Hiking in cold or winter weather can be challenging, but it can be even more miserable if you don’t prepare for it properly. Make sure you dress in layers, bring the right gear, and limit your exposure to the elements.
Fortunately, there are a few key pieces of clothing that you can wear on any trail to make any hike more enjoyable.
Read on for our picks of the best hiking gear to keep you warm, both on and off the trail.
Layering is the key to staying warm on chilly days while hiking in cold weather. When walking in cold weather, you want to wear as many layers as possible. Wear a generous base layer under a lightweight rain shell, such as a hiking shirt.
Then add a mid-layer, such as a fleece vest or sweater, to trap the warm air next to your skin. Once you’re comfortable, add your outer layer, such as a down jacket or fleece jacket, to trap remaining body heat and shield from the wind.
When hiking in cold weather, your footwear is as essential as your layers. Choose waterproof hiking shoes or boots with warmth-trapping materials, such as insulation or Thinsulate, to keep your feet warm and dry.
Insulated hikers, such as the popular Lowa Rogue GTX, are especially useful for winter hiking as they can provide additional warmth and even waterproof protection from the elements.
Protecting your ears while hiking can be a challenge in cold weather. A simple solution is to wear a warm hat, such as a beanie, to trap heat and keep your ears warm while hiking. Keep in mind that your head is the largest heating unit in the body, so stay warm there!
Gloves can make a big difference when hiking in cold weather, especially if you’re using them to protect your hands while walking in the woods. Snow gloves or mittens, such as the popular Karhu gloves, are perfect for cold winter weather hiking.
If you’re hiking in cold weather with the intent of camping, a neck warmer is a must. Neck warmers are great for keeping your neck warm on chilly mornings and evenings when other pieces of clothing may not be enough.
Look for neck warmers with a fleece lining to trap body heat and keep you extra cozy.
A warm beanie is another valuable hiking gear for cold winter weather. Wearing a warm beanie will help retain body heat, making it more likely for your head to stay warm. Beanies are especially useful for keeping your ears warm, as they can’t be folded up like other head coverings.
Your outer shell should be waterproof and durable, withstand the elements, and protect your clothes. Look for a water-resistant and windproof jacket with a durable, water-repellent finish. In frigid weather, a lightweight parka will keep you warm while keeping the weight down to a minimum.
When temperatures drop below freezing, a warm, waterproof jacket can be a lifesaver. Look for a water-resistant and wind-proof coat with a durable, water-repellent finish. A lightweight parka will keep you warm while keeping the weight down to a minimum in frigid weather.
If you’re looking for even more warmth and flexibility, an insulated hiker is a great option.
These bags are sleeping bags that can be worn either on or off the back, depending on the conditions. They’re incredibly versatile, making them great for winter hiking, mountaineering, and backpacking.
Your hiking boots should be comfortable, provide a good fit, and be water-resistant.
Look for a boot that’s stiff enough to provide support while walking and flexible enough to bend your legs when hiking. Many boots will have a waterproof membrane, which will help keep your feet dry in the snow.
When it comes to cold weather hiking, your pants are the essential equipment you need! Your pants should be waterproof, durable, wind-proof, and breathable. Look for pants that are cut loose and allow for good movement to prevent overheating. Avoid cotton pants, as they’ll absorb moisture and retain it.
When you’re wearing hiking boots, your feet will become quite sweaty. This can lead to blisters and cuts if you don’t have extra socks. Look for synthetic socks that wick away moisture and keep your feet dry.
While many jackets are waterproof, a waterproof coat will be much more durable and better protection from the elements. Look for a skin that has a water-resistant shell and is wind-proof to help keep you dry in the snow.
Q- Are there any tips I should know about hiking in the winter?
A- Because of the cold temperatures, it’s essential to take precautions when hiking in winter. Some of these precautions include:
● Wearing a hat and gloves, which will help retain body heat
● Wearing a scarf or hat covering your neck and face to maintain body heat.
● Wearing waterproof boots and socks (or gaiters) to prevent moisture from entering your boots
● Keep your clothes dry by using a dry bag or storing your gear in waterproof bags.
Q- How much do I need to spend on my winter hiking gear?
A- Winter hiking gear can be expensive, but some affordable options are. A good rule of thumb is to buy what you need rather than what you want.
If you end up not using something, it’ll likely be cheaper to buy something new than replace what you have. For example, if you don’t use an insulated hiker bag every year, it won’t be worth replacing as often as it will last for many years before wearing out. On the other hand, if you frequently use a sleeping bag, you might want to consider a more expensive sleeping bag.
Cold weather can be a challenge, but with some preparation and the right gear, you’ll enjoy the outdoors in comfort. Wear layers, bring along the right equipment, and limit your exposure to the elements.
Good hiking shoeing is essential to stay comfortable and avoid injury. A warm hat, gloves, and a good jacket can take you long.
Keep in mind that the best way to stay warm is to keep active. Hiking, especially in winter, is a great way to stay friendly and busy. So lace up your hiking boots and enjoy the great outdoors!