When you plan to go on a hiking trip during the cold season, it’s vital to make sure that you have the right clothing and gear. Being prepared for wet weather conditions is crucial when exploring the outdoors, which means you always need to stay warm and dry. By doing so, you don’t only get to stay comfortable, but you also keep yourself safe from other serious issues that may arise when you’re overly exposed to the cold with little protection.
Here are five practical tips to help you embark on a hiking adventure despite the cold weather:
1. Put on several layers
It makes perfect sense to layer up when you’re about to go on a cold-weather hike to keep you warm and comfortable. When layering for a hike, it typically comes in three parts. The first one is your base layer that must be able to wick sweat away from your skin, while the mid-layer will serve as insulation, and the third is the shell layer that will keep moisture out.
You can remove certain layers as you progress on your hike when necessary. Likewise, if you need to, you can always add more when it gets too cold for you to handle. The important thing is that you need to start with a three-layer clothing system as you head out for a cold-weather hike.
2. Avoid bringing cotton items
You may think that 100% cotton materials are what you should wear for a hike, but the truth is that it’s not the best idea. Despite being an excellent breathable material, when it gets wet, it will take a long time to dry, and this will leave you feeling cold longer.
Instead, choose clothing that is made from synthetic and wool because they can dry faster and will keep you comfortable throughout the hike.
3. Protect Your Skin
Keep in mind that it’s not only the UV rays that can be harmful to the skin, the cold temperature will be painful to the skin as well. You could even get frostbite from this, especially on the most vulnerable areas of your body—nose, cheeks, ears, fingers, and toes. Also, know that despite gloomy weather, UV rays can still penetrate and harm your skin.
For this reason, it’s essential that you wear the right protection for this. For your hands, wear lightweight to mid-weight fleece gloves under waterproof shell mittens or gloves. Synthetic or wool socks that fit you perfectly will protect the skin on your feet. As for your nose and checks, you can wear a face mask or a neck gaiter, while a winter hat or a headband will be a great choice to wear for ear protection.
4. Pack along a robust heat source
Remember that it’s going to be cold throughout your hike. For this reason, you need to ensure that you bring with you a reliable heat source, such as hand and toe warmer packets.
5. Wear eye protection
Make sure to keep your eyes protected from the wind and sun by wearing a pair of goggles or sunglasses. It will also be a good idea to wear one that will let you swap lenses in and out so that you can choose the right lens tint for the weather.
With the right clothing and gear, you can guarantee that you will stay comfortable, warm, and dry while you enjoy a hike in the cold outdoors. Aside from the tips mentioned above, it’s vital you invest in quality clothing and gear to ensure you get the desired results when you’re up there in the mountains. Don’t worry; quality doesn’t always mean expensive purchases, meaning that you will be able to find a wide range of affordable clothing and gear.
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