It might be obvious that hiking in the winter is different than the summer, but I’m going to point it out anyway. Winter hiking requires you to pack your bag differently and think twice about which trails you hike.
Here are 5 tips for having a great experience hiking during the cold months.
- Leave a trip itinerary with a friend who knows who to call if you are late in returning
- It gets dark earlier. Plan to hike earlier in the day and always bring a headlamp.
- Wear layers and proper footwear. Invest in waterproof boots to keep your feet warm and dry. Plan ahead and know whether you might need snowshoes or yaktrax. Dressing in layers makes it possible to shed layers (to avoid sweating) when hiking and add layers when stopping to rest.
- Eat and drink frequently. Dehydration hastens the onset of hypothermia. Do not underestimate the amount of food and water that you’ll need. Snowshoeing, for example, burns about 600 calories an hour.
- Check avalanche conditions at https://utahavalanchecenter.org/ The trails you do regularly in the summer are different in the winter. The direction the slope is facing, the type of snow pack, wind etc are all conditions that affect avalanches. Always check the website before you go.