Ever wondered what you need to look out for when you are going for a winter hike? Check out our top 10 tips for winter hiking!
Winter hiking may be a new adventure for some of you.
Before embarking on it, it is important to be equipped with the best knowledge and tips!
Today, we will share with you the top winter hiking tips for an enjoyable yet safe experience.
It's advisable to always go prepared!
Hiking boots for summer should not be used for winter hikes!
You'll need to change your hiking boots to ones with a sturdier sole and designed for sturdier conditions.
Do not forget about socks as well!
Merino wool would be the ideal choice as it will keep your feet extremely warm.
Always make sure you have sufficient room for your feet in your hiking shoes to allow your toes to have enough room to wiggle around.
A week prior to your trip, you should keep an eye on the weather trends at your destination and continuously check what the predicted weather will be for the next 48 hours.
By knowing the conditions of your destination, you can properly estimate what are the types of clothes you will need to bring along and prepare efficiently for your hike.
Always prioritise your safety!
If the predicted weather conditions don’t allow you to complete a hike you have been preparing for, shorten your hike and make plans to head back to safety if you are not confident to go ahead with the entire hike.
The number of sunlight hours during winter is limited so you should plan to start your hike when the sun is rising.
By starting early, you can maximise the number of hours of sunlight during the day.
Especially since the sun sets in the afternoons, you need to be realistic about what you can achieve in the day as you are going to face natural barriers such as snow, ice and even wind!
During your hike, you will come into contact with snow, frozen rivers, ice and even overhangs.
It is extremely important that you keep a lookout for hazards in your environment.
Therefore, we recommended that you purchase hiking poles for your winter hike.
This will help you clear obstacles along the way such as deadfall, and even test if there’s ice below snow to ensure you don’t end up in a dangerous position!
During hikes, it is recommended that you bring snacks or finger food that you can eat as you go.
This is especially useful during winter where the days are short and you have to efficiently utilise the time you have to complete your hike.
Try to bring granola bars, fruits or peanut butter that will give you the necessary energy that you need during the hike.
Yes! A thermos flask for a snow hiking session is a must-have.
You'll definitely need a thermos to keep your drinks warm. Otherwise, they'll easily turn cold and likely even freeze while you hike!
Pro-tip: Bring along hot tea while hiking in the cold to provide you warmth as you hike.
If tea is not your cup of tea (see what we did there), feel free to choose any hot beverage of your choice of course.
Alternatively, if you don't have a thermos flask, you can opt to purchase sleeves for your bottles to keep your drink warm!
Hypothermia occurs when your body’s temperature falls to a level where normal muscular and cerebral functions are affected - sometimes even impaired.
Hypothermia can affect your ability to think and evacuate quickly to safety.
Before you go winter hiking, it’s important that you take note of the warning signs and be able to recognise if you or your hiking buddy start showing signs of possible hypothermia.
CONDITIONS THAT CAN LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA:
- Cold temperatures
- Improper clothing and equipment for changing weather conditions
- Fatigue, exhaustion, dehydration, inadequate food intake
- Alcohol intake also expands your blood vessels which can lead to increased heat loss
SYMPTOMS OF HYPOTHERMIA:
- Uncontrollable or violent shivering
- Slurred speech or inability to communicate
- Fumbling or lethargy