Are you an avid hiker? Are you planning a winter hike into the great unknown?
Whether you are a well-trained or a novice hiker, you can learn how to prepare for and survive cold weather conditions. Get ahead of the trail by reading on to get our six essential items for making your winter hiking excursion a success:
Are you ready to get started?
The key to a comfortable winter hiking excursion really is in the clothing you are wearing and have packed. Wearing layers is key. But you can’t wear just any layers. Purchase clothing made of moisture-wicking fabric, so that when you sweat, that water doesn’t make you cold. In addition, consider adding to your shopping list:
When you are hiking during the winter months, you’re likely to run into some snow — and the worst part about it is that you don’t know where you’ll encounter it or how much.
The best solution is to always have a sturdy snow shovel attached to your pack. Snow shovels are especially helpful when clearing an uncharted hiking trail and digging your campsite or car out of the snow following a storm.
Some snow shovels even come in retractable versions, so you can make packing and transporting them more efficient.
Invest in a pressurized butane lighter or any flint-based fire starter, and you’ll have fire whenever and wherever you need it out on the trail.
A pressurized butane lighter allows you to make a flame easily without the annoyance of clicking a tired old cigarette lighter. Have a hot meal on the trail every morning and night — no matter how wet it is outside!
It’s worth it to invest in a sleeping bag made for cold conditions.
You won’t necessarily need a sub-zero sleeping bag if you’re hiking outside of the Arctic Circle — but make sure you are investing in a compact bag that will keep you warm up to the temperature you are expecting during the night wherever you are planning your trip.
Even better if you get a sleeping bag with a head cover that will wrap you in warmth like a cocoon.
If you’re out on the trail hunting during the season, you know how cold it can get and how uncomfortable your ears can feel after just a few minutes. Think of that biting wind right now. You’re trying to get your eye on the buck, but you can’t stop the stinging of your ears!
That doesn’t have to be the case, however, if you pack the right gear for hunting on the trail. For the hunters among you, keep in mind that most top-of-the-line shooting ear muffs, such as these, not only protect your ears from loud noises, but also keep them warm. These ear muffs are comfortable, and they will protect your ears from the elements as well as any hat.
Whether you’re camping deep in the wilderness or just going for a winter hike, don’t forget to protect your ears! Find the right pair of protective ear muffs for your ears!
A butt pad is a great dual-use item that you’ll be glad you slipped into your pack. Not only does it keep your derriere dry on just about any wet, solid surface — such as a rain-soaked trail or camp ground — but it also can double as a pillow when you go to sleep at night.
Best of all, perhaps, is that a butt pad is economical and compact. You can squeeze it easily into your pack and it won’t add a lot of new weight. It’s lightweight — perfect for adding a little support for all of your cooking and sleeping needs. Both got just a little bit easier with this pad!
The key to great winter hike is to have all of the essentials with you — and to plan ahead so that you are prepared for the unexpected.
It’s true that you may end up in the woods with a real emergency, and to some extent, you can’t prepare for everything. But with our quick guide of six pro tips for surviving your winter hiking adventure, you’ll be in great shape.
Ready to hike? Let us know which essentials you packed on your trip by leaving us a comment below.
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