You love hiking, right? So, what do you do in the winter? It is snowing pretty hard right now and I know that two hours north of here, there are plenty of trails waiting for me. Winter hiking is an acquired taste, but once you get started with it it’s hard to stop.
Sure, hiking in the winter can present some challenges. For example, you need special extreme cold weather gear in order to regulate your temperature and make the experience enjoyable. This includes having the proper footwear and an effective layering scheme. I’ve learned that the right winter hiking gear can make or break your experience.
Benefits of Winter Hiking
So, why would you want to hike in the winter anyway? I thought I would list all the reasons why I enjoy it so that maybe it will help you see things in a new way.
- Enjoy the winter. The long, cold winter can be hard – unless you have a winter activity that you look forward to. I don’t ski and I’ve found that winter hiking gives me a way to actually enjoy the cold.
- Avoid roots, rocks, and mud. Hiking in New Hampshire can be messy in the summer. There’s roots and rocks to scramble over. It rains a lot so there’s often mud and water on the trail. Once the snow piles on it leaves a nice, flat trail free from all the problems the trails have in the warmer months.
- More peaceful. Hiking trails in the warmer months are filled with people. There aren’t as many who actually want to hike in the winter which will leave you in peace to enjoy the scenery.
- Burn more calories. You actually burn more calories hiking in the winter because your body needs to burn off more fuel in order to help keep you warm.
- Extra challenging. I love the mental challenges that cold weather hiking presents. It takes extra preparation and know-how to help you have a successful hike in the colder months.
Are you convinced yet? Just remember that the one thing that will enable you to have a successful hike is the right cold weather hiking gear. Just be sure to plan your hike well by knowing your route and bringing the right clothes and gear. After that, it’s time to enjoy yourself! 🙂