Note: As you prepare, remember that if you are carrying a baby on your front and in your coat, your body heat will provide a lot of warmth for them. If you backcarry on top of your jacket, they will not get your body heat. They will also need to be dressed warmer than you since they will be less active than you.
- Check the weather forecast, there is a big difference between 20° and 30° F.
- Decide how long you want to spend outside. In general the colder it is, the less time you want to be outside.
- What to wear: It’s important to stay clear of cotton whenever possible. Cotton will keep moisture on your skin, which will make you colder faster. Wool, silk, and synthetics are great because they wick, or take moisture away from your skin. When you feel dry, your body can maintain a warmer temperature.
- Use your layers! On really cold days think “4”. Start with a base, or tight, layer against your body. Silk is warmest but possibly too warm if using lots of energy. A loose lightweight layer above your base, followed by a wool sweater or something with more bulk for warmth, and an outer layer to protect from snow, rain, or wind. Click here for more detailed information about materials.
- Water: you might not be as thirsty as you are in warmer weather, but your body will regulate itself better when hydrated.
- Of course no winter hike is complete without a nice steamy cup of hot chocolate to follow. Enjoy!