Fitness Leisure Nature

My Top Tips for Winter Hiking

Summer necessitates high-country hikes in my part of the world, but winter opens up all new possibilities.  Here are a few of my top tips for winter hiking. 

Winter hiking in low-altitude locations with very little shade or on urban trails are all calling my name. A perfect way to blend fitness with nature.

With a little planning, your experience will be much better. I hope this inspires you to share in one of my very favorite activities.

Carry a Small Backpack

We’ve had our small Eddie Bauer backpack for many, many years and it works so well for us.  There is a similar one on their website on sale for only $15.  It’s considered a 20 liter because of its capacity, but the dimensions are 18” high and 10” wide so it’s comfortable and not too heavy.

I noticed how very grimy my backpack is while I was taking pics. Yikes. Maybe time for a replacement? But I love it!

Wear a Hat

Keeping the hair out of my face and the sun out of my eyes calls for a comfy hat.  My small head means I’m always on the lookout for something that fits.  My current fav is a TJ Maxx find that has a ridiculous saying on it (but that I secretly like).  “Feelin’ Lucky.”

Don Hiking Shoes

Lightweight hiking shoes or even running shoes with a deep tread are sufficient for the trails I take.  I’ve had my Merrell’s for several years and they are comfy. I love them, but the tread is starting to go, so I’ll probably replace them soon.

These Moab 2 are the highest rated on Merrell’s site, so I may try them out.

Most of my hikes are what I call “tennis shoe” hikes because heavy boots are not necessary, but nice tread is pretty important.

I cannot tell you how often I see people hiking in flat sneakers or flip flops (!).  Ouch.

Bring a Snack

Most of my hikes are short enough that a snack isn’t necessary and in fact, many times we reward ourselves with a special meal afterward.  Oak Creek Brewery, anyone?

But.  Just in case.  Like Nancy Drew, I like to be prepared.  You know, for energy.  An orange or clementine and a pack of nuts are easy to carry. 

From Trader Joe’s I get individually wrapped portions of almonds and then freeze until I’m ready to eat so they stay fresh.

DF Chris always takes a package of small donuts.  You know the ones.  The messy ones you can pick up at the gas station?  That I didn’t know adults ate?  Yep, she only eats them on a hike, but she swears by them.  And they must work because she is like the Energizer Bunny.

I prefer to drink water while hiking, but hub likes a Gatorade when we’re finished.

Pack Necessities

Keeping the backpack light is key for a day hike, but a few things are necessary.  A few Band-Aids.  Yep, those are emoji bandages and yep, the poop is my favorite.  If a blister pops up a bandage and a fresh pair of socks will keep you much more comfortable.

Tissues are a must for many reasons.  Which I won’t go into here.  And then you can deduct why I also carry hand sanitizer. And, yep, those are Nemo Kleenex. With Dory on the back.

Many applications of lip balm help when it is so dry.  As does plenty of water.

Carry Your Phone

Very nice for pictures of the lovely scenery, but the GPS and SOS factors are really nice.  Many trails have markers with QRG codes which can help keep you where you want to go.

However. Safety note. Don’t text or get distracted by your phone while you’re hiking. I’ve seen some crazy things. It’s not important and can wait until you’re at a rest.

Take a Buddy

Many people hike alone and enjoy the solitude of nature.  However.  After a couple of unpleasant experiences, I no longer ever hike alone.  Well, except the nature trails in our town.  Hiking a mountain alone is just not safe and it’s not worth it.

Consider Poles

We don’t always bring our poles, but if the hills are steep or full of loose gravel, they make a big difference for stability.  Uphill is never a problem for me, but going downhill with iffy knees can be pretty daunting if the terrain is steep and the ground keeps moving under me.

These are just a few among many of my top tips for winter hiking.  Please share your favorite tips.

I hope you are able to get out and get some fresh air and experience the divine in this season.  It’s pouring rain as I write this, but I have high hopes for the rest of the weekend!

God bless you and yours and thanks for sharing my journey.

1 Comment

  1. Corine, you should try those gas station, purchased packaged, white powdered sugar messy donuts on your next hike, They are such a treat. 😆

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