If you decide you want to start winter hiking, the most important thing you can do is get the proper extreme cold weather hiking gear. Your main concern is staying warm so this means everything will probably need to be layered – pants, shirts, gloves, even socks.
Not only that but you may also need some accessories to help you walk through snow and ice or to help you stay warm. For me, having hand and toe warmers in my pack is essential. So are extra layers, extra socks, and something like Yaktrax in case I encounter some snow or need extra traction.
I compiled a list of helpful items you should consider buying so that you can stay warm and safe on your winter hikes.
Essential Winter Hiking Gear
More article stuff that says here are my top choices.
- HotHands Hand Warmers
- Zippo Hand Warmer
- Heat Factory Heated Sock
- Heat Factory Toe and Foot Warmer
- Hot Hands Heated Knit Cap
- Black Diamond Contact Crampons
- Yaktrax Walker Traction Cleats for Snow and Ice
- RedFeather Hike Control Bindings Snowshoe
- Rockport Men’s Elkheart Snow Boot
Figuring Out What Gear to Bring
When it comes to being prepared for your winter hikes, there are many factors to consider. Weather conditions can vary. They can also change rapidly – even while you are out on the trail.
So, how is it possible to know what to bring? Here are some tips:
- Proper footwear. You’ll want your feet to be warm and dry – so the right winter socks and hiking boots are essential. Then, you’ll need a way to make sure you don’t slip on the ice – if there is any. Consider crampons, Yaktrax, Stabilicers, etc.
- Warm layers. Consider layering everything – your socks, gloves, pants, shirts… you can always take layers off if you start getting hot. Remember, you should leave the house feeling just a tad bit cold – you’ll warm up once you start moving.
- Weather report. I would pay attention to the weather report to help me gather my clothes for my hike. I’d get dressed then make adjustments once I get to the trail head. You just never know how things will change.
Remember – your goal is to keep warm but not get too hot while you’re moving. It may take you a few winter hikes to get the hang of it, but once you get to know your personal favorite layering schemes dressing for your cold weather hikes will be a snap.