The 6 Do’s and Don’ts of Winter Hiking
I long for the warm summer days already. However, I always embrace the change of seasons and learn to change with them. I love to be outdoors during the warmer months and adventure. For me, hiking is one thing that I would say makes me the happiest. Being in nature has so many healing benefits for our mind, body and soul.
During the colder months, it’s hard to find motivation to join in on outdoor activities. I have gone hiking recently and it wasn’t too bad as long as you go prepared. I found the cool, crisp air feels clean and fresh on the trails. As I mentioned before, I have to learn to change with the seasons (I’m working on it).
Staying active year round is important for our health especially if were feeling down during the darker months. Hiking has so many incredible benefiting not only our physical body but also our mental health. Instead of hanging out inside this winter, head on out to the trails and boost your mood.
I created a guide to not only stay safe on winter hikes but also a way to stay warm (as per recent experience, ha-ha).
- Trail hours
Before you head on out onto your location, be sure to do research and find out the hours and if the trail path is clear. Depending on the weather conditions, some trails may only be open during certain months. Not only do I check the website but also the social media platforms just to make sure.
Keep in mind the time of when you start your adventure and the eta of getting to your location. I forgot that the sun went down earlier and almost ended up in the dark in the woods. Before venturing out on the trail, check to see the distance and make sure you have enough time to get back. Don’t forget about the flash light on your phone that always comes in handy.
I have always been a huge fan of the buddy system in every situation. Depending on the location of your hike, there might be less folks on it due to cooler temps. Let someone know your where about before you start. The Find My Friends app is one of my favorite ways to stay connected with friends and family without having to call or text them. The power of technology is a great thing. J
If you’re like me, you always think that “its fine” or “I’m good” and then you’re cold or wet. I learned this lesson far too well during my last adventure. ALWAYS bring a change of clothes, socks and or shoes. Be sure to grab an extra jacket or coat. Temperatures can change and depending on the location, it might be cooler in another area.
I promise you that it’s worth it to invest in good shoes when adventuring. Make sure your sneakers have good grips on the bottom. To take the next step up, buy a pair of hiking boots. If your boots are too big, you can layer up with two pairs of socks instead on one. You’ll be extra toasty on your hike too.
We may think that since it isn’t warm and we may not be sweating, we can skip bringing water, wrong. Grab a light weight backpack and throw in a water bottle or too. You wouldn’t believe how thirsty you can get from walking, talking, breathing in cooler air and getting all those muscles working in your body.
I hope you’ll use this checklist on your next adventure and most importantly, enjoy yourself!
Get some fresh air; smell the pine trees and maybe you’ll see some beautiful wild life. Share your pictures and stories of your adventures with us below.