There’s something so Canadian about cold air nipping at your cheeks and the crunch of snow underfoot. Embracing the elements for a brisk hike makes for a perfect winter day. But before you head out, it’s important to properly prepare for cold weather conditions.
Layer, Layer, Layer!
The secret to success when it comes to winter hiking is dressing appropriately for the weather. It’s important to know what types of materials to wear—and how to layer them properly. This four-part system can be used for both the upper and lower body, adding or removing layers as weather conditions change throughout the day.
1. The base layer
Acting as a “second skin,” a snug-fitting layer made of merino wool or a synthetic sport material like polypropylene will wick sweat away and prevent you from getting chilled.
2. The mid layer
A fleece mid layer is both warm and affordable. It adds insulation while continuing to move moisture away from your body. A midlayer should allow for a base layer underneath without being too bulky.
3. The insulator
Down or synthetic down jackets (like Primaloft) offer high warmth to weight ratios and make excellent insulating layers to protect from the cold.
4. The shell
A high-quality, waterproof and breathable shell (made of a material like Gortex) is lightweight and offers full protection from the elements. Make sure to read the instruction tags to ensure proper cleaning and caring for the material.
Don’t forget to grab these accessories!
On The Trail
Tips for safer trekking
DO check the weather before you go.
DON’T hike in the dark.
DO wear a toque and neck warmer, and bring an extra pair of mitts.
DON’T wear cotton as it loses its insulating properties when wet.
DO keep moving to stay warm.
DON’T work up a sweat as you’ll get chilled.
DO snack on nutrient dense, high-calorie foods like trail mix, cheese and jerky.
DON’T bring fresh fruits and veggies: They’ll freeze in sub-zero temperatures.