way to stay healthy and in shape and have fun at the same time.

Winter hiking brings different risks than summer hiking. It is important to properly prepare for a winter hike to enjoy nature and stay healthy but not put lives at risk. As the boy scout’s motto says: “Always be prepared.”

Here are 5 tips to remember before attempting a winter hike:

  1. Pack the proper gear

This includes wearing the correct clothing. Jeans and anything cotton are the worst enemies when it comes to hiking no matter the season. Ashante Wood has a of what to pack for 14ers which can apply to any hike. For winter hiking, there are a few changes to her list.

While she says gloves are optional, gloves are mandatory in the winter. Make that two pairs: one to wear and an extra in the pack in case the first layer gets wet from melted snow. The gloves should be thick and waterproof so that the snow does not soak through them.

Layering, layering, layering is the way to go. Starting on a trail, the temperature easily can be in the 20’s, which can go down with elevation gain. Wood recommends a base layer, mid layer, and a wind protection, although a fourth layer in between would not be a bad idea as well. Layers can always be taken off, but once on the trail, the gear in the pack is all there is.

When choosing layers, make sure they are thin and flexible as bulky clothing makes hiking slow and tedious. The idea is to be warm, not weighed down. It is very important to keep every patch of skin covered to prevent hypothermia . To cover the face, as the best, but a scarf works well too.

Many forget the sun is still in full force, and reflects off of the snow, giving an even more intense glare so make sure to bring sunscreen and sunglasses.

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