How To Safely Hike During Winter

Most people avoid hiking in the winter due to obvious concerns. Realistically, the weather does not provide an ideal set up for doing outdoor activities, such as hiking. But there is no reason why this should be completely scrapped, if hiking is an activity you really like doing. Some precautions only have to be adapted so that you can still enjoy winter hiking safely.

Listed below are what you should keep in mind when going on a winter hike:

1. Be aware of the weather. Before you head outdoors, do check the weather forecast in your area and in your destination. As much as possible, get a week-long weather forecast, since you will most likely be outside on a hike for longer than one day. Also take note of other possible weather changes and disruptions that may occur. If the conditions aren’t good, good sense should that tell you that it isn’t wise to proceed. Consequently, if there are some upcoming disruptions, such as a storm brewing farther south where you are going, proceed with caution. Weather changes are very unpredictable and before you know it, the storm is already in your hiking path, making your trek quite unnavigable.

2. Prepare for contingencies. Have a plan as to where you want to go. This is not the time to make surprise detours and  trips, so make sure that you have carefully mapped out your path and you know where you are going.  Also, prepare and have the necessary equipment and items in case the weather do change in the middle of your hike, making it a challenge for you to proceed.

You will need the following for your trip:

  • Lots of water, because your survival depends on it.
  • Energy bars and other snacks like nuts and berries.
  • Flashlight or flares to use at night or when you need to send emergency signals.
  • First aid kit
  • Blankets and socks
  • Maps and compass
  • Knife
  • A well-charged cellphone, which you should use sparingly especially if you’re going to be gone for days.

Do not forget to always notify someone where you’re heading, even if you have to be out hiking with a friend. In case you should get stranded, that person will be able to call for help.

3. Hike With A Friend. Going solo is risky, but hiking with a friend is not only enjoyable, it’s also for your own safety. In addition,  you get to share supplies and have that extra warm body when it’s really cold at night and you still have a long way to go.

4. Dress in layers. Cover yourself appropriately so that you do not risk developing hypothermia while out hiking in the winter cold. Make sure, however, that you are still comfortable underneath all the layers. Choose clothes that dry up easily after you wash this up in a river or lake where you are trekking. Wear clothes that are also made of cotton material for body absorption, as well as allowing this to properly cool down or warm up when needed.

Take precautions during winter hikes the same way you take precautions with caring for your teeth. Your life and health really depends on it. Read more viable tips on dental care and braces treatment at Braces Cost Info.

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22 Responses to “How To Safely Hike During Winter”

  1. If you don’t want to pack water, a filter of some kind is a great choice. It will filter bacteria and parasites out of stream/lake water. Alternatively, you can always boil it, especially if all you have is snow.

  2. Thanks for this great guide to hike in winters. During winters it can be a bit difficult to go in hiking, but with the tips you have mentioned here in this post, it surely will be an easier task.

  3. I never thought to pursue hiking on winter. Well, your tips are great and doable! We have postpone hiking due to weather conditions and making sure for safety as well.It can still be possible and would like to try and be extra careful.

  4. Hiking is a thrilling sport. It gets a little difficult to engage in hiking in winters. The tips mentioned in this post can be of great help for the hikers. A proper dress code is indeed needed for a safe hike trip. Thanks for sharing these valuable tips.

  5. This is the ultimate test of resilience and strength so it’s wise to come very well prepared for this treacherous and challenging hike, you survival depends on it. Thanks for sharing these pointers.

  6. My next hiking trip falls in winters and here I found your useful post. Thanks for sharing the winter hiking checklist.

  7. Also, I should mention that cotton might not be the best material to hike with during the winter time. When you get sweaty, it will cling to you and will start to cool you down. It’s better to wear some sort of synthetic material when hiking because it will wick away the moisture better.

  8. Another thing you need to plan for is that everything takes longer in the winter. You don’t travel as fast and it takes longer to set up camp.

    It is important to allow more time for everything when making your preparations and planning for your hike especially for one that is expected to take a few days.

    If you are interested I included a number of resources on winter hiking in a recent post which you can see at the link below



  9. I like the snow and the white, that’s why I like walking in the winter. But I do take precautions too, you’ll never know when accidents or emergencies can happen.

  10. Thanks for using my photo to illustrate your article, and for the link back to where readers can view more of my snapshots.

  11. Wow!!!you have successfully managed to attract weight watchers like me to this interesting post. Hiking is indeed a fun-filled way of losing weight. Thanks for the great share.

  12. That’s great suggestion and I might just go. The problem I have is getting the gear toghether and breaking it in before January 30th plastic boots, crampons, different stove, heavier sleeping bag, ice axe, water bottle insulation, face mask, and ski googles. besides beign a considerable investment,I don’t konw how to evaluate thsi gear to get the best stuff.

  13. Wow what a lovely lesson to learn about safely hike during winter. Hiking is my one of the favorite game but its also dangerous. There is some need of safely while hike & I honestly Appreciate these all tips for hike.

  14. If you are hiking in or around the mountains, you’re in “avalanche country.” Give a call to your local avalanche hotline before journeying.

  15. Wonderful hub! I enjoy reading your hubs. Your hiking and my hiking would be two completely different trips. You are a tougher person than I am. However, I enjoy reading about your trips. Take care and be safe.

  16. Great post! Having only recently started winter hiking (this is my second year), I know how intimidating it can be. Your tips really help to put things in perspective and plan the big picture…everything else tends to fall into place after that.
    My advice — layers and a change of clothes. And microspikes 😉

  17. That’s a great suggestion and I might just go. The problem I have is getting the gear together and breaking it in before January 30th: plastic boots, crampons, different stove, heavier sleeping bag, ice axe, water bottle insulation, face mask, and ski goggles. Besides being a considerable investment, I don’t know how to evaluate this gear to get the best stuff (for me). That’s why I’m somewhat resigned to winter hiking and snowshoeing in familiar terrain and learning more about winter backpacking a little more gradually.

  18. many experienced hikers, winter is the best season of all. There are fewer people on the trails, no bugs, and with the leaves down, views are more spectacular. Getting started on a winter day hike in Harriman does not have to involve the purchase of a lot of expensive clothing and gear, but some experimenting with different layering techniques may be necessary.

  19. I have passion about hiking. And i want to do it for at least one time in my life. You have mentioned important tips in this post. These are helpful for me.

  20. It is essential to bring plenty of water when hiking in the winter, as dehydration is a common problem. Add some comfort to your trip by making tea, coffee, or cocoa in a lightweight portable stove, or carrying it with you in a thermos. A hot beverage can warm you up and provide a nice break from the hike.

  21. You’ve pointed out several of the key points about winter hiking. I wish everyone would read these tips before going hiking in snow…