There are no words to describe the real winter adventure. Trekking during the winter is challenging as well as fun. Yes, it could be dangerous too because of heavy snowfall. Trekking in winter can be fun if you take care of certain things.
If you are heading out on a winter trek, carry enough woolen clothes to keep your body warm. Apart from that, you must also follow some other tips for staying safe on a winter trek. This blog describes all the best tips to follow during a winter trek.
20 best tips to stay safe on a winter trek
Winter trek amidst the icy mountains and glaciers is a real adventure. Here are some of the best tips to stay comfortable on a winter trek:
1. Go with friends
Trekking with a group of friends is always safe. It is really entertaining to walk on icy paths surrounded by huge snowy mountains.
You will face several dangers while trekking in snowy areas such as slippery roads and glaciers. When you have a friend during a trek, the adventure becomes more exciting and comfortable.
2. Put on layers
This is an important tip to follow on a winter trek. Traveling in winter without warm clothes might put you in great trouble. During the daytime, you can go with minimum layers to protect your body from sweat.
While going for a trek, remove the layers and put them on the back after a trek. You need to carry a down jacket, woolen hat, and Merino wool layers like tops and bottoms. Take a face mask to protect your face from cold weather.
3. Keep yourself hydrated
The next thing you must take care of is the hydration of your body. Take an insulated bottle while going for a trek during winter. It is necessary to keep your body hydrated every time. You can also carry warm water if there is no insulated bottle.
4. Building canvas tents
If you are traveling to Antarctica or similar cold regions, nylon tents will not be of much help. Instead, you can build a canvas tent to yourself warm and comfortable. Then you can place a wood stove and ignite the fire for the whole night.
Using a foam Thermarest while doing winter trekking gives a nice sleep well for a long time.
5. Take some emergency gear
It is impossible to judge how the weather would be at the top altitude. It is a smart thing to get ready for the harsh climatic conditions on the trek.
You must carry winter gear such as extra thick blankets, a firestarter, first aid medical box, a pocket knife, and a waterproof jacket. These items will keep you warm and protect you from cold weather.
6. Keep your feet warm
Naturally, your feet get cold while trekking during the winter. As you have to go for miles, the cold feet lower your speed of walking in winter.
Take a pair of hiking socks to keep your feet dry and warm. Do not forget to carry a gaiter as it will be of much need when you have to walk on piles of snow.
7. Sunscreen lotion
Carrying a sunscreen lotion is extremely important when you head out for a winter trek. As there are varieties of sunscreen lotions available in the market, pick the one that says SPF 45 sunscreen lotion.
This cream will give you sweat-free and flexible skin for hours. Always carry a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun rays.
8. Check the weather
Yes, you must be super excited to visit a winter trek with your friends. But it is equally important to check the weather conditions before going for a winter trek. The climate in snowy regions like Antarctica can change dramatically anytime.
It is always a smart thing to check the weather before starting your winter trek for safety.
9. Carry a compass without fail
Phone tracker alone won’t help you on a trek as you might not get the network connectivity at higher altitudes. So, a compass will surely help you to locate the north direction and then plan your journey.
It is fun carrying a compass on a trek and walking throughout your journey.
10. Start when the sun is on head
It’s ok to avoid sunny days to trek during summer but not when you are trekking in winter. Your body needs the warmth of the sun to walk in chilly winters.
It is advisable to stop trekking after sunset as the temperature may go to zero degrees Celsius or lower.
11. Pack a good amount of snacks
Trekking in winter means your body needs more calories. You need to pack nutritious and protein-rich snacks to stay energetic for long hours. Snacks such as protein bars, organic pumpkin seeds, and granola bars must be part of your trekking essentials during chilly winters.
12. Take a first aid kit
Winter trekking will invite different problems in your body. You might face blisters, twisted ankles, back pain, and painful shoulders.
First aid medical box must contain all the medical essentials such as cotton balls, repellant cream, cough syrup, alcohol wipes, Antibiotic ointment, band-aid, and some painkillers.
13. Stop trekking for a while
Weather conditions will change anytime at the higher altitudes. Extreme cold weather might cause low visibility or stomach pain. You might also fall on heavy ice while trekking in the winter season.
If you feel some danger is ahead on your way, it is better to take some rest and start walking again after the weather conditions get clear.
14. Make your boots dry
After walking for some miles, you may feel the moisture in the shoes. Moisture causes difficulty in walking on uneven paths. The best thing to do is to dry your boots and jacket before starting your trekking journey.
Dry boots will make you feel easy and comfortable while walking on uneven paths.
15. Carry hand-warming packets in your bags
Hand-warming packets are essential when you have to trek during chilly winters. They will act as a lifesaving thing when the weather around you goes below zero degrees.
You can place these heat pads under the sleeping bag or mattress. These heat pads will keep you warm and give you a nice sleep in the tents.
16. Carry extra clothes
There is a high chance that your clothes get wet while trekking in the snow. Heavy snowfall during the chilly winters will make your clothes and boots wet.
It is always a better idea to carry extra pair of trekking pants and T-shirts during the winter. If your clothes are wet, it is easy to change the clothes immediately and continue your winter trek.
17. Take short breaks during the trek
During a winter trek, take short breaks to relax. Do not stop for a long time as you will feel extreme cold at a higher altitude.
Plan shorter breaks in the middle of trekking that don’t last for more than 15 minutes. Do take frequent breaks but only for a short time to protect your body from cold weather.
18. Inform someone you know during the trek
Yes, you have a compass and GPS to find the routes but informing someone you know is not a bad idea. Trekking through rough terrains involves a lot of challenges and trails.
If you inform someone you know it will be a safe thing in case you do not return within a stipulated time. In case of emergencies, the authorities will arrive at your place to pick you up.
19. Protect yourself from Avalanche Danger
There is always a chance that you might face Avalanche Danger in mountainous areas. If you feel there is any such danger on your way, stop trekking as you might face some major problems ahead.
While trekking, pick the areas that are safe and do not involve the risk of Avalanche dangers. You must also learn the tips to protect yourself from Avalanche danger.
20. Take a camera
While going for a winter trek, it is very necessary to capture photos of natural landscapes, blue skies, and icy mountains with frozen lakes. The scene of nature during the winter is unforgettable and you must capture it with your camera. You can take a panoramic view of the full snowy peaks while trekking in winter.
You must carry an action camera to take amazing images of your winter trek. It is a lightweight camera and does not rust due to water or snow.
These are some of the best tricks and tips to follow during a winter trek. They will help you to remain safe and comfortable in any kind of harsh weather at a higher altitude.
Following these tips will motivate you to trek safely during a winter trek. They will make your trip safe and enjoyable even in harsh climatic conditions.