Winter Hiking Tips

Teach Your (Bloggers) Well

I am very confident that I have fallen in love. The wonderful & amazing feelings of love; the charming smile, the fluttering lips, goose bumps on my skin, the thrill, the emotion and the promise of excessive joy. Everything all at once seems gorgeous.Yes I am deeply in love with winter hiking on the mountains. Last weekend I hiked in the deep snow of the Rocky mountain, passed the treeline and hiked almost 11,400 feet. Each of the adventure bring a different type of pleasure, excitement and unforgettable memories. Lots of people enjoy winter hiking and It will be my pleasure to share some of the tips from my own experience.

For most reasonably healthy people with some basic level of fitness, a handful of month is enough to prepare for a hike. “ Climbing is the best training for climbing.”

If you like to exercise outside then trail running is best or hiking uphill with a pack for a few hours.

Inside your house run or hike on the stairs up and down.

If you do not want to go out then indoor gym works perfect too.

But make sure to alternate between cardio and the weight lifting.  

In the cardio do the stairmaster or treadmill at incline for one hour.

Weight training is necessary to develop the endurance. For the weight training do the  leg raise, calf raise, squat using either free weight or the bar, quad and hamstring curls and lunges.

Practice side way movement which has the same rhythm of a forward skip: step to the side with your right foot, then skip bringing your feet together in midair. Repeat and change to the right leg.

Practice the breathing exercise ( Pranayama) every morning, which helps me when I hike on the higher altitude.

Keep one day just to do stretching of each muscle or try the yoga moves. Most of the gyms are now giving yoga classes. If you are new to yoga, it may be a little hard but gradually it gets easier. The Downward dog, warrior, tree pose, triangle,  cobra and the Pigeon pose are wonderful ways to stretch all the different parts of your body and make them stronger.

Day of the Hike.

Eat some fatty, rich food and protein to store the energy for hiking which takes usually seven hours or more.Drink some hot tea or chocolate milk to warm up your body.

In winter temperature varies at the bottom of the trail and  on the summit of the mountain. So to regulate your body temperature and to stay comfortable, use layers of clothing, waterproof pants, thermal undershirt, thermal under pant, fleece jacket and wind and waterproof jacket on the top.

Thick socks, knee high gaiters, hiking poles and snow boots with crampons are very useful. When the trail is icy, crampons* the metal spikes that attached to your boot) make it easier to hike.

Aside from basic hiking gear, one should always have a trail map, a pocket knife, small flashlight, cell phone, a first aid kit, water bottles and a few energy bar.

Sun sets much earlier in winter months so plan to start early and be off the trail before dark. The weather varies above the tree line  so be prepared about the wind speed and daylight hours.

I hope the above tips will be helpful for my readers for their upcoming hikes.



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