Hiking is already challenging enough without cold temperatures and a foot of snow on the ground. Winter brings new difficulties that can throw off even the most seasoned summer hikers. Follow these five tips for safe winter hiking excursions, so you do not have to wait for the snow to melt.
Dress in Layers
The temperature at the top of the mountain is bound to be a lot colder than the one at the bottom. Prepare for the worst, but dress in layers so you can help regulate your body temperature with the changing weather conditions. You will want some insulated and waterproof layers as well.
Hit the Trails Early
It is important to remember that there are fewer daylight hours in the winter months. If you do not want to end up spending a cold night on the dark trails, plan to leave earlier in the morning rather than later in the day.
Even if this is not your first hike, you do not want to jump right into a massive undertaking until you have mastered winter hiking. Try a few smaller elevations and more accessible trails before thinking about heading to a more difficult location, like one of Colorado’s most dangerous hikes.
Bring Extra Batteries
The cold temperatures will quickly drain your electronics of power. If you are relying on radios and cell phones, be sure to bring extra batteries and portable chargers. It is best to also get a paper map, in case your technology fails.
Bring More Food and Water
Exercising in the winter will result in more calories burned and a greater risk of dehydration. Pack more water than you usually drink and some high protein snacks and meals to keep your energy levels up.
Hiking in the winter is no easy feat. Make sure you are fully prepared with these five tips for safe winter hiking excursions before you tackle your next trail.