With the weather cooling down, many people are starting to once again enjoy the outdoors and head out on hiking adventures all over the world. This is not only a great way to experience all that Mother Nature has to provide, but can be an excellent source of exercise and a great way to increase your health and energy levels. But whether you are planning a short day hike or a longer excursion taking several days or more, make sure you are well prepared and have all the gear you might need for any situation.
One of the biggest dangers when hiking during the winter is injury due to exposure. The strenuous workout can sometimes play havoc on your internal temperature gauge and make you think you don’t need as much clothing. Unfortunately this is only true while you are in the hike itself. As soon as you stop moving, the sweat from hiking reacts with the colder air and causes a drastic and immediate temperature drop on your skin and extremities.
Make sure that when you head out in the winter that you have adequate gear. It’s always better to have too much clothes than not enough when working with cold weather. Bring extra layers, including extra socks, gloves, and hats incase the ones you have get wet. Shops like Mountain Gear have a wide selection of outdoor gear you might need to keep you warm and protected in the harsher weather. And don’t forget to make sure that you have appropriate boots and footwear for the terrain and weather you will be braving.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that since it’s winter, the sun isn’t as much of a factor when considering what to pack. This is a huge oversight. Not only is it still very possible to get sun burned in the winter, if you are hiking through or around snow it is even a bigger danger. The sun reflects off of the snow and creates a magnifying effect. Make sure you have appropriate sun block and eye protection. Snow blindness can cause confusion and disorientation in the short term and cause serious damage to your eyes in the long term. Online shops like Revant Optics offers a wide variety of replacement lenses for many different sunglasses, like Oakley and Ray-Ban, so that you can not only stay safe but look good as well.
Wherever you decide to go hiking, make sure that you are well prepared. If you are staying overnight, lightweight tents and sleeping bags can help ensure that you stay warm through the darkest hours of the evening. REI can help you with everything from lightweight packs and gear to accessories like knives and headlamps.
Technology can also play a huge part in having a successful hike. A durable GPS will make sure that once you get to your destination, you know how to get back. Two-way radios can make sure that everyone who starts the trip is there at the end. And a HD camera can record the trip for all to enjoy when you get home. Companies like Garmin can help you with all of these devices.
Whatever your preference and wherever you decide to go on your winter hiking adventure, make sure you are prepared. Hiking in the colder months can give you a whole new perspective on the world and the beauty it holds, just make sure that you do everything you can to make the adventure safe as well as fun.