Top Tips for Safe Hiking in Winter
Winter can be a time of extreme beauty, but an unsafe period to go hiking. But with some preparation and correct planning, going on a winter hike can be a very entertaining and exhilarating experience. Keep in mind the following winter hiking tips while planning a winter hiking adventure:
Don’t Go Alone: The first most important safety tip is that you never go alone on a winter hike as the potential risk consequences can be difficult for one person to cope with alone. You must let others know your route, destination and expected return time.
Start Your Hike Early: The sun goes down really fast in winter and daylight hours are short. You must begin your hiking trip early in day and keep a headlamp along with some extra batteries just in case. Choose lithium batteries instead of alkaline as they stay alive for a longer period of time in cold weather.
Don’t Rely on GPS only: Keep a topographical map and a compass with you to locate places. You can’t rely on GPS completely as reception, weather conditions and power can affect its performance.
Dress like an Onion: You should dress like an onion, meaning you must add layers to your clothing before you go for a hike in winter. Temperatures may vary at the bottom and at the summit of a mountain. Make sure you are properly covered and warm. Go for water proof jackets and pants, gloves and long socks.
Learn to Build an Emergency Shelter: You can’t just trust on a fire to keep you warm. You must know how to build an emergency shelter out of available materials before you go.
Bring a First Aid Kit: Stay attentive for the symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite. Study a bit about hypothermia and frostbite before you leave for a winter hike. Take a first aid kit with you in your back pack for small cuts and injuries.
Use Winter Hiking Boots or Skis: You must use winter snow boots or skis for hiking otherwise the trail will be very unpleasant and unsafe for hiking even for the next hiker.
Hike with Experienced Hikers: If you are a beginner and would like to have a pleasant hiking experience in cold winter! You must connect with experienced hikers who know the areas and locations better.
Eat and Drink Often: You must drink and eat often as dehydration or and low energy causes symptoms of hypothermia. Realize that you will be burning more energy in winter than in warm weather and food intake is very much necessary. A snowshoeing actually burns 600 calories in an hour so you must have a proper energy backup in your system.
Read this Book: If you want some additional information on winter hiking, I recommend this book to help you as it has been a great aid to my hikes as well. You will enjoy it and it will guide you more on how to have a safe winter hiking experience. The book is written by Allen & Mike’s and titled as Traveling & Camping Skills for a Winter Environment.
I hope you liked this article! If you have more interesting safety tips for a safe winter hike, do comment below.
About The Author: Shawn Michaels is a blogger who loves to write about his outdoor experiences. He is also a passionate rock climber and loves traveling. Currently, he is studying and spends his free time reading reviews and gear shopping! Read his latest post on best winter boots.