Hiking in the Winter

I love hiking in the winter. I know it’s cold, but no bugs, snakes, bees, poison ivy and no hot weather. I really enjoy the cooler temperatures. Here in Georgia, the summers get really hot. Once you place one foot on the trail, you are already breaking a sweat.

Here is a great article from Kimberly Aardal about being prepared for winter hiking:

Winter Hiking Can Be a Warm Experience

By Kimberly Aardal

Don’t think I’m crazy because I love to get out and hike in the winter. Yes, it is a little colder and sometimes it’s hard to find the trail but it’s so worth it. One of my best memories is a snowshoe trek with my boyfriend when we lived in Oregon. We took a snowshoe trip just for the day through the woods and to a warming hut where we cooked some hot noodles over our single burner stove and shared a nice warm lunch. What a special day that was.

Since then we, my boyfriend who is now my hubby have taken quite a few hiking and snowshoe trips and each one of them has been unique and fun in their own way. To keep your trip as warm and fun as possible, there are a few pieces of advice I can offer.

  • Dress in layers and make sure you have a good quality base layer.
  • Invest in an excellent pair of mittens, yes mittens and not gloves.
  • Sunglasses are an absolute necessity. Living in Colorado where the sun shines most of the time, you learn to always have them and especially in the winter when the snow reflects more light.
  • Bring a thermos full of your favorite beverage. (maybe not a necessity but soooo good)
  • Bring poles along, as they can be so helpful in deeper snow.
  • Leg gaiters can keep snow from getting in your boots, which is a big goal of mine.
  • Oh, I almost forgot the most obvious piece of equipment, snowshoes. If you don’t own any, there are lots of places to rent. Just find a ski rental shop and most likely they will carry snowshoes too.

Here are some great winter hiking ideas:

  • Choose a hiking trail that you are familiar with and snowshoe it.
  • Look for cross-country ski areas as they generally allow winter snowshoers.
  • Many ski resorts have moonlight snowshoe tours that are loads of fun.
  • National park trails are good options. Rocky Mountain National Park is a great place to go and you can rent snowshoes right down the road.

There are so many advantages to hiking in winter and the biggie for me is fewer people on the trail. Sometimes the summer months bring so many people out to the trails that it defeats the whole purpose of getting into the backcountry. Another good reason to get out and hike in winter is that it just feels good to get out of the house and get a little exercise while enjoying Mother Nature.

If you’re still not convinced that hiking in winter is a good idea for you and feel a little nervous about it, read more on snowshoeing and hiking in winter snow at Colorado Hikers Guide.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kimberly_Aardal

What a great experience to go snowshoeing in the Rocky Mountains.  Winter hiking can be a lot of fun as long as you are prepared for the adventure.

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