How to Stay Warm on Winter Hikes

January 12, 2015
Photograph by Jerry and Marcy Monkman.

A few simple tricks can eliminate many small inconveniences of winter hiking.

  • Designate specific jacket pockets for your hat and gloves so you can easily keep track of them.
  • Keep an energy bar in a pocket close to your body to avoid breaking your teeth on a frozen, rock-hard snack.
  • Carry a thermos with a hot beverage inside for stomach-warming pleasure.
  • Don a neck gaiter or liner balaclava to keep your chin and neck warm.
  • Wear liner gloves for extra hand warmth and cold-weather tasks that require dexterity.
  • Attach a keychain thermometer to your pack to keep track of the temperature.
  • Shop for snowshoes that compactly nest together for packing convenience.
  • If you’re wearing crampons, choose gaiters with heavy-duty fabric around the ankles to minimize tears and punctures.

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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.