Hitting the trails throughout winter can be a lot of fun. There are new activities like snowshoeing, it can be more peaceful, and you can even burn more calories while building more muscle. The downside of the trails being covered in snow is obviously the low temperatures. Here are a handful of tips to keep you toasty warm while trekking through the trails this winter.
This one may seem obvious, but you have to wear layers. Layering your clothing helps to trap in warm air and keep you warm. The other benefit of layers is that if you begin to get to warm or overheat, you can easily remove a layer. Wearing a few extra layers will help to keep you warm throughout your hike on the trail and help to ensure a comfortable trip.
Head, Feet, and Hands!
You can lose a lot of heat in the wintertime through your head, feet, and hands. It makes keeping these areas warm that much more important. Wearing proper footwear, gloves and toques can ensure these areas hold in heat rather than releasing it.
Having trouble keeping your hands or feet warm? You can find little heat packs at Walmart or the Dollar Store to give you a little boost of heat on long winter hikes. Make sure to check what material your socks, gloves, and toque are made of.
Know Your Materials!
Some material is significantly better than others at staying dry, repelling water and insulating heat. For instance, wool, polyester, nylon, or synthetic materials will do a much better job of keeping you warm and dry than cotton or denim. So, skip the jeans and cotton t-shirts while layering up for your winter adventure.
Snacks and Hydration!
If you are going on a longer trail, bring plenty of water and healthy protein/carb filled snacks. Good snacks are mixed nuts, granola bars, and protein bars. Maintaining proper hydration and sustenance will ensure you have the required energy your body needs to stay warm and have high energy levels. A thermos of hot chocolate can be a great way to stay warm and have a nice treat throughout your hike.
As much as hiking on a winter day can be an amazing adventure, not every day makes for a great adventure. As we all know, some Saskatchewan days can be absolutely freezing. Make sure to check the forecast and weather updates so that you don’t end up on the trails in the middle of a blizzard. Choose a day with more sunlight and less wind to help to further keep you warm and cozy on the trails.
Terrain in the winter can be icy and slippery which can lead to falls and wet clothing. An easy solution to the unknown terrain of some trails is slip on/strap on shoe/boot spikes. Shoe spikes can be found at pretty much any outdoors store, Walmart, and even sometimes at the Dollar Store. Shoes spikes allow you to traverse rougher or more slippery terrain with ease and help you to hook to the ground to avoid falls.
The final tip to staying warm is to get active! Try increasing your pace or attempting some light inclines to get your blood pumping and keep you warm. Increasing your activity level will effectively ensure you stay warm.
Regardless of what it takes to stay warm, some of the most enjoyable and relaxing hikes can come from visiting the trails during the winter. Stay warm and have fun!