Warming up to cold weather hiking

As summer comes to an end, don’t let the colder temperatures and snow keep you indoors … some of the best hiking is yet to come. Hiking in the crisp autumn air with the blazing colors of fall against a bright blue sky is a beautiful experience. As the season progresses, the quiet calm of new-fallen snow coupled with the sparkling of ice crystals on the ground turns the trails of the Wasatch Front into a winter wonderland.

The key to successful cold weather hiking is learning how to layer properly, keep extremities warm, stay hydrated and fueled, use microspikes/snowshoes in winter, hike on avalanche-safe and sunny trails, and keep certain essentials in your daypack.

Protecting against moisture and wind are your two biggest concerns in creating a good layering system. Evaporation of sweat cools you off rapidly, while wind convection pulls heat away from your body. The most important rule to remember when learning the layering system is to avoid cotton, at all costs. This means you ditch the T-shirt, sweatshirt and denims on a cold day in favor of synthetic materials. Cotton can be deadly, as it has no insulating properties when wet, and absorbs and holds moisture against your skin.

Learn more about winter hiking…

 

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