Winter Hiking: All You Need To Know

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Do you love to hike but live somewhere that gets cold and snowy in the winter months? Don’t let cold weather dull your shine, get outside! There is so much beauty to be found in winter hiking as long as you’re prepared for the temperatures and the terrain.

Read to the bottom for $20 off my favorite outdoor gear brand!

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Reasons to hike in the ‘snowy’ winter:

  1. IMG_9710Trails are often desolate; few people want to brave the cold temperatures or own the proper gear to do so so you’ll often have a normally busy trail to yourself.
  2. Snow and freezing temperatures vastly change your favorite trails making them seem almost brand new. Your senses are surprised by new smells and sights on the same ‘old’ trails you’re used to! But be warned, the trail might not be as easy to follow so be sure to brush up on your navigation skills.
  3. In the winter months, your phobia of bugs and/or fear of animals on the trail is pretty much diminished! Enjoy the lack of bug spray, bear spray and bug bites at the end of your hike.

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Top Tips for Winter Hiking:

  1. Layer your clothing; you want to be warm without sweating too profusely. Once your clothing is wet its ability to retain heat becomes impaired.
  2. Hiking and Snowshoeing require similar effort (unless you’re breaking trail that is!), however, snowshoeing will take you longer. Please allow yourself more time to hike a trail in the snowy, winter months!
  3. Try and plan to be at your highest point at the warmest and/or clearest point in the day depending on your priorities!
  4. As always, with any kind of wilderness adventure, please make sure you are appropriately equipped in both gear and knowledge! Look into taking a wilderness first aid course or at a minimum read up on proper winter first aid needs.
  5. Do not destroy the trail. Continue to follow LNT principles and be sure to utilize snow shoes to refrain from post-holing and making the trail dangerous for other hikers (and especially cross country skiers)!

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What’s Inside of my Pack in Winter?

  • Cotopaxi TARAK 20L
  • First Aid Kit
  • Hand Warmers/ Foot Warmers
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Extra Hat
  • Extra Gloves
  • Spare Socks
  • Packable Down Coat
  • Tissues
  • Essentials (Fire Starter, Emergency Blanket, Compass, Headlamp, Sunglasses, Knife, etc.)
  • Microspikes
  • Duct Tape
  • Camp Blanket

What do I Wear?

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  • Top and bottom base layer (wicking action)
  • Fleece Long Sleeve Top Layer
  • Windbreaker (Cotopaxi Teca is the best!)
  • Weather Resistant Vest
  • Hard Shell, Wind and Waterproof Pants
  • Fleece Hat
  • Wool/Waterproof Gloves
  • Wool Socks
  • Foot Warmers
  • Insulated Winter Hiking Boots
  • Fleece Neck Warmer
  • MSR Snow Shoes

Some of my favorite brands for outdoor winter apparel include Eddie Bauer  (if you’re a teacher enjoy 15% off with proof), Columbia Sportswear, and Cotopaxi.

Visit Cotopaxi’s website and use $20 towards fair trade certified goods today using this link! They’re currently running the following special: purchase an insulated jacket and receive a free beanie of your choice!

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3 thoughts on “Winter Hiking: All You Need To Know

  1. Awesome tips! Absolutely love the packing list. I wish it snowed more here in Tennessee but hopefully snow hiking is in the future for me. I would love to do it. A not so crowded trail is always fun.

    Like

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