Do you have second thoughts when it comes to hiking in the cold weather? People usually avoid doing this but it’s a mistake to think that hiking in the cold weather means hiking during Winter only. Cold weather occurs in any other season and especially in the mountains where weather is unpredictable and can change quickly. In just fifteen minutes weather can change from sunny to rainy and windy.
It is not that difficult but it requires some planning and good accessories.
Here are some tips for hiking in the cold weather;
If possible don’t go alone
Having a company is always more interesting. And especially if that person has a richer expertise when it comes to hiking in different weather conditions.
Print a map
Tourism boards and national parks have hiking maps that you can download or print from their official websites. I don’t have to mention how useful and important this is.
Check weather forecast
Before starting a hike you should always check the weather conditions. A site I really love is mountain-forecast.com. It shows weather conditions for thousands of mountain ski resorts, difficulty and best months to climb. This is a must for your trip-planning process.
Contact the closest tourism board
People from the tourism boards are usually locals or experts who have rich knowledge of the area and who can give you great advice or pointers. For example, on my last hike I chatted with people from a local tourism board and I got a really valuable advice. You can also research internet forums and see what other people have written before.
Let other people know your plans
This is really important, especially if you will be hiking alone. Let your family or friends know where you will be, when you will start your hike and when do you expect to return. If you will go as a group you should make a list with names of the people and their contact number.
Set realistic expectations
If you are planning a difficult hike, it isn’t the best idea to mix an expert and a beginner. If you are going as a group I think it’s very important to set a plan and have the same expectations to avoid any misunderstandings.
Have a good hiking gear
Good hiking gear includes essentials like: map and compass, sun protection, good clothing, first-aid kit, matches, backpack and a tent if you plan longer hike.
Food and water
Staying hydrated is a must, thus you need a good water bottle. If you plan a long hike or in an unfriendly environment you should definitely get a water purifier. You also need a supply of food in case of emergency. Energy bars, drink mix, supplements etc. are some things you can take with you. I recommend Quest protein bars. You can read my review of them here or check their Amazon page.
When you are hiking in the cold conditions you generate body heat by moving. You need to stay dry and warm, that’s why it is so important to choose good clothes. You need to be dressed in layers to be able to regulate the amount of warmth you need. Avoid cotton because it keeps the sweat and you will stay wet. The best material is made of synthetic or merino wool. For the outer layer you should have a good breathable and waterproof jacket.