Sunday, October 30, 2011
Hiking In Winter Basics
Find Some Experienced Companions: All right, I must say that for those of you with little to no winter experience, this point is actually more important than the gear point. When I stressed the importance of the gear being first I was going under the assumption that if you were looking to winter hike than you most likely had some basic experience with the outdoors. If not, just swap this with the gear point and you'll be fine! Sure, you can learn on your own and from reading books but you'll learn much faster and have a much better time if you take your first few real winter hikes with someone that has some winter experience. If it's very cold out you'll find that simple things you never gave a thought to before are suddenly quite challenging! Things like having a bite to eat for example.
Start Small: It's much better to get out and have some fun, enjoy yourself and get comfortable with the winter environment on shorter, safer hikes than it is to plan Mount Washington as your first excursion. You're also going to find that you'll be carrying much more weight in your pack even if it's just a for a short day hike. Also, if you've never tried snowshoeing you may find that it's often much more tiring than regular hiking. You'll have an extra five or six pounds on your feet!