These past few months in New England, we have had record snowfall. As I am writing this post, it is snowing again. We are expecting another foot of snow on top of the 90 inches already sitting in my backyard. So I have been taking full advantage of doing some winter hiking and snowshoeing.
If you are an avid hiker like myself and love being outdoors, don’t let some snow and ice stop you from getting outside and enjoying nature. I like to do a combination of winter hiking and snowshoeing, depending on how much snow is on the ground. You can do both just about anywhere. Don’t be afraid to go out and explore some areas that might interest you.
Winter hiking can be a lot of fun as long as you have the right gear. I like to dress in layers to keep myself warm. It also allows you to shed layers if you get too hot. I recommend that anyone going out in cold conditions to wear some base layers. They keep you warm and help wick sweat away from your body. There is nothing worse than being cold out on the trail. When I winter hike, I like to wear a good set of spikes and gaiters for my boots and always carry some trekking poles.
Here is what I like to wear:
Once you have your base layer set, you can now add some more layers to it. I like to wear a good warm fleece and snow pants or just some warm quick-dry hiking pants with some gaiters.
I highly recommend wearing some boot gaiters. They help to keep your boots dry and allow you to get through low shrubs.
Now it’s time for a good winter jacket to round out your layers. This is a great one made by North Face. It is good for mobility.
It’s a softshell design but boasts the PrimaLoft Eco Insulation. This PrimaLoft Eco Insulation provides the lightweight performance to keep the heat inside while blocking the weather from penetrating. The Apex Universal fabric is great for resisting the wind while still maintaining breathability and water resistance. It’s a four-way stretch fabric, so it won’t constrict your mobility when you’re on the mountain. When the weather really starts to turn, you can pop up the insulated hood to block the wind and snow. If it’s too warm, you can remove the hood altogether. You’ll have two hand pockets and two chest pockets for storage.
A good pair of spikes for your boots is a must when you are out on an icy mountain or lake. Kahtoola makes a great set of removable spikes for your boots. I always have mine with me on any winter hike.
Kahtoola’s MICROspikes are a pocket-sized traction system that allows anyone of any age to get out and safely enjoy winter. These slip-on spikes dig into all types of terrain — ice, packed snow, wet rocks, concrete, and scree. Extremely durable, they attach securely to your footwear and require no special buckles or straps.
Get out and enjoy the view. Here is a video I shot out on the lake after a recent snowstorm. The wind was swirling up the snow. It was very cool.
Snowshoeing is another great way to hit the trail when there is too much snow to winter hike. Wearing snowshoes allows you to stay on top of the snow without sinking all the way into it. Depending on the amount of snow, it can be a really great workout. It is a lot harder than hiking. Don’t expect to cover as much ground as on a hike.
Here are some recent pictures of some of my snowshoeing adventures.
Try it for yourself.
These Sherpa snowshoes are designed to exceed the expectations of the recreational snowshoer by truly creating a snowshoe that has everything you need for a winter trail walk. This series has the user-friendly features like the quick click ratcheting binding and ultra-durable HDPE decking, so this shoe can be passed down for years of trouble-free snowshoeing.
Each pole can be extended to any length from 25.5 to 53 inches in length. The poles extend by a turn locking system and each pole has to measure on the middle section for easy adjustment to your preferred height on every trip. They also have a durable steel tip hidden under the rubber foot at the bottom for trekking on more rocky and uneven terrain. Each pole also comes with an optional snow disk for year-round enjoyment OR for use on softer ground coverings so the poles won’t sink.
I hope this post will motivate and encourage you to get out and do some winter hiking and snowshoeing. There is nothing like being out in nature. Slow down and enjoy the stillness nature has to offer.
Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in Being. Allow nature to teach you stillness.
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