If you are fond of hiking, then you must be looking forward to going on hiking tours round the year. However, the winter months pose special challenges due to the cold, and hence many people avoid hiking in those months. However, as we all know, winter has its own charm and offers a different kind of experience. With a little preparation and precaution, it is indeed possible to go hiking in the winter too.
- Dress adequately: during winter, the more clothing that you wear, the better it is. Always wear proper insulated clothing while you hike in the winter, especially if you are doing it in a mountainous area. Temperatures can vary widely during night time, and it is very difficult to predict the variations from beforehand. Wear proper underwear, insulated jackets and fleece pants, so that mother nature cannot give you a rude surprise by suddenly dropping the temperatures.
- Use a sleeping bag: a sleeping bag will allow you to stay warm while you sleep. It should preferably include an inner liner made of fleece or silk. These materials feel nice and snuggly and will ensure that you sleep well throughout the night. It is even better if the ping back includes a vapour barrier liner, that will help to retain your body heat inside the sleeping bag.
- Sleep in a Tent: never try to sleep in the open air during winters. Carry a small, lightweight tent which can be easily erected and folded without much hassle. After a long day’s walk, you would not want to struggle with erecting a tent, would you?
- Use safety gear: never rule out running in an emergency while you’re hiking in the winter, especially in the mountainous regions. So apart from the regular gear that you use for hiking, there are a few essential safety gears that you need to buy. Carry a medical kit, extra food, a map of the hiking region, knife, torch with adequate extra batteries, headlamp and a pocket or Swiss knife.
- Drinking water: If you’re camping in below freezing temperatures, then the commonest problem that he will face will be that your drinking water will freeze quickly at night. To prevent this from happening, invest in a good thermos flask whose cap can be sealed tightly. Heat your water and pour it inside the flask before you go to sleep. Opening the flask after every couple of hours will prevent the water from freezing.
- Drink adequate liquid: hiking in cold weather is known to cause dehydration if you do not drink adequate liquids frequently. Carry a portable stove and make tea or coffee for yourself before you set off for a hike. Pour the liquid in a flask and take a beverage break whenever you feel like it. This will also give you extra energy and prevent you from tiring easily.
- Check the weather: know the weather forecast for the day before you set out on a hiking tour. Weather predictions have saved many a lives, and you should never ignore a weather warning.