Safe and Cozy
Winter is here. For those who want to fully embrace the cold and spend your winter outside having fun despite the winter conditions, be sure to prepare the right gear, clothing, and attitude. Here are our 10 tips for winter hiking to make your trip safe and comfortable.
Layer by layer
Stack layers of clothing. This is especially important when hiking in cold weather, as temperatures can vary between the bottom of the trail and the top of the mountain. Wearing several layers of insulating clothing will help regulate your body temperature and keep you warm.
Also take care to keep your extremities warm and dry. Consider wearing thick socks, as well as two layers of gloves or mittens (one for insulation and one for waterproofing).
Go with friends
Going hiking with friends is always more fun, especially in winter! If it’s more fun to share the adventure with others, it’s also much safer to walk in a group.
Your friends can help you choose your equipment, use your crampons or snowshoes and they can also help you avoid dangerous situations.
In winter, you may see everything covered by snow, so it is even harder to tell directions. Therefore, you should learn how to navigate yourself in snow when the sun, moon, and stars are completely hidden from view.
In that case, you can carry a compass or personal GPS tracker for you and your friends because your phone may be out of cell service coverage. A compass is good if you know how to use it with a map.
If you prefer a GPS tracker, I recommend GoFindMe GPS tracker. With 3 built-in offline maps, it can always keep you on the right trail and lead your way home. Besides, It allows you to share real-time location on the phone app even when there’s no cellular service. If you encounter an emergency, you can send SOS signals to others without cell service.
The battery lasts as long as 72 hours, and the tracking range can reach up to 5 kilometers. Besides, there’ s no monthly subscription fee for this tracking device. moreover, it can be used as a car GPS tracker, which is added value.
choose an easy trail and leave early
When planning your winter hike, be reasonable about the distance and the difficulty of the chosen path.
Also, be ready to start early in the morning. Remember that the sun sets much earlier during the winter months. Plan to leave the trail before dark to avoid getting lost or having an accident.
Don’t forget the essentialS
Aside from the basic equipment, for winter hiking you should always have with you:
a trail map
a first aid kit
a pocket knife
Check the weather
It is important to have a good general idea of the weather conditions for your hike, not just an estimate of the temperatures. Look at precipitation, wind speed, avalanche reports and hours of sunshine.
If necessary, use crampons
When the trail is icy, using crampons can make all the difference. However, if you misuse them, it is easy to injure yourself, so be careful.
If you’re new to crampons, read the instructions carefully and use them on an easy trail. Practice putting them on and taking them off. Also, don’t hesitate to ask someone more experienced to show you how to use them uphill and downhill.
brew tea, coffee or chocolate
Do not forget to bring enough water when you hike in winter, because with the cold it is easy to find yourself dehydrated.
Feel free to prepare tea, coffee or chocolate and carry it with you in a thermos. A hot drink is very useful during a break during the hike. Nothing like it to motivate you to push to the top!
Be ready to turn around
Do not hesitate to turn around if you encounter conditions that seem dangerous.
Reaching the top of a mountain is only half the journey. Once at the top, you must have time and energy for the descent. Focus on the whole route, not just the ascent.
make a good meal
Finally, be sure to reward yourself for the effort! On the return from an invigorating winter hike, it is good to find a dry and warm place or have a good meal.
Whether it’s a cozy pub or a lively pizzeria, enjoy your return and relax over a delicious dish because you deserve it.