How to Stay Safe While Winter Hiking
Winter hiking is most likely a romantic but intriguing undergo. The contradistinction of ground in different seasons can make the same field seem like an entirely different universe. Winter hiking also can be dangerous, you need to make sure to eliminate the possibility of getting lost, getting stuck in weather, and having the proper equipment. Just winging it in the winter may be thoughtless. Whether you have hiked many times in the winter, or you are considering your first winter hiking, the following proposals are meant to keep you safe and have an unforgettable experience outdoors.
With the cold weather come tougher conditions. You’re likely to face rain and even snow with higher winds, and most of all, the creeping cold air. Cold weather hiking requires some careful planning and the right hiking gear.
Bring the Proper Clothing
Inside your hiking, you must don’t want to be soaking through your layers, and all of your wet layers start to be frozen. It is dangerous and not comfortable. Keeping dry layers is particularly important with your core area. Be sure to have a base layer that is capable of wicking (synthetics or wool layers are best). Better not to wear cotton clothing because when cotton gets wet, it needs to take a long time to dry. You need at least a warm layer on top of that wicking layer and another waterproof and windproof layer on top of that.
Any skin exposed to freezing weather and cold wind is prone to frostbite. The best is to cover your all skin and take special care of your nose, cheeks, ears, fingers, and toes. You also need to avoid wearing too tight clothing cause poor circulation, which can increase your probability of getting frostbite. To protect your eyes from the sun and wind, you should bring goggles or sunglasses. Many goggles or sunglasses allow swapping lenses so that you can select the right lens tint for the weather.
Food and Hydration Tips
Your body’s metabolism is its best heat source, so you need to keep it fueled up with food and water. When it’s cold outside, you might be less inclined to stop for food and water. Make it simple by keeping snacks and water within reach so you can eat and sip regularly throughout the day.
It is important to stay hydrated while hiking. Your body will begin to shut down very quickly when dehydrated, and this isn’t only possible on hot days. Make sure your water is insulated in the container to prevent freezing. A great way to stay hydrated while also keeping warm is to bring soup, hot water, or tea on your hiking. Fill up a vacuum-insulated bottle with hot drinks to sip on when you take a break. The warmth goes a long way toward keeping you comfortable.
Nobody enjoys chomping on a rock-hard energy bar. Foods like chocolate, nuts, and cheese tend to stay softer than some others in cold weather. You may have to figure out the foods you enjoy that will stay edible in cold weather. Whatever you choose to bring, stowing food close to your body will help keep it thawed.
Avoid Cold-related Injuries
Your primary health concerns while hiking in cold weather are frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is the freezing of tissue. It’s most common on fingers, toes, and ears. Hypothermia is the result of the body’s temperature dropping below normal. Some people assume hypothermia only happens in winter, but a cold rain or the frigid temperature of a rushing river can be enough to cause it.
To prevent frostbite and hypothermia you need to actively take care of yourself and your hiking partners. Many of the tips listed above about clothing, gear, food, and hydration apply, but here are some additional things to think about:
Keep warm: It’s so much easier to keep warm than to get warm. By dressing appropriately, you can maintain a comfortable temperature, which is much simpler than trying to warm up after getting too cold.
Don’t try to tough it out: If you feel your fingers or toes getting cold, stop and take the time to check on them and warm them up. Placing cold fingers in your armpits or cold toes on a partner’s warm belly are good ways to warm up.
Keep an eye on your friends: Regularly ask your friends how they’re doing and if you see pale spots on your friend’s face or they’re starting to get clumsy on the trail, make them stop and cover up exposed skin or add a warm insulating layer.
The days can be pretty short in the winter. If you have long hiking ahead of you, it is important to start early to avoid getting stuck out after sunset. If you have a shorter hike, try being on the trail during the warmest time of the day.
There is nothing wrong with hiking alone, but it's far safer to hike with at least one individual. Plus, you can share an awesome experience with someone else. If you are hiking alone, be sure to provide someone with your exact day plans, and follow all of the best practices to ensure your safety in case something goes wrong.