We prepared winter hiking gear list of 7 MUST HAVE items. Minimum that will make your hike enjoyable and comfortable.
Hiking in the winter is a little bit different than hiking when it is warm. In winter, you have another natural “obstacle” – cold, and if you are not prepared, your hike will quickly turn from enjoyable adventure into a terrible experience. To make your winter hike a little bit more magical, make sure you got these items on this list:
Down Puffer Jacket 🧥
Down is one of the best materials available on the market for anyone recreating outside in colder weather. It’s lightweight and extremely warm!
Compressibility is one of the best features of down, which makes it easy very easy to pack in your backpack. When enjoying the view from a blustery mountaintop, you’ll be snug as a bug in a down puffer jacket.
Synthetic or Merino Base Layer 👕
In my opinion this is an absolute must – remember to layer up! Inner layer as important as the outer layer – remember that. Most of your clothes are likely made out of cotton, but you’ll want to avoid it when hiking in winter. Cotton cools when it becomes damp from sweat, which increases your risk of hypothermia.
Instead, keep yourself safe by dressing with merino wool base layers. Merino wool clothes could be pricy, but it is definitely worth it. Think of it as an investment into your health , and it will last a while if you take proper care of it.
Synthetic materials are a more budget-friendly option, and would be good for cold weather as well.
If you don’t know weather down or synthetic is better, you can read the difference between two materials here.
Rain Shell ☔️
In cold weather, staying warm means staying dry. You should always have a rainshell handy in case it might rain.
Look for models that provide coverage over the hips. Ponchos are an excellent, budget-friendly option that can be donned on over your backpack, providing added protection to your gear. And, it takes very little space in your backpack when folded.
Buff or Neck Gator
Exposed skin on your neck is a major heat-loss point on the body. It doesn’t matter how good your jacket and underlayers are if you’re losing all your body heat through your neck.
Throw on a merino wool or synthetic neck gator for added insulation and wind protection.
If you hiking through the snow – microspikes will be a lifesaver(literally).Hiking over snowy peaks is a delight, but it comes with the danger of slipping and falling.
A pair of microspikes are easy to carry in your pack and can be slipped on over regular hiking boots as needed. The added grip and stability will greatly enhance your safety and give you a wider range of territory you can hike in over the winter months.
Hiking poles are also excellent for improving your grip and stability when traversing snowy and icy terrain. While hiking poles are typically reserved for overnight trips when you’ll be carrying a heavy pack, they are also a terrific tool for improving your safety and agility when day-hiking in the winter.
Poles can help you create anchor points when negotiating slippery slopes, which greatly improves your speed and safety.
Admiring a mountaintop view isn’t much fun if you’re cold and shivering. Bring along a thermos of hot tea or cocoa to warm yourself up while you rest at viewpoints. This is also an excellent strategy for staying hydrated since sipping water is far less enticing in cold weather.
Hiking in winter brings a unique sense of wonder, but it’s not without its unique challenges. Colder temperatures, precipitation, and icy surfaces all present a danger. However, all of these can be overcome with proper planning and appropriate gear.