Have you decided to take on the challenge of hiking in the winter? Good for you! Before you set out on your hike, keep the following tips in mind. Hiking in the winter can be dangerous, especially if you go in unprepared for the elements.

Dress like an Onion

When hiking in the winter months, you will want to dress like an onion.What does that mean? You want to dress in as many layers as possible. That way, you can remove and add layers of clothing as necessary throughout your hike. Temperatures can vary at the bottom of the trail and on the summit of the mountain. Most people like to start with long underwear and layer from there.

Take an Experienced Friend

Especially if this is your first time hiking in the winter, you will want to take an experienced winter hiker with you. They can assist and guide you with picking out your hiking gear, how to use crampons and most importantly, how to identify weather conditions and prepare for what’s to come.

Stay Hydrated

While hiking in the cold, it can be easy to forget to drink cold water and opt for coffee or anything hot instead. Keep in mind that you are sweating underneath your layers and your body is asking for hydration. You may be wondering how you can prevent your water from freezing. Keep it close to your body, maybe even inside your clothing. Your body heat will help keep it from freezing. Other tips include wrapping your water bottle in a wool sack or mixing some Gatorade or other sports drink into it.

Use Snowshoes or Crampons

One of the fun things about hiking in the winter is the ability to use snowshoes! This can make it fun for the whole family. Wearing snowshoes doesn’t take skill to wear, but it is important that your snowshoe is properly fitted for your body. You can also use crampons, which are traction devices you can attach to any footwear.

Now that you have made the bold decision to go hiking in the winter elements, you will want to be thoroughly prepared. Above all else, you will want to travel with someone who is experienced. You also want to dress in layers, like an onion, stay hydrated and use snowshoes or crampons to make your hike easier and less dangerous.