It’s Motivation Monday! I’ll admit that I’m a little bit of a contradiction: I hate the cold, but I love the snow! My sweet husband and I both enjoy hiking anywhere we find ourselves in the world. And since this is the Year of Active Travel, I thought I’d do a little write up on the ins and outs of snow hiking!
Disclaimer: I am not receiving payment or complimentary products for this post. I just want to help you be as prepared as possible for your own adventures!
1. Base Layer
Before you go, make sure you’re appropriately prepared for the chill. You will warm up on the hike, and while it may be counter-intuitive, your best bet for staying warm and cool enough is a moisture-wicking base layer for both your upper and lower body.
2. Snow Pants
I got these snow pants from L.L. Bean just a couple of weeks before our trip, and I am so glad I did! They really came in handy in both Zermatt and St. Moritz where the snow was up to my waist or higher! They kept me both dry and warm because of the moisture-resistant outer fabric and the super cozy flannel lining!
You will be glad for your base layer, but you definitely also need a nice warm sweater to trap your own body heat. It doesn’t have to be very thick, just warm. Check out the choices I took with me on our trip:
4. Hiking Boots
This is not a job for walking shoes, my friends. This is a job for snow boots! These are made by Tundra, and the style is Aurora. When choosing snow boots, go for a pair with a rubber forefoot to keep moisture off your toes, an over-the-ankle shaft, and laces to tighten as needed. Moisture can slip through a zipper! Take two pair of socks to try on with them in the store (or when you get them at home if you order online) to make sure there is enough room. Walk around in them to get a feel for them, and wear them around town or just around your home for a week or so to fully break them in!
Don’t head out without your coat! Steve and I both have puffy coats (his from L.L. Bean and mine from North Face), which are fantastic for warmth and packing light (they pack right into their own pockets and are light as air), but a waterproof coat that’s just as warm may be even better. It depends on how much you plan to be directly in the snow!
The list up to here is mostly common sense–of course you need a coat and boots! But just as important are your accessories. I’ve found that if my ears and neck are warm, the rest of me stays warmer, too! Double up if you think you might need to; you can always take something off if you get too warm. But no matter what, start out with at least one of each: a scarf, an ear warmer, and a pair of gloves! And if it’s a sunny day, don’t forget your sunglasses. The glare off the snow can be blinding!
Don’t forget some food and water! You may not think you need much water when hiking in the cold, but your body needs it no matter the temperature. We both take at least one 32-ounce refillable bottle of water wherever we go. Use your own judgement for how much food to take, but protein bars, sandwiches, trail mix, Jerky, and fruits are all good options.
Now you’re ready! Use the bathroom before you go, and perhaps bring some tissues or toilet paper with you in case you need to go in the woods. Don’t forget your camera on your way out the door! Get ready for some unbelievable scenery.
Are you ready for a wintry hike through the fluffy white stuff? Be on the lookout for more posts for this Year of Active Travel! Follow along on Instagram using the hashtag #yearofactivetravel! Want to know last year’s theme? It was 2017: Year of Islands!
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