Hiking is the kind of outdoor activity that’s a lot of fun any time of year, but you’ll want to be prepared for the weather if you are going to be out in it for a few hours.
You don’t have to let the cold and snow of winter deter you from your hiking. You simply need to have the proper gear to handle the season. Here are some of the essentials for hiking in those colder climates:
If you are going hiking in the winter, then you need to be prepared for not just snow on the ground, but wet ground in general. Your typical hiking sneakers might not be able to keep out the water and mud present through winter, so be sure to wear boots.
Cleated boots, or at least boots with some sort of strong grip, are great for handling the slippery snow and the nasty mud in wintertime.
Even if you don’t wear gloves outside in the winter, you will want to during a hiking trip. That’s because you will be outside more and you will be using your hands more. You do not want your hands to freeze as you search for plants or eat your lunch. You may feel like giving up on your hike and not going the entire distance if your hands get cold. They are likely the first part of your body to become cold too, so make sure they are properly covered and insulated.
You can always take off the coat and sweater you are wearing on your hike if you become warm. However, you cannot add a coat or other layers if you did not bring them, once you become too cold. It’s always a good idea to have at least three layers on for your midsection. You may want to wear thermal underwear on your legs and torso as well. It’s not a bad idea to wear two pairs of socks either. This not only keeps your feet warm, but it helps to prevent blisters as well.
Nothing makes you feel better on a cold day outdoors than a warm, hearty drink. If you pack a thermos and something hot to drink, you can warm yourself up and improve your circulation while out on your hike. Buy a quality thermos that will keep your beverages insulated for hours at a time and won’t leak.
Knife or Multi-tool
If you are going to be walking into the woods or outback, whether on a hike or a camping trip, you should have a knife or multi-tool with you.
It’s impossible to know exactly how you will need to use a knife while outdoors, but there are so many uses for it, that it would be foolish to leave it behind.
Always bring a good quality knife or multi-tool with you when you go hiking. It should be small enough to fit into your pocket and not take up needed space or weigh you down, and it is vital enough that every hiker should have one on their person.