5 Best Reason for winter mountain hiking

The higher you go vertically, the colder it becomes. Mountains are landforms that rise above its surrounding by at least 1000 feet, usually having steep slopes by the sides. Hiking on a mountain gets colder as you go upwards. Going on a winter mountain hiking trip during winter can be very dangerous.

It is more dangerous when you go hiking in mountains, especially when you go without any information or training on hiking. Winter mountain Hiking trip does not have to be restricted to warmer months only, you should be able to hit the trails at any time irrespective of the weather or climate of the environment. This article would give you an idea of things you need before going on a winter mountain hiking trip.

How cold is too cold to hike?

Hiking in warm weather is wonderful. You get to worry less about the temperature. There are several challenges an individual faces while hiking in the cold. There is a tendency of snow or rainfall which increases the rate of hypothermia and frostbite, especially if it is your first time hiking during winter then you need to read this https://camphabit.com/winter-hiking-for-beginners/.

The tendency of getting lost is higher during winter mountain hiking, there might be an avalanche that might make you lose your trail if you are not familiar with it.

Although hiking at any temperature is possible for individuals with the right gears and knowledge of winter but it is advisable for beginners to reconsider going on the trip at any temperature lower than 5°c. You would be exposing yourself to hypothermia and frostbite if you do.

winter mountain hiking


What to wear hiking in the winter

It is going to be cold probably colder than you can imagine. You hike better when you are warm and one of the ways to keep yourself warm while winter mountain hiking has a lot to do with your choice of clothing. It is not just about wearing thick jackets alone, you can still suffer hypothermia when you wear thick clothes. If you sweat while wearing the wrong fabric for the job you will end up wet. Here is a checklist of some of the winter mountain hiking gears you would be needing;

  • Layers of cloth: wearing layers of cloth helps you stay warm. It is advisable to have at least three layers of clothing. You should avoid cotton fabric, especially for the inner layer. You could get sweaty and the cotton would do a poor job of absorbing the sweat. This would make you get colder. Wear a waterproof jacket as the outer layer, in case there is rainfall or other or any other form of precipitation.
  • Waterproof hiking trousers: efficient for keeping you warm and dry.


  • Waterproof hiking boots: your feet are a hotspot for frostbite. You should keep it protected by wearing boots. It would give your leg more warmth.
  • Socks and gloves: wear very thick socks for your feet and gloves for your hands, to keep them warm.
  • Neck warmer: you should cover every part of your body that would increase the rate of heat loss. Neck warmers help to keep your neck warm throughout.
  • Gaiters: these are garments worn over the shoes and the lower part of your pants. The gaiter would prevent snow from getting inside your boots and making your socks wet.
  • Hat: you could lose a whole lot of heat through your head. Wearing a hat would help you retain your body temperature.
  • Balaclava: the Balaclava is usually made of wool, it helps to keep your face warm.

Although it is better to go for synthetic fabric, natural fabrics are not bad either. Wool is a very good natural fabric that keeps you warm.

Is it safe to hike in the winter?

Winter mountain hiking has a lot of dangers attached to it. Asides from the fact that it poses a lot of danger to your health(frostbite and hypothermia), it is always easy to get lost during winter. You might lose your trail.

You could prevent all the dangers attached if you go prepared.

  • Take a class to have knowledge of your destination.
  • Start your adventure early
  • Avoid avalanche terrain
  • Avoid slopes
  • Go with all your gears.
  • Go with navigation devices.
  • Use trekking poles.

How do you backpack in the snow?

You tend to lose interest while hiking in very harsh weather especially if you do not have the necessary gears for the activity. Winter backpacking requires extra gears to keep you warm and you would need more food than other periods of the year. You can make your backpack experience more interesting by taking note of these;

  • Be choosy about your trail and campsite: chose campsite and trails you are familiar with.
  • Maps and navigation: navigation devices should be on your list.
  • Take your camping gear along and a backpack which will be needed for packing your gear.
  • Go with Your tent,  windscreen for your tent, sleeping bag, and pads.
  • Cooking system and a lot of food and snacks. you would be needing food to keep yourself warm internally.
  • Hike during the day. You can take a rest after hiking, in your tent.
  • Go with weather-tolerant clothing. Headlamps and extra batteries.

winter mountain hiking

Where can I backpack in winter?

Backpacking is a recreational activity involving camping and hiking usually for more than a day. Choosing a good destination is one of the best ways to enjoy backpacking. Here are some of the destinations you should consider for your next backpacking;

  • W trek Patagonia: located in Chile is a trek with stunning mountain scenery. It is worth giving a try.
  • Tongariro: located in New Zealand. This is a crossing with wonderful landforms perfect for your adventure.

Other wonderful destinations you should consider for backpacking;

  • South coast track, Australia.
  • Mountains of the moon, Uganda.
  • Olumo rock, Nigeria.
  • Black canyon trail, USA

Conclusion: winter mountain hiking

Low temperature should not be a hindrance to enjoying a good hike. You should be able to go hiking any season of the year.  Having an avalanche forecast, packing all your gears, survival skills, weather tolerant clothing are all necessary for having a wonderful hiking experience.

Go hiking with the knowledge of things to meet.

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