If you are one of those individuals who truly enjoy the outdoors and hiking, or if you have been roped into attending a trail hiking event, it is important to choose the correct hiking gear for the hike to be successful. The first point to consider when choosing effective gear is the time of year as a season’s climate will impact on the equipment chosen. Many people tend to avoid hiking during the winter months as it is cold and equipment may not be suitable. Fear not! It is now possible to enjoy a winter hiking trip by taking the correct precautions before heading off. In fact, it may be the case that you enjoy a winter hike far more than a hot summer one. This article will provide information on the different types of winter hiking equipment you should pack.
1. Wick-Away Clothing
The first thing to take into account when planning any winter hiking trip is to ensure you take along gear that will keep you cool and dry. This may be an odd consideration considering the cold climate associated with winter; however, any individual who has experienced a sweat during winder and then needed to stand in damp clothing will know why this point is important. In order to remain comfortable, safe and warm, it is necessary to take along specific supplies with the first being Wick-Away clothing. The majority of brands use the ‘wick-away’ term as it describes material that is designed to draw moisture from the body keeping you dry and comfortable.
When deciding which clothing items should be wick-away items, it is recommended you consider the garments closest to the skin including socks and underwear. It should be noted that, typically, a person would place heavy clothing on above these socks and underwear. This is not advised. By placing bulky clothing on you will increase the weight of the clothing and make hiking uncomfortable. Instead, try layering thin but warm items that will decrease weight but still act as insulation.
2. The Waterproof Boots
A second important item to take along when packing essential winter hiking equipment is a pair of waterproof boats. Ideally, the boots should be at least calf height and well broken in to avoid any damage to the feet. Many waterproof boots are insulated; however, it is possible to find pairs that do not present with this feature and choosing between insulation or no insulation is dependent on personal preference. If you opt for the non-insulated alternative, it is possible to build a personal insulation (if required) using socks with sock liners. The most important point when buying boots is to keep your feet dry and this can be done by wrapping legs and feet.
3. The Windbreaker
An item that can be used as a layering piece of clothing is the windbreaker. The ideal windbreaker will be waterproof while still allowing the body to breathe and moisture (sweat) to evaporate. Gloves and a hat should be worn to protect extremities and keep these areas of being too cold.