Making your way through snow is a tiring business, with each step your forced to drag your foot out of the snow and causing you to use muscle sets that normal walking just doesn’t need.
Cold weather and fatigue are dangerous combinations that have brought problems for even the most experienced hikers. There are some things you can do to make hiking in the snow much easier and ultimately more enjoyable.
Lighten The Load
Do enough long distance hiking and you’ll learn to shrink the gear you take with you to a more manageable weight but if there’s still room for improvement it should be be looked at before a long snow hike.
As an example I tend to take too much personal tech. Most of its connected with one of my hobbies which I won’t go into here (that’s a completely different website).
Modern day electronics is very light but its the batteries (plus spares) that add a fair amount of weight to my pack meaning if I know a hike is going to be hard going I’ll (reluctantly) dump nearly all of this personal tech before heading out.
Can’t sing the praises of a good pair of snow shoes enough, with their whole purpose to keep you on top of the snow instead of bogged down in it they make walking in snow a hundred times easier.
By default quality snow shoes are made to be very light but this only provides a lasting product if made with the right grade materials to start with. As with anything that’s going to take a beating in the outdoors the real reviews from customers who have used a product shows up the poor snow shoes pretty quickly.
Fit is also an important factor as you can imagine. Trying to deal with the snow shoe flopping about as your walking isn’t what I’d call fun and its very tiring (the very thing your attempting to avoid).
I’m not the biggest fan of walking poles, mainly because once Ive reached the really steep, rocky parts of the mountains I like to climb the poles are just another thing to carry.
I do occasional make an exception (sometimes) for snow hiking as they do help a little. Make sure any poles you intend to use in the snow come with or are fitted with the proper baskets or their next to useless.
A general pair of walking poles doesn’t have to cost a fortune and as with the snow shoes find some customer reviews online to see how they actually hold up when being used in real situations.
Snow Hiking Safety
I know its not the most reverting subject and I’ll be the first to admit that safety presentations switch my brain off but cold weather hiking offers up a new set of possible dangers that need to be considered.
From the obvious problems associated with low temperatures to slips and falls, walking around in snow is best done with at least 2 people, if only so someone can drag you out of the holes that snow is so good at hiding.