On a winter hike, you can clear your mind, get fresh air, and enjoy physical activity in the beautiful outdoors. With a few sensible precautions, you can pave the way for a fun and safe adventure. Follow these four essential safety tips for winter hiking.
1. Go With a Partner and Notify Others
Hiking with a partner can reduce any risks of your trip. If you run into a dangerous situation or sustain an injury, teamwork can get you back to safety. Opt for a trail that fits everyone’s hiking abilities and choose a partner whose personality makes them a suitable trail buddy.
Think of someone reliable who isn’t coming and inform them of your timetable and route. If you get lost or injured, the person you’ve notified will know when and where to look for you.
2. Wear the Right Clothes and Gear
Another essential safety tip for winter hiking is to wear the right clothes and gear. While your outfit matters in all seasons, winter conditions can turn dangerous quickly. Check the weather frequently before your trip to properly prepare.
Choose an appropriate base layer that will wick away moisture and keep you dry. Add layers that insulate your warmth and prevent snow and water from seeping in and dropping your body temperature. Don’t forget to protect your head, hands, and feet with warm gear.
3. Bring Snacks and Hydration
Nourish and hydrate your body with nutritious snacks, water, and electrolytes. Pack non-perishable, lightweight foods dense in nutrients; this includes foods such as trail mix, nuts, whole fruit, and healthy energy bars.
In general, adults need two cups of water per hour of hiking. However, the true amount varies depending on many factors, such as the weather, your metabolic rate, and your exertion.
If you feel weak, dizzy, irritable, or get a headache, take a break from your hike to rehydrate. Coconut water and electrolyte-infused water can help you achieve balance.
4. Bring Emergency Supplies
Bring a first aid kit on your hike. You’re more likely to use the supplies for a minor injury, but if you or your partner sustain a more serious injury, the kit can buy you time to get help.
Aside from the usual items you need in an emergency kit, consider packing more than one compass and a multitool. The compasses will help you orient yourselves, and the multitool can help you with many tasks, including repairing your snow gear.