Hiking in the winter is more beautiful than any other season. The same place often looks like another planet in this season. Whether you’re a pro winter hiker or a newbie, you’ll always wonder what gear do I need for hiking in the cold? This guide will help you stay safe and have a wonderful experience in the great outdoors.
#1. Dress in layers and bring enough clothing.
You don’t want to wear just one jacket on your winter hike. Try dressing in layers to protect your body from cold and the danger of getting wet! Removing and replacing layers will prevent your body from being overly hot or chilly. Make sure you have a wicking base layer on hand (synthetics or wool are best). On top of that wicking layer, you’ll want at least a warm layer, as well as a waterproof and windproof layer.
#2. Prepare yourself and your things ahead of time.
This entails picking the necessary equipment, being familiar with your surroundings, having a map, and checking the weather forecast before leaving. Check the weather forecast before leaving, make sure you have a good map of the region you’ll be hiking in, and pack first-aid kits, extra warm clothing, and emergency supplies. (We’ll talk about this more in the final part of this post)
Check the current trail conditions for the trek you’re about to take. Hikers may publish current trail conditions on forums in a variety of locales.
#3. Take enough water or warm beverages.
While trekking, you need to keep yourself hydrated. When you’re dehydrated, your body starts to shut down rapidly, and this isn’t only something that happens on hot summer days. Hikers drink significantly less water on winter walks, yet the body typically requires just as much, if not more water. Bring soup, hot water, or tea on your trip to remain hydrated while also staying warm.
#4. Bring foods that’ll keep you warm.
The food you pack doesn’t have to be different from what you’d bring in the summer, but it’s always a good idea to bring something you can eat while still moving. On chilly days, stopping will lower your body temperature. On the go, protein bars, gel packs, and other endurance foods may help you get the calories, sugar, protein, and electrolytes you need to keep going.
#5. Join a hiking group.
While hiking alone has its advantages, walking with at least one other person is much safer. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy an unforgettable moment with someone else. If you’re hiking alone, make sure someone knows your specific intentions for the day and that you follow all the best practices to guarantee your safety.
Every Piece of Winter Hiking Gear You Should Have
This list is known to hikers as the “10 basic”:
- First aid kit
However, it may not be enough for winter hikes! Here is the additional winter hiking equipment you’ll need:
- Insulation boots
- Hot socks
- A lightweight hat and a heavier hat
- A pair of lighter gloves and a couple of heavier water-resistant gloves
- A cozy jacket
- Waterproof pants
- Warmth Layer (fleece jacket, pullover, vest, etc.)
- Base Wicking Layers (synthetic underwear/leggings, long sleeve synthetic material)
- Extra Clothes (extra socks, extra shirt, extra underwear)
- Winter traction (always use microspikes and snowshoes)
In case of an emergency, you should also have all the following items in your group:
- Sleeping bag
- Gas stove
- First aid kit
This may seem too much; however, if you have these items, you won’t need to think about what gear do I need for hiking safely in winter! And always keep in mind that nothing is more important than getting back home.