Winter hiking isn't all doom and gloom, however. Hiking trails are often far less populated during the winter months, and you may have the trail entirely to yourself.
You will also have a chance to see a lot of things, like frozen lakes, fields of snow and winter wildlife, that you might not otherwise see in the summer months. As long as you consult a winter hiking checklist before you step out, you can be sure that you have everything you need, and can enjoy the winter outdoors.
Winter Hiking Checklist IdeasIt's not a complete winter hiking list, but these are the winter essentials that you should be bringing with you before you head out the door for a day of hiking.
- Winter Hiking Boots - First and foremost on your winter hiking checklist should be a sturdy, waterproof pair of winter hiking boots. When you go out for a day of hiking the body part that you will have to worry most about are your feet, because with winter hiking there is always the possibility of your feet getting both wet and cold, which is always a bad combination. So do yourself a favor and make sure that you have a good, solid pair of winter hiking boots before you head out.
- Hiking Snowshoes - Also in the footwear department, you might want to consider a pair of hiking snowshoes for your next winter hiking trip. Snowshoes make it a lot easier to navigate over large amounts of snow, and introduce a bit of novelty in to what can sometimes a monotonous experience.
- Sun Protection - If you are lucky enough to get a nice sunny day for your winter hike, then there are a few additional items that you should make it on to your winter hiking checklist. Sunglasses, for one, will be a good addition as they will help protect against the possibility of sun blindness. Similarly, you should take along some sunscreen as the sun reflecting off snow can give you a burn quite quickly.
- Insulation - You should also have a few insulating layers on your winter hiking checklist. You may not need them while you are moving, but if you reach a viewpoint, or decide to take a lunch break, you will want a few extra insulation layers along so that you don't get chilled when you stop moving. What is ideal is something light that packs small, so it's not weighing you down while hiking. Down is the perfect solution, and Mont Bell makes a couple of excellent down parkas in men's and women's styles, as well as matching pants, also in men's and women's styles. Also consider a good pair of gloves and a warm hat.