Hiking is a wonderful outdoor activity in the spring, summer and fall, but many never consider the idea of winter hiking. The truth is, hiking in the winter can be just as fun as hiking at any other time of the year. In fact, hiking on a sunny winter day over a covering of fresh snow is as unique an experience as you will find. The challenge is that in the winter, there are factors you need to consider that would not be present in the other seasons.
One thing you will need to consider is what time of the winter you are going on your hike. It is best to go in the middle of the winter, when the weather is more stable. If you go in early or late winter, you may run into dangers like half frozen streams or melted streams. Falling into one of these streams can be life threatening, so make sure to keep this in mind.
The clothing you wear for winter hiking is another thing you need to think about. It is vital that you protect every inch of your body from colder than predicted temperatures. This will mean packing very heavy, but it will be worth it. You should be wearing multiple layers of clothes, as well as multiple layers of protection on your head. Protect your hands by wearing mittens and protect your feet by wearing leg gaiters. These will keep the snow out of your boots.
For easy navigation through the snowy winter hiking trails, use snowshoes along with ski poles for the deeper areas of snow. Wear sunglasses in case you are fortunate enough to be hiking on a bright sunny day, which happens more often in the winter than you might think. Finally, pack a big thermos full of your favorite hot beverage to enjoy while you are out on the trail.