Hiking can be such a fun way to spend a winter day. It gets you out of the house at a time that we tend to forgo fresh air for duvets and is a fantastic form of exercise with a scenic payoff of beautiful natural surroundings…and it seems like everyone is getting in on the action: hiking is becoming increasingly popular throughout the UK with the number of walking groups steadily growing for a number of years. However, despite the popularity of hiking, you might feel a little hesitant to be out in nature during the cold winter months. Don’t worry, it’s a common apprehension – luckily, we’ve got some top tips on how to hike safely and stay warm (while still looking stylish) even on a crisp winter’s day.
What to wear hiking in the winter
Part of enjoying your winter hike is making sure you have the right wardrobe. You most likely want to wear clothing that’s suitable for cold weather but that won’t make you look ultra-frumpy. Luckily, we can help you out with minimalist gear that will allow you to look elegant while still braving low temperatures. Our Waterproof Winter Parka will easily protect you from the elements with its comfortable-yet-stylish design, cosy fleece lining, waterproof outer shell and protective hood.
There are several other brands out there that offer stylish options for everything from snow/alpine pants and base layers to fleece hoodies and vests. Brands like Patagonia and Sundried offer products made with sustainable business practices and from eco-friendly materials. Keep in mind that it might cost a tad more to buy from these kinds of ethical/fair trade brands, but the price is worth it because their products are of higher quality and built to last. This means you’ll have hiking gear you can use from one winter to the next instead of having to keep replacing items continuously.
How do you prepare for a winter hike?
Once you’ve got your wardrobe settled, make sure you’re fully prepared for the different scenarios that can occur when you’re hiking in cold weather.
Dress in layers
If you’re wondering how to stay warm hiking in winter, the key is in wearing layers. Lightweight layers that are easy to shed work great so that you can stay warm initially, and then take off layers once you’ve heated up a bit from the hike. Wearing several lightweight layers instead of one bulky coat can also allow you to keep your shape and avoid looking frumpy.
Wear appropriate footwear
It’s imperative when hiking in winter that you’ve got the right shoes. Invest in some high-quality hiking boots that will make it easy to traverse any terrain. You’ll be in trouble if you’re wearing sneakers or flats that don’t have a good tread on them – snowy or icy terrain can be super slippery, and you’ll want to avoid any potential for a fall.
Bring snacks and water
You’ll most likely need some extra fuel when you’re out hiking, so remember to pack some healthy snacks (such as trail mix, nuts, fruit) that can give you a boost of energy. It’s also crucial to bring water with you – you’ll want to stay totally hydrated during your trek. Even if it’s cold outside, you can still get pretty parched if you’re exerting yourself on your hike.
Bring other supplies
Although you don’t want to be lugging a ton of stuff around, it can still be helpful to tote a few supplies with you on your hike. The sun tends to set pretty early in winter, so it can be helpful to bring a torch. You also might want to bring a small first aid kit (or at least a few plasters with you in case you get a blister or minor cut).
You might be thinking you don’t need SPF if the sun’s not out, but that’s not true! Your skin can be damaged by UV rays anytime you’re outdoors, so remember to apply sunscreen before you leave the house (and bring some with you to reapply later if possible). You can also get sunburnt when there’s snow because your skin gets burned by the reflection. So, remember that sunscreen is important – even in the wintertime!
Pay attention to your surroundings
So how do you hike in cold weather conditions, exactly? Well, you shouldn’t face any problems if you stay mindful of your environment. Rainfall can cause new streams, snow can cause possible landslides and so on, so the conditions on the hike you take could vary from day to day. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to always stay cautious. Try to stick to well-marked paths or areas that seem safe, and never hike alone. Use common sense – if the hike doesn’t look like a good idea, choose a different route! Likewise, if the weather report notes a possibility of rain, snow or high winds, consider rescheduling your hike for a different day.
Hopefully, by following these tips, you can enjoy a nice hike anytime during winter. And if you want to stay looking chic, check out our outerwear for fashion-forward threads that will keep you looking stylish as you trek around the wintery terrain.