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Dressing For Winter Hiking

dressing for winter hikingDressing properly for a day out hiking in the winter can make the event more enjoyable.  The key is to dress in layers of wicking material, so your sweat is wicked away from your body, and doesn’t sit next to your skin for the day.

You should have a minimum of three layers on: inner, middle and outer.

Your inner layer should be a wicking thermal layer- think long johns.  You should have an upper body and lower body set of underwear for this layer.

The middle layer should be your thermal layer- think fleece, long sleeved pullover etc.  This layer would be suffice if you are out on a warm winter day.

Your outer layer should be a jacket that is water and wind resistant.  You don’t want this layer to be too heavy, as it will cause you to be too hot once you get going.

You should definitely invest in a pair of warm hiking boots.  As an alternative to shelling out more money on a second pair of boots, find a combination of warm socks that will fit comfortably into your regular boots.  This can be tricky, so make sure you try it out on a short practice hike before you go off on a long one.  You want to wear one pair of wicking thin socks and a thicker pair to keep your toes warm and comfortable.

You might like to wear a toque on your head- the knitted variety is fine.  This will help keep the warmth in your body, and keep your ears warm!

For your hands, choose a pair of gloves that are thin enough to allow you full control of your poles, but warm enough to keep your hands at a comfortable temperature.  I find that if I am wearing mittens, my hands get too hot but if I am wearing gloves, they are too cool.