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4 Essentials That Makes a Difference For Winter Hiking

Hiking during winter is something that I truly enjoy. I can’t explain it, but there’s just something about snow that makes every view satisfying. However, the cold temperature implies a little bit more preparation than a summer hike. In this article, I take for granted that you already have warm clothes, a layer system, great hiking boots and a decent backpack. So, here is a list of a few essentials that I like to bring in addition for my adventures.

1. Gaiters

Have you ever had snow in your boots while hiking? Yeah, me too. Well, only before I got myself some gaiters. I hate the idea of wearing snow pants. They’re too warm, you sweat, and then when you stop moving, you’re getting cold. However, if your boots are not high enough, you’ll definitely have snow in them and your feet will be wet and cold in no time. Gaiters are the perfect in between. They are not too warm and you can easily jump in a feet of snow without worrying about it melting in your boots.

2. Light buff neckwear

In the past, I sometime used a fleece neck warmer. As soon as I began my hike, it was like a volcano in there. Way too hot. But, my first light Buff neckwear was a game changer. It’s perfect for hiking and either warm your neck, your ears or the air you’re breathing. You can also use it for running and ski-touring, or even innovate and make a beanie out of it. Again, they’re just warm enough and they’re not making you too damp.

3. Ice cleats/crampons

Snow is beautiful, but on popular hiking trails, it can easily turn into ice in a matter of days. Even great hiking boots are not prepared for this. If you want to avoid injuries, you definitely need winter crampons. There are two models that I would recommend.

Low elevation hike : If it’s an easy hike and you just don’t want to slip, go for the model on the left in the below picture. Easy to put on and easy to remove. The spikes are about half a centimeter. They give a good grip without being too constraining.

Challenging hike : If you know the elevation is gonna be a challenge, go for the model on the right in the below picture. Spikes are bigger (about a centimeter) and they will give you a better grip than the previous model. Furthermore, they have an additional strap on the top of your boot. Not only will they stick to the ice, they will also go THROUGH the ice. If you encounter a wall of ice and rocks, you can have fun!

4. Insulated water bottle

When it’s -15 celsius outside, the last thing you want is to drink ice cold water.

An insulated bottle allows you to drink room temperature water. Even after 3-4 hours outside, the water won’t freeze. It also works the other way around if you want to bring a hot drink and keep it warm. It may seem like a no brainer, but a lot of people don’t really think that far.

Here you go. That was my list of extra stuff that I bring on my winter hikes. Hope one of these items can make a difference on your winter hikes.

1 thought on “4 Essentials That Makes a Difference For Winter Hiking”

  1. Pingback: Road Trip New Hampshire: Mt Lafayette & Mt Washington

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