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November 09, 2020

Winter hiking isn’t for the careless hiker; if you make the wrong move during a treacherous winter hike it can have dangerous consequences. One of the most crucial steps you must take before and during a winter hike is to keep your body warm at all costs. Frostbite and hypothermia are very real dangers when on a winter excursion—especially when working out and sweating. Before you head out on your next winter adventure, keep these tips for staying warm when hiking this winter in mind.

Layer Your Clothing Effectively

Layered clothing is the most vital asset of your winter outdoor hikes. Not only can you remove clothing as you warm up, but layers will also keep you dry in wet conditions. Your base layer should be skintight and water-repellant—perfect for keeping sweat off your skin.

The second layer consists of insulation. Insulation layers should also be water-repellant when possible. However, it’s more important that they’re warm and efficiently hold your body’s warmth within the layers.

Finally, the last layer is an outer shell layer dedicated to keeping water out of your layers and off your skin. Outer shells often have their own insulation, but you should still wear your extra layers underneath.

Do a Lengthy Warm-Up

Warm-ups are essential when the weather gets cold. Once your limbs have started moving, you’ll be less likely to sprain or injure yourself while hiking. It’ll also increase your body temperature before you begin your hike. While warm-ups are always an important part of any exercise, they’re even more important when you need to stay warm.

Know When It’s Time To Go Inside

One of the wisest tips for staying warm when hiking this winter is knowing your limits. On a hike, you may not always have someone with you to help you if anything goes wrong. You must put your safety at a high priority or risk falling to the dangers of an often-hazardous winter hiking environment. It’s time to go inside if:

You Get Wet

Moisture and cold are a famous killer combination. Whether it’s rain, snow, or sweat—if water penetrates your layers in any way, you either need to remove the wet layer or get inside if the moisture persists. Sweat should quickly evaporate from your base layer—if it doesn’t, there might be an issue with the layers you chose.

Weather Becomes Hazardous

When planning out your hike, you should check the weather religiously. Sometimes, however, there are weather-related events that can’t be predicted or may pop out of nowhere. Keep an eye on the weather and any temperature drops. If the temperatures drop below a threshold you’re comfortable with or a storm brews, turn around.

At Escape Outdoors, we have the outerwear brands you can trust to keep you safe during a refreshing winter hike. Some brands, as seen in our selection of The North Face apparel, even specialize in waterproof outer layers that are perfect for winter hiking safety.

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