Cold Weather Hiking can be just as much fun and exciting as a usual summer hiking trip. But there are precautions and need-to-know preparations to make sure the trip will also be a safe and successful one.
Clothing is an essential part of cold weather hiking. Layering your clothes is a must to make sure you do not sweat as well as freeze during your hike.
The best way to go when it comes to cold weather hiking clothes is choosing fabric made from synthetic material and wool because of their insulating property. Under no circumstance that you can consider cotton in choosing what you will wear. Cotton absorbs moisture and will not help with safeguarding your body temperature
Let your base layer be made from synthetics such as polypropylene which will wick away moisture from your body. For your pants and long sleeved shirts which form your middle layer, wool is always a good choice to keep you warm. Choose a wind resistant and water resistant jacket for your last layer, preferably with a hood to keep your head warm. Other necessities to be considered are gloves, socks, and cold weather hiking boots.
Hiking in cold weather requires more food in your system than when you are traveling during warmer climates.
It’s important to bring food that are easy to cook and easy to make. The fact that you will be wearing gloves, or will be too busy keeping yourself warm, would make it hard to do even the simplest of meal preparation tasks such as chopping up ingredients.
Pack some easy to make warmers such as tea and soup mixes. For additional energy during the hike, do not forget to bring some granola bars, energy bars, or any simple snacks that are rich in carbohydrates to keep you going.
With the lack of enough heavy ingredients, the best way to season your meals are with a bit of oil or butter. Packing some foods and snacks rich in fat will also help in keeping you warm during the night.
Packing the right way is just as important as bringing the right items.
Make sure the essential items such as flashlights, extra batteries, rain gear, and emergency medical kit are placed where they can remain dry but can still be easily accessed.
Sort your items according to when you’ll be using them for easier accessibility when they are finally needed and pack your extra clothes in plastic to prevent them from getting wet.
Remember to place the heavy items of your gear against your back and the lightweight items on the top. And when you’ve finally packed everything, try putting your gear on with your hiking clothes to test how well you can move in them.