5 tips for hiking snowy trails

Yes, from the same blogger who brought you “5 things you need for an Adirondack Fire Tower hike” we’re shifting to winter hikes.

I might complain about brushing snow off my car, but I don’t mind a snowy trail. Here are a few things you should keep in mind before taking on your own snowy hike.

Get a good pair of boots

I know, deja vu right. If you’re going to be hiking in the snow, you want to keep your feet dry. Your best bet is a pair of waterproof boots. Not water-resistant, waterPROOF. Plus – you’ll want a thick pair of socks to keep those feet warm. The last thing you want are some numb toes on the trail.

Get a good pair of snowshoes

Snowshoes are the best thing to keep your tracks even on any snowy trail. Without them, you’ll make post-holes. Those are the big holes you might see along the trails, and they can be hazardous. It could be bad news for your ankles, so best to strap on some snowshoes to avoid any injury. (Or clip into some skis, those are also cool but I prefer the snowshoes.)

Standing on a frozen pond after my most recent hike at Mendon Ponds Park

Layer up

When I first stepped out into the 10-degree weather, it felt like the wind cut right through every layer I had on. Once you get moving, you’ll start questioning why you put so many layers on. You work up a sweat quick!

You want to start with a base layer, this could be a long t-shirt or some sort of thermal shirt. Then you can throw on a fleece, for an insulating layer. Then you’ll want a hardshell layer, like a waterproof jacket. Then you’re ready to put on that puffy winter jacket to keep yourself warm. Plus – I highly recommend snow pants, not only will they keep the snow out, but they’ll keep your legs warm. Top it all off with your favorite winter hat and gloves.

Hydrate!

Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you’ll sweat any less! I will always recommend staying hydrated on a hike with a big bottle of water, or hiking with a hydration backpack. Then when you reach your peak, you’re ready for a summit IPA.

Once again, bring a good attitude

Yes, we all know it’s cold. We see the snow on the ground, feel the wind biting at our faces. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a frozen hike! Keeping a good attitude and remembering why you set out on your hike will make it all the more enjoyable. You never know what or who you’re going to see!

Overall, prepping for winter hikes is very similar to any other time of the year. The most important tips you should take away from this are to stay hydrated and stay warm.

Remember to leave no trace on the trail, and stay safe!

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