Winter doesn’t have to mean being indoors all the time. You can still enjoy the spell-binding natural wonders of the country, as you hit your favorite hiking trail, or indulge in your favorite outdoor activities. As long as you take the necessary precautions, going hiking in the winter can be equally, if not more, exhilarating and fun than in the summer months.

Read on for a few important tips that you should keep in mind when planning to hike in cold weather:

Dress in layers:

While you may be tempted to wear your favorite fluffy winter jacket as you head out on your favorite hiking trail, this can be quite an impractical choice. Instead, choose to dress in layers that you can adjust. And most importantly remember to make sure that you wear a base layer that incorporates a wicking fiber that removes sweat and prevents it from freezing which can even lead to hypothermia.

Wear a hat:

If left unprotected, you can lose a lot of body heat through your head. What’s more, with almost a third of the body’s energy being used by the brain, it’s of paramount importance that it is protected from the elements to ensure optimum functioning.

Keep your water bottle warm:

A foam sleeve is an essential piece of equipment for cold weather hiking, giving you access to warm liquids to warn your body and spirit on long, cold hikes. Make sure that your water bottle is always properly sealed and keep it inside your jacket to keep it warm for longer.

Be ready for shorter days:

When planning your hiking trail, make sure to account for shorter daylight hours to ensure that you make the most use of daylight hours when hiking. Additionally, invest in a quality headlight or flashlight with enough batteries to last you your entire trip.

Carry sleeping bag liner:

A cheap and light addition to your hiking gear is a sleeping bag liner that will ensure that you get quality rest for all the outdoor activities you have planned. It can easily increase the temperature of your bag by 10 or so degrees and save you the trouble of having to lug a heavy sleeping bag on the trail.

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