Winter is about snow and freezing weather; sometimes a hiker feels hot and then cold. What can you do outdoors to enjoy the weather and what should you wear?
Onwards and upwards!
If the snow is deep, you will get hot whatever your mode of travel – unless you are riding on a sledge. So, you should rely on layers and remember that it is ok if you feel a little cool when you get going. Movement warms your body, and you will soon feel warm. However, sweating is not good either. You should be able to tighten your trousers properly at the ankle and wear leg warmers or put on a high pair of boots to ensure that snow does not get inside your show and make your socks wet.
Anyone travelling on a sledge should be insulated from the cold radiating from the snow with, for example, a thermal mat. A hood offers the best protection against the wind and keeps your cheeks warm too.
Taking a break
A break coat is lovely if you are enjoying a longer rest. Snacking tends to mean that you have to take off your gloves, which, once removed, should be hidden under your coat to wait until you can slip them back on. Those more prone to freezing fingers may want to wear a thinner pair of gloves under their mittens for activities that require more precision. Shops also stock single- and multi-use finger and toe warmers. It is sensible to use them too. A break allows you to enjoy a warm drink and, if necessary, change into a dry pair of socks or gloves, which you have packed in your rucksack.
Skis and so forth
Snowshoes, gliding snowshoes or touring skis are the best option for soft deep snow. Poles with wider baskets ensure that your poles will not sink too deep into the snow. A group of people wearing snowshoes enables excursions for many others too. A packed snowshoe trail is well suited to hikers and fatbike riders. Before heading out onto frozen lakes or sea ice to tour skate or walk, ensure that the ice conditions are suited to that. Seeing someone else on the ice will not necessarily mean that the ice is safe. Anyone heading onto ice should hang ice picks around their neck even when the ice is safe to walk on.
Winter excursions are about more than just enjoying the cold weather and clean white snow. There are wet, sleety and slushy days too. And darkness. On milder days, you should be wearing clothes with a membrane protecting against moisture, appropriate layers and waterproof footwear. Along trails where snow has first been packed and has then turned to ice, boots with spikes offer the best grip. A head torch in your rucksack means that a longer than planned hiking trip comes to a satisfactory end.
A warm welcome to winter attractions recommended by Uuvi
! The car parks marked with a snowflake are maintained through the winter.