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11 of the top Winter Hiking Hacks

December 07, 2017

11 of the top winter hiking hacks. Visit to see the hacks.

Hiking in a winter wonderland is one of the greatest things to do during the most wonderful time of the year.   

There is nothing like breathing in the crisp, cool air in the warmth of making memories with those you love.  Hiking in the cooler weather can also bring many challenges, and today I want to share with you my top eleven hacks for hiking in the winter season.  

1.  Attach zip ties

It is important to many of us to wear gloves in the cooler weather, and this can make unzipping your jacket rather difficult.  Try attaching zip ties to your zippers so that they are easier to open with mittens. You will be amazed at the difference!  If you don’t have zip ties on hand, you can also use a binder or key ring.


2.  Bring sunglasses  

Did you know that a snow hike can be very hard on your eyes???  Sun is reflected on the snow, so make sure you bring sunglasses.

3.  Don’t wear too many pairs of socks

Wearing too many pairs of socks can restrict your blood flow, causing cold feet.  Likewise, it is important to make sure you don’t tie your boots too tight.

4.  Wear thermacare patches

Tip credited to one of our followers, Lisa W.  Thank you, Lisa, for sharing this great idea!

"Thermacare patches (yeah the kind you use for hurt backs) generate 8-12 hours of good core heat and are extremely lightweight - wrap one across your chest and split one 1/2 in each of your boots if you find yourself in the unexpected night out."


5.  Carry your snacks and pack warm post-hike drinks

Have you ever been hungry on a hike, but stopping to grab your snack seems like more work than it’s really worth?  Avoid ignoring your hunger pains by carrying your snacks in a front pocket so that they’re easily accessible without stopping to dip through your backpack.  Another great tip:  since pre-packaged snacks are filled with air, empty your snacks into seal-able baggies.  


When your hike is over, you will be so glad you came prepared with a nice, warm drink waiting for you at the car.  I don’t know about you, but there is something so satisfying to me about a nice, warm drink after a tough hike. Pack a hot drink in a thermos to ensure it’s warm when your hike is over.  

6.  Use an insulated water bottle

Make sure to bring an insulated water bottle, and keep it upside down.  A typical water bottle could freeze, or even burst, in freezing temperatures, so carry an insulated water bottle while hiking in the winter.  Water freezes from the top down, so when hiking in the near (and below) freezing temperatures, you will want to ensure you always have water to drink.  

7.   Stud your hiking boots

Winter weather can bring about some icy hiking conditions.  Use caution and stay safe on the trails by studding your hiking boots.  Did you know you can make your own ice cleats out of your own pair of winter hiking boots??? All you need is a power drill and hex-head sheet metal screws.  If you place the screws on the treads, not between them, you’ll have extra grip when walking. 

8.  Pack a first aid kit in a waterproof container   

It’s always a good idea to carry a first aid kit with you on the trails, and a waterproof container is a great choice because you don't want to get your first aid items wet.  Get the perfect size to pack all your essential items for a first aid kit, like band aids, antiseptic towelettes, gauze rolls, and a few aspirin.  This will keep everything dry and in one place.  

9.  Use lithium batteries 

Lithium batteries generally perform better in freezing conditions, so use lithium batteries instead of alkaline.  

10.  Duct tape works wonders 

Bring duct tape.  Did you know that there are 15+ uses for duct tape in the great outdoors?  With duct tape, you can add extra insulation in your boots, splint a leg, reseal food containers, and even make a hammock!  It’s amazing all the brilliant things one can create with duct tape!  

11.  Bring binder clips

 There is nothing worse than having wet clothes on a cold winter hike, or putting said wet clothes in your backpack only to find a foul smell later on when you unpack from your trip.  Avoid uncomfortable and smelly wet clothes by bringing binder clips. This way, you can hang your wet clothes off of your backpack.

I hope that you learned some new great hacks you can use on your next hiking adventure this winter.  


Also remember to include these 12 Essential Items you Need to Enjoy Hiking in Winter.Now we want to hear from our hiking community. 

What are some other hacks that you have for winter hiking? We are always looking for new tips and tricks for the most enjoyable experience on the trails for our fellow hikers.

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