One of the reasons why I like the simpler type of hike is because I enjoy turning it into an outing. These are the days where you may bring your ice skates because you know there is a frozen pond on your trail. You may even attempt to have a picnic or do some ice fishing.
Yes, I’ve picnicked before on these simple winter hikes. It was no easy feat and I had to remember to pack a few extra layers in my bag so I wouldn’t get too cold. And, if I had a way to build a fire I would have.
One of the highlights of having a “picnic” during a winter hike is drinking hot chocolate, tea, or coffee with my meal. I know, drinking caffeinated beverages isn’t quite ideal and for longer hikes I stay away from it. (It’s difficult going to the bathroom in the woods as it is, never mind when it’s cold. And yes, I’m a woman.)
If extra motivated, it’s fun to bring a small camping stove with you to prepare the beverages, and maybe even the meal, fresh (as fresh as freeze dried soup can be). However, bringing a few thermoses with hot soup and hot coffee or tea can really go a long way to warm you up. For an extra treat, you can bring hot chocolate and stick some marshmallows in your bag.
Don’t let the winter defeat you! You can make even a simple winter hike enjoyable by enjoying something hot to eat or drink on the trail. Just be sure to add extra layers when you do stop to help keep you warm.