5 Smart Safety Tips to Remember When You Go on Winter Hikes

man hiking in winter

As snow falls in the wintertime, hikers may be treated to the most breathtaking views that will otherwise be unavailable in any other time of the year. Trekking during the winter season may be an otherworldly experience. However, preparing for a winter hike may be a little different than preparing for a trek during other seasons.

5 Smart Safety Tips To Remember on Winter Hikes

If you plan on going on your first hike this winter, don’t leave without gearing up and making sure that your hike ends on a good note. The following tips will help you ensure that your hike will be enjoyable and safe at the same time.

1 – Go Out Earlier

Going on your hike when it is still light out will minimize the risk of you getting lost or having any other untoward incident happen during your hike. Keep in mind that days are shorter and nights are longer during the winter season. Temperatures can drop below zero when it gets dark, so it is important to be home well before then.

Start your hike in the early afternoon to make sure you can be back before the sun sets. This will help you avoid encountering any problems the cold and dark may cause during your hike.

2 – Hike with Company

Taking the trek with company instead of by yourself is a much safer option. This becomes even more true if you are a first-time hiker. Even if you are a seasoned hiker but going on a trail you are unfamiliar with, it is still a wiser idea to hike with someone who knows the trail well. More things are likely to go wrong if you are on unfamiliar territory in cold weather.

Hiking with others will be a safer option for everyone. Should any of the people on the hike get dizzy or need help in any way, the other people on the hike with them will be able to offer a helping hand. Hiking on a cold day can cause more problems than you would think, especially if you are trekking alone.

3 – Dress Warmly

It goes without saying that you should gear up when you go for a hike during the winter months. Make sure to wear a thick jacket that has a hood to protect you from the cold. You should also wear a hat or bonnet to keep your head warm. Wearing gloves and thick socks under your boots will protect your fingers, feet and toes safely from the sub-zero temperatures. A scarf will also come in handy to keep your neck and face safe from the cold.

4 – Don’t Go Out Hungry

A hike will take up the better part of a few hours, at the least. Before going on a hike, it is important to make sure that you have eaten and are well hydrated. Having a meal before going out for a hike will give you the strength you need to complete the entire trail.

5 – Know Where you Are Headed

Carrying a paper map that marks the trail you are taking is essential. Relying on your phone or electronic GPS tracker may not be reliable because the internet connection may be spotty in the wilderness. A paper map will help you keep track of where you are and where you are going.


Hiking is an extremely enjoyable activity, but it’s important you keep safety in mind as to not turn your favorite hobby into a nightmare. Winter hikes, in particular, come with some risks that may not be present on a warm summer’s evening. By leaving at an appropriate time, hiking with company, dressing for the weather, nourishing your body, and familiarizing yourself with the trail, you’ll be all set to have a great time and still come home for dinner. 

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