A Guide To Winter Hiking Tips For Every Adventurous Hiker
With a little bit of planning, winter hiking is an incredible experience. The gorgeous vistas of your summer hikes are completely transformed with the changes that winter brings to the trails. Snow capped tree tops create an enchanted winter wonderworld.
Here’s a guide to winter hiking so that adventurous hikers can explore outside Walla Walla throughout the year.
Hiking Equipment for the Winter
Winter landscapes and trails vastly differ from the other seasons of the year. Snow-coated pathways create a new terrain to explore. Adding some new pieces of gear to your hiking collection will make the trails accessible to you for all twelve months of the year.
- Add Traction
Traction gear can be attached to your hiking boots; these will improve your footing on winter terrain. Microspikes can provide a better grip for you in icy areas and/or small accumulations of snow. If your hikes will take you to areas with solid ice formations and/or lots of snow cover, choose crampons to improve your traction.
Another option is to wear snowshoes. Snowshoes will let you walk in snowy areas without sinking deep into the snow. So, if you’re out with friends who will ski Bluewood, you can don your snowshoes and explore the area.
- Use Walking Sticks or Poles
Walking or trekking sticks can be a great accessory all year round. For winter hikes, trekking sticks can help you balance yourself on tricky terrain. The additional support that the poles provide can open many more trails for you to explore.
Plan your Hike
Routes for any hike you take should be planned in advance. To safely hike in the winter, there are a couple of additional steps to add to your planning.
- Access the Northwest Avalanche Center before you head out for the latest avalanche information.
- Check on the trails you are planning to hike for their current conditions. Be sure that they are open.
- Winter weather conditions can change quickly. Use a weather app to verify the weather in the area you will be hiking, so you can dress accordingly.
- Remember the sunsets earlier in the winter than the other seasons of the year. In heavily forested areas, the darkness will envelope you sooner. Plan your hike knowing that it could take longer because of the icy or snowy trails. Account for that in planning the length of your hike and your starting time.
Dress for Winter Hiking
Layers are the key to success for winter hiking. Carrying a backpack in which you can store your additional clothing is essential. Select clothing for your winter hike that has moisture wicking. This will keep you from feeling chilled when you sweat.
Supplies to Pack
Though you might not feel as thirsty in the winter as the summer when you’re hiking, hydrating on your winter hike is important. You can carry water or a hot drink with you if your hike will be long. Keep a thermos in your car and water for after your hike.