Read these 7 Winter Hikes Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Hiking tips and hundreds of other topics.
It's easy to prevent frostbite on your hiking excusrions by wearing warm layers and staying mobile. Frostbite can be indicated by numbness in the affected area. Also, the area will be shiny and reddish in early stages. Do not break any blisters that may have formed. Slowly move the area, to get circulation going again. Dip the area in warm water. Do not use hot water, as this can do further damage to the skin by shocking it. Should the area turn blue, seek medical attention immediately.
Staying toasty is vital on winter hikes. To keep your feet warm at night, make sure you have a spare pair of smartwool hiking socks. Before you go to bed at night, place a bottle of warm water at the foot of your sleeping bag. Be sure to seal it completely! You can also place a bottle of warm water in your boots to keep them from freezing over night. For added protection and warmth, place the boots and bottle in a stuff sack. Alternately, you can put the boots in a sack and place them between your sleeping bag and the sleeping pad underneath you.
If you're a fan of the cold weather, winter hikes can be a beautiful experience. Be sure, however, that you prepare properly. Even a short excursion in cold weather can be dangerous if you are not wearing the proper attire and warm hiking boots. Layering is most important, but avoid cotton clothing. When wet, cotton retains moisture and moisture can freeze once you cool down from your hike. Cover your head with a hat or balaclava to avoid losing heat. A balaclava can also double as a scarf. Bring several pairs of socks, but don't wear more than two pairs at a time. Too many layers on your feet will result in slowed circulation.
Once you locate a clearing to set up a tent, pack down the snow. If you fail to do this, the heat of your body will melt a dent in the snow. Not very comfortable for sleeping! If conditions are windy, dig a hole a couple of feet and pitch your tent within it. This will reduce the amount of wind that hits your tent. In addition, getting in and out of your tent will be easier, as a sort of vestibule will be established.
Hiking trips in snowy weather don't have to be a daunting experience. Pitching a tent in the snow is actually the best way to camp, since all the traces of your stay will melt as the thaw comes. To pitch an effective tent, attach about 4-6 feet of cord to each of your stake points and use rocks or logs for anchors if the ground is too frozen or snow is too soft. If you do not have snow stakes for your tent, use water-filled one-gallon jugs to anchor the edges of your tent.
Did you know that the state of Vermont has 52 state parks? Even though many of these parks are closed for the winter, they are still open for hiking excursions and other winter fun. In fact, such winter parks as Thetford and Camel's Hump have lovely trails for hiking. If your trip involved snowmobiling as well, check out the major routes maintained by the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST). VAST trails can be found on both state forest and state park lands. Little River, Woodford, Coolidge, and Groton all have major snowmobile trails.
When on a hike, it's best to bring food that has around 125% of the calories you normally eat in a day. On longer hikes in colder areas, you'll need to have extra calories. Pack healthy snack foods like peanuts, raisins, chocolate, jerky, granola bars, and/or dried fruit. You'll need a lot of carbohydrates and proteins. Be sure that the food you pack is hearty enough to nourish you, but also enough to be carried around for periods of time without needing refrigeration.