People sometimes ask "what should I take with me on a winter hike?". This blog gives a few suggestions.
What someone takes on a hike is largely personal. What do you like to wear and how much weight do you want to carry. You don't have to buy the latest technical outdoor clothing to have a good time. It is important that you stay warm and dry. Besides that, food, drinks and safety are things to think about. The different parts of your equipment are described below.
What do I wear on a winter hike?
Leave your thick winter coat at home or at least don't go on a hike with it. A thick coat is quickly too warm and you'll start sweating, take it off and you'll get too cold. Dress according to the layered principle. Multiple thin layers on top of each other gives you the possibility to easily adjust your clothing to your activity and the outside temperature.
Basically your clothing consists of three layers;
1. An under layer or base layer, this can be thermo underwear. The thickness can vary depending on the activity. Merino wool is worn by many people as an under layer. Merino continues to give warmth, even when it's wet and it's less likely to get a sweaty smell.
2. An intermediate layer, often a fleece layer is chosen. Fleece is a fluffy material and therefore retains warmth well. Fleece is available in all price ranges. My cheapest fleece sweater I wear the most, and is wonderfully warm. Fleece is available in all price ranges.
3. An outer layer, in any case a windbreaker but often also something for the rain. For this layer there is a very large variation available and prices can rise quickly. Some people swear by a GoreTex jacket, wind and pretty waterproof. The advantage of these jackets is that, within limits, they are made of breathable material. Personally, I often use a windbreaker that breathes well and a poncho for the rain. Also think about keeping your legs dry. A pair of rain pants can help and a pair of gaiters will prevent the snow from sinking into your shoes.
The trick is to be warm enough but not to sweat. Make sure you always have something dry in your backpack to wear during a stop. I only use my down jacket (very warm and super lightweight) during a stop or in the evening at camp. I don't walk in it.
What does my equipment look like?
What you take with you on an adventure depends entirely on what you plan to do. A day hike is something completely different from a multi-day hike. Are you going to spend the night somewhere along the way? In a cabin or in a tent?Your activity determines your packing list. However, there is a list of items that are recommended to take with you.
Drinking something warm on the way is the best way to get warm and increase your energy level. A thermos with hot chocolate can take care of this. An alternative is to bring a burner so you can prepare something along the way. The advantage of this is that you don't have to carry the weight of water, you simply melt the snow.
If you go along with our guided hike we will provide a burner, pots and pans. Bring your own mug, plate and cutlery, a good outdoor knife is always recommended.
During some adventure hikes we will explain certain techniques that may come in handy along the way. For example making fire and using map, compass and GPS. Materials for this will be made available.
A packing list for a dayhike can look like this;
· Base layer, thermo underwear, take extra shirt with you for during a stop.
· Warm sweater or fleece
· Possible insulation jacket
· Shell jacket
· Good hiking socks
· Sturdy preferably high walking shoe
· Hiking poles (not a must)
· Toilet paper
· Water bottle
· Fork, spoon
· Isolation pad to sit on
· Snacks on the road
o Dry sausage
Probably people will walk on snowshoes, this is necessary to be able to walk through the deep snow. It is important that the shoes you put on are strong enough to attach the snowshoes comfortably. This means no sports shoes but at least a B-B/C walking shoe.
Hope you enjoyed it.