It's no secret I love winter hiking. I don't have to worry about getting overheated like I do in the summer and it gets me off the couch and out of the house. It's definitely a fun way to cure cabin fever.
I know it sounds counterintuitive, right? I mean when there's snow and ice on the ground, it's cold. However, with all of the moving I do hiking, I stay really warm without having to dress in heavy clothing either. Usually a nice running jacket with a long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt underneath and a pair running tights or hiking pants is all I need. I always keep a little extra clothing and gear in my backpack just in case I get stuck. I don't want to freeze to death from lack of planning.
2. Not As Many Obstacles
Spring and summer trails always have rocks or tree branches to trip over.
Besides my trusty friend, I don't have to worry about tripping over anything. A good pair of snowshoes keeps me from sinking in the snow. Many of the popular trails are packed enough that I only need my boots.
3. Get Healthy and Stay Fit
When I discovered I could burn more calories in cooler temperatures than warmer ones, I thought I had hit the jackpot. Hiking is way more fun than hitting the gym and I get a caloric burn bonus. Yay!
4. Few People and Fewer Bugs
The trails near me are still busy enough during winter that I always see somebody but there aren't nearly as many people as spring and summer. Even better, I don't have to battle mosquitos, flies or those pesky gnats I swallow every time I open my mouth.
5. Amazing Views
You have to make it to the top or at least the saddle to get some of the most breathtaking views but it's so worth it and the most rewarding thing about hiking.
|Breathtaking view of Wasatch Mountains ©Trudy Zufelt|
|View of Salt Lake Valley from Mt. Olympus ©Trudy Zufelt|
- Stay hydrated - Your body still sweats and needs liquid. It's tempting not to carry water but don't.
- Stay fueled - Always carry some food even if you're not going to be gone long and eat during the hike. I always forget and lose steam close to the top.
- Dress in layers - Carry a pack with extra clothes or just to have a bag to shed the extra clothes when you get too warm.
- Don't disturb the wildlife - I've seen moose while hiking and with their size and strength, I'd rather not get too close.
- Check the weather forecast - You don't want to get stuck on the top during a blizzard or find out the temperature just dropped 20-30 degrees and you're not prepared.
Leave a comment about what you love about winter hiking.