Must Have Gear For A Winter Day Hike
Snowfall in the Colorado High Country is just around the corner yet many of us still enjoy getting out for a day hike here and there. With that said, here is some of the Must Have Gear For A Winter Day Hike. Keep in mind, in the winter you’re going to run into more extremes then when hiking in the summer and fall months. You may see temperatures ranging from 40 degrees to below 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) in a matter of just a few short hours. Winds can kick up to a blustery 50 mph or more, bringing with it wind chill. You may experience scorching sun and snow glare to thick, dense fog. From blowing snow to sleet, rain, freezing fog, freezing rain and more, you need to be prepared for a variety of weather conditions and how quickly they can change here in the mountains. When preparing for a winter day’s hike, be sure to have proper footwear. Insulated hiking boots and warm socks, even sock liners if desired, are a must. Other footwear to consider might be high gaiters, traction aids and snowshoes. Be sure to wear or pack a nice warm hat. Fleece or wool is best to keep in your body heat, which we lose rapidly from our head. Keep your fingers warm with a pair of fleece or wool gloves and consider waterproof gloves with insulated liners. Layering is key when hiking in the winter time. Find a nice warm base layer such as long underwear or a long sleeve jersey. Next, add a mid-layer such as a fleece jacket or fleece pullover, an insulated vest or soft shell jacket, perhaps layer with one or more of these. A warm jacket is essential, especially if you end up staying out longer than planned or after dark. A puffy, insulated coat with a hood as well as a waterproof/windproof hooded jacket is a good option to pack. When picking out your winter hiking pants, look for hard shell, waterproof/windproof pants that zip down the full length of the leg. Again, be sure to wear lots of layers and be sure to bring spare clothing. A good backpack to carry your supplies is good to have as you’ll want to bring survival gear with you just in case you have to spend a night outdoors. Be sure to pack high energy snacks and plenty of water. If you plan on hiking above tree line, you may want to consider bringing gear such as a face mask, goggles, crampons, an ice ax and avalanche gear such as a shovel, beacon and probe. These are just a few suggestions of Must Have Gear For A Winter Day Hike. Most of all, be prepared for anything and pack accordingly.
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