Some people are terrified to hike in the snow. Some don’t because it’s too cold. Some people will hike in the snow but not the ice.
Hiking in the snow or ice, for that matter, isn’t always a bad thing. You can see a lot of cool stuff during snowfall and ice accumulation that you don’t ever get to see without those conditions. Use common sense and prepare to hike in the snow and during other wintry conditions.
I love summer the most for hiking, but I always look forward to hiking in the snow. I especially enjoy the icy conditions because you get to see frozen waterfalls.
In this article, I will cover the basics of how you can hike in the snow without any significant issues or concerns.
Hike in the Snow: Clothing and Gear
The first step to being able to hike in the snow is wearing appropriate clothing and taking the right gear.
You want to make sure you layer up for the cold. You want to wear sturdy boots with good traction. If it’s windy out, consider wearing a windbreaking shell or raincoat. Bring some hand warmers to keep you extra warm when you need them.
I also ensure I have plenty to drink and snack on when I hike in the snow. Hiking in the snow can take a lot of energy from you, especially if the snow is deeper. It is essential to keep your hydrated and fueled.
Having the clothing and gear for hiking in the snow will make a world of difference for you.
Hike in the Snow: Safety and Technique
When you go for a hike in the snow, you need to consider safety and techniques to keep yourself safe.
The snow will make everything slick. So, you need to practice common sense safety techniques. Take it slow and watch each step. The snow can cover hazards you’d typically see, such as holes or trip hazards. You’ll especially want to be careful when hiking down a hill covered in snow.
One thing we do extra is use ice cleats on the bottom of our boots. This gives us traction when we didn’t have traction before because of the snow.
The biggest thing about hiking in the snow is going a little slower than you’d typically go and focusing on adjusting your steps to give you confidence that you can move well when you hike in the snow.
Hike in the Snow: Icy Conditions
Hiking on the ice isn’t always a bad thing. You can see amazing things, such as frozen waterfalls and creeks.
But it’s the same as if you hike in the snow. You need to put extra precautions when going on ice. Stay away from the edges of cliffs and areas that you can slide off from. Watch each step you take. Use ice cleats (affiliate link to what we use. If you buy from that link, I get paid for it) and dress warmly.
One thing I always do when I hike in the snow or ice is not going alone. If you can hike with someone else, that will be the safest way.
Make sure you consider your safety first when you hike in the snow and ice.
Now that you know how to hike in the snow safely, you’ll do fine. Always put safety first, don’t go alone, and tell someone where you’re going before you go. Thank you for reading this article, and subscribe to my free monthly newsletter for more hiking tips.
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Thanks again for checking out another one of my articles and until next time, I’ll see you on the trail!
Founder, Hiking with Shawn
Howdy folks! My name is Shawn Gossman and I founded Hiking with Shawn. I’m an avid hiker, cyclist and outdoorsman here in the Shawnee National Forest. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois and never want to leave. Click here to learn more about Shawn Gossman