Braving the Cold: Layer Up and Gear Up for Your Winter Hiking Adventures

Braving the Cold: Layer Up and Gear Up for Your Winter Hiking Adventures

Are you planning a winter hike? That’s awesome! But before you hit the trails, let’s make sure you have the right clothing to stay comfortable in any weather condition. Here’s some of my favorite gear to help you get ready for your next outdoor winter adventure.

First things first, let’s talk about your feet.

They are your most important hiking asset, so protecting them with the right socks and boots is important. Opt for medium-weight synthetic socks with cushioned soles (Darn Tough Hikers are my favorite), as they will help reduce moisture and prevent blisters. Avoid cotton socks, which are slow to dry and provide no additional cushioning. Choose comfortable and suitable boots for the terrain you’ll be hiking on. Make sure they are waterproof and have good traction, as you may encounter wet and slippery conditions. I love Oboz

Now, let’s move on to your legs. 

Start with synthetic underwear that reduces moisture and is easy to wash and dry. The right underwear is important and can make or break a hike! So don’t skip the basics. For trousers, consider convertible pants or shorts, as they will give you the flexibility to adjust to changing weather conditions. Look for synthetic fabric that dries quickly and has wicking technology, as this will help draw moisture away from your skin and keep you dry. Don’t forget to throw a lightweight pair of waterproof trekking pants in your day pack, as they will keep you dry in the rain and wind. Make sure they have zippers at the bottom to allow you to put them on and take them off easily over your boots.

Your core is also important, so let’s ensure you have the right layers. 

Your base layer should be made of synthetic fabric and come in long and short-sleeved tops. This layer will directly contact your skin, so choosing a comfortable and moisture-wicking fabric is important. For insulation, get a fleece jacket, a medium-weight sweater, or a down-filled or synthetic-filled jacket. These layers will help keep you warm when the temperature drops. Top it off with a lightweight waterproof jacket to keep you dry in the rain and wind. Make sure the jacket has a hood to protect your head and neck from the elements.

Don’t forget about your hands! 

I know it’s the first thing to get cold on my body! Make sure you have a pair of regular wool gloves for moderately cold temperatures and waterproof gloves for wind and rain protection. These gloves will help keep your hands warm and dry, and allow you to use your hands with ease. Consider bringing hand warmers as well, in case the temperature drops significantly.

Lastly, let’s talk about your head and neck. 

A scarf or bandana is a versatile item that can be used to protect your neck from the sun or keep you warm in cold weather. Sunglasses with proper UVA and UVB protection are a must, as the sun can be quite strong (even in Ohio).  Choose a pair that is comfortable and fits well. And don’t forget the wooly hat that covers your ears to keep you warm in the cold.

Remember, layering is key to staying comfortable in winter’s ever-changing weather. I hope that sharing some of my favorite gear makes it simple for you to pick the right clothing for your next winter adventure. Have an amazing hike! 

To find a trail near you, download AllTrails+ and snag 30% off Here!

See ya on the trails! 

Jill Allen
Wife & Mom of 5
Founder of Hike.Live.Explore.
Author of Set Fire
Host of Find Your Fierce Podcast

Ready to unleash your inner adventurer? Take on the Winter Trailblazer Challenge and hike 60 miles in January and February! Join a challenging community for adventure-seekers who love to get outside, unplug, and recharge in nature! Our mission is to inspire you to live differently by exploring the great outdoors more and connecting with others who share your love of adventure! Check out Hike.Live.Explore. Here

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Jill Allen

Jill Allen

Jill Allen is a leading Fitness & Mindset Coach. As a wife, a mom to 5, and a multiple business-owner, she is always practicing what she preaches and teaches by making personal growth a priority in her life. She loves teaching clients her secrets and her mindset system that has propelled her to massive success - and nothing fulfills her more than watching her clients achieve the same massive results by removing mindset blocks.

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