Winter Hiking; What’s Stopping Your Backpack Adventures?

Winter hiking brings a whole new perspective to hiking backpack trips. If you’re settling indoors for the next four months, you could be missing out on some awesome explorations.  Sure, it’s cold and a bit harder to navigate through snow, but the landscape is completely different and there is plenty of adventure to behold during a winter hike. What makes you scoff at winter snow hikes?  Here is how you get over the negativity and ideas of where to winter hike, both on snowy trails and warmer climates.

Backpack Hiking Need Not Be On Icy Mountains 

You don’t have to hibernate like a bear and gain 10 pounds during the winter months because of snowy weather. Hiking on ice can be dangerous, so for those who are fearful (and rightly so) or not fully equipped for ice hiking, snowshoe hiking can be an excellent alternative.  You can incorporate some Vitamin D along with physical activity during the winter months.   Many New England places, especially Vermont, have excellent flat hiking trails where you can rent your snowshoes, eliminating the investment of a purchase.  As long as you dress properly for the weather, getting out in the fresh air of winter will invigorate you.  HERE are some places to enjoy winter backpack hiking, solo or with the family.

How To Prepare For Winter Backpack Hikes

Winter hiking that ends with wonderful memories and great outcomes begins with proper dressing for the cold outdoors. You may think that a parka with hat and mittens will do the trick.  That won’t cut it for a half or full day backpack hike so you’ll need to be better equipped.  Don’t let the confusion be overwhelming, it’s really basic preparation.  Once you know how to tackle the clothing and necessary hiking pack items, you can enjoy a beautiful time in nature’s winter wonderland. 

It’s all summed up right HERE

What Hikers Fear Most While Snowshoe Hiking

All backpack hiking trips have elements that require preparation and planning regardless of the time of year.  Things to be focused on in winter, that may prevent you from experiencing the best hike, are fear of hypothermia and getting lost.  Arming yourself with the knowledge of how to dress and carrying proper navigation equipment will keep you warm and safe while hiking.  It’s not wise to rely on your cell phone alone during a hike because you could lose power or reception.  Bringing a map of the area you are hiking and a compass (learn before you go how to read it) will ensure against getting lost when snow may cover familiar landmarks.

Winter hiking also requires that you be aware of your hydration level in winter, even more so than other times of the year.  Extra clothing may cause sweating that you won’t necessarily feel right away but is draining your hydration level, which will throw off your electrolytes.  This could cause headache, dizziness or general lousy feeling, which will zap your energy.

Not Up For Extreme Winter Backpacking?

 You have many options for backpack hiking in other areas of the US where frigid temps won’t deter you.  Arizona has Flagstaff and the Santa Catalina Mountains.  Colorado boasts great hiking year round in the Rocky Mountain National Park near Denver.  You can do an easy trek like the Boulder River Trail or the Olympic National Forest in Washington.  Utah offers stunning snow-covered red rock explorations in a milder winter setting with sunny days to make temps feel warmer and sub zero.  California and Florida are also other obvious choices for winter hiking in a warmer climate. For other warm places to winter hike GO HERE.

Backpack Hikers Can Pay It Forward

Winter hiking is virtually available anywhere in the US.  Whatever your skill level is, there are many places to explore that will get you up and out of the house this winter.  Couch potatoes miss out on many adventures.  Nature Trail Backpacks believe in helping other hikers from your experiences.  Please comment below on your favorite winter hiking location so that others will benefit from learning about places they may never have thought about hiking.  That way everyone can experience happy hiking!


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