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8 Useful Tips To Keep You Warm On The Trail

So, you’ve finally decided to hit the trail in this freezing weather. Well done with that! 

Now, all you need to do is pack your stuff right because the key to an exciting winter hiking experience is right clothing and gear if you want to keep yourself warm. 

But, that’s not all. We’ve listed down eight proven tips that will help you stay warm on your snowy adventure. Read on and brace yourselves!  

Layer up like an onion

This is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to be taken care of when planning to hike in freezing cold temperatures. Make sure you are completely packed, from head to toe. 
Doing this will ensure that your body gets the required insulation and you feel comfortable during the journey.

The key is to invest in quality materials that are light but extremely warm at the same time. For instance, your first layer has to be thermal wear followed by a sweater and then a waterproof jacket.
For the bottom, again your thermal should be the first layer and then you may wear your waterproof tactical pants. 

However, that’s not all. You must pack an insulated jacket and an extra pair of fleece pants too for fighting more harsh weather as you go further. It’s important to note that the temperature at the bottom of the trail varies from that on the top.

Invest in quality gear 

Investing in quality gear for hiking is as important as investing in quality clothing and hiking shoes. While some of you may want to buy substandard tactical gear, we suggest you skip the idea and invest in gear only of top-notch quality. 

There are a few items that are essential to every backpacker during winters and these are:
Hiking pole
Pocket knife
Sleeping bag

P.S. If you are looking to invest in quality hiking footwear, Danner Police Boots is a good option. They are very warm and can stand the harshest conditions too. 

Choose uphill trails and hike with the sun

When going hiking in winters, it is important you choose trails with some uphill as it will keep your heart pumping. This helps increase blood circulation throughout the body and keep you warm which is vital to keep you going. 
On the other hand, try and schedule your hike during late morning or early afternoon. Basically, during that part of the day when the sun is shining in the sky as the temperatures are warmest then. As soon as the sun sets, the trail starts getting shady and dark with temperatures dipping significantly. 

Plan smart and start early

It’s normal to give in to the temptation of hitting one of the most beautiful and difficult trails when planning for hiking. However, when planning a winter trek, it’s wise to be practical. 
Just as heat becomes an obstacle during the summer months, short days, less sunshine, freezing winds accompany you on the journey. 

It’s for the best that you choose a hiking trail keeping in mind all of these factors and most importantly, your strength and ability to adjust to the climatic conditions. 

Besides, it is advisable that you start your day early in the morning because winters mean short days and long nights. The sun sets early in the evening and if you want to avoid any injuries or accidents, it’s best to get off the trail well in time. 

Keep HEALTHY snacks at hand

We all know, hiking burns calories.

But, did you know that hiking during winters burns twice the calories it usually does in order to stay warm? So, this clearly means that your body needs more energy and proteins to help you in hiking during winters.  

That being said, carry protein-rich healthy snacks and munch them on your way to the top. Leave the sandwich and other such stuff at home. Instead, take dried fruits, peanuts, protein bars, and other similar food items to refuel your body. 

Stay hydrated

Dehydration is a common problem in winters. Hence, this is the reason that staying hydrated is stressed upon so many times.

Carry plenty of water with yourself and don’t forget to take a sip every 30 minutes. Mini water breaks are essential. Do make sure you carry it in insulated bottles to keep it from freezing.

Besides, you can also make yourself a hot beverage like tea, coffee, or hot chocolate and carry it along in a flask or a thermosteel bottle. After all, sipping your favourite hot beverage in such cold conditions is an amazing feeling in itself! 

Winter hike = Time for using crampons 

Icy trails during the cold weather call for crampons or microspikes! 

Crampons prevent you from slipping on ice if used properly. If you are new to them, make sure to learn to use them (putting them on and taking them off) otherwise you are likely to injure yourself. 

They are super easy to use however, you just need to get used to them. Just practice going uphill and downhill wearing them and you’ll be good to go! 

Get acquainted with Hypothermia 

Hypothermia is a medical condition where your body loses heat faster than it can produce it, causing a dangerously low body temperature. It occurs when your body temperature falls below 95F (35 C) as opposed to the normal body temperature of 98.6 F (37C). If left untreated, it can lead to failure of different organs of the body and ultimately death. 

Shivering is usually the first symptom that you’ll notice. This might be followed by fumbling, slurred speech, and even the inability to communicate. While some other symptoms include: 
Weak pulse
Shallow breathing
Lack of consciousness
Memory loss
Lack of coordination

The person suffering from it might not figure out his/her condition because the symptoms begin gradually. If you suspect someone is suffering from Hypothermia on the trail, stop right there, take him to the nearest shelter and call for help. Meanwhile, make sure to cover them with a warm blanket/clothing. Finally, rush him to the doctor. 

So, when going hiking in the cold weather, make sure to have sound knowledge of Hypothermia as it is the best interest of all. 

Follow these tips and you’ll be assured of a warm hiking experience! 

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