Winter Hiking

One of the bigger challenges in winter hiking is keeping your feet warm and comfortable, especially if you’re out in the chill for prolonged periods of time. Proper winter footwear is essential, of course, to keeping warm, but there’s another challenge that you may not be considering: foot sweat. Your feet are the second sweatiest part…

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Bitter cold has settled in the Northeast, with temperatures plunging into the single digits and below throughout the region. Such temperatures aren’t just unpleasant, they can be downright dangerous, especially if you add any sort of wind to the bone-chilling equation. Here’s how I dress for warmth when I’m spending time out in such conditions….

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Sweat is your nemesis on cold-weather adventures. Perspire heavily, and your damp clothing will steal precious body heat. Minimize this risk—and your sweat—with the following techniques. HIKE SLOW AND STEADY NOT FAST AND SWEATY. Maintain a low to moderate pace to avoid overheating, especially on uphill climbs. DON’T OVERLAYER. You need surprisingly few layers when…

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Congress passed the National Trails System (NTS) Act 50 years ago this October, designating the country’s marquee footpaths, the Appalachian Trail on the East Coast and Pacific Crest Trail on the West Coast, as National Scenic Trails. The NTS also recognizes two additional categories, National Historic and National Recreation trails, and has grown to include…

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The coldest season is upon us in all its frosty, freezing glory. Stride forth upon the snow-covered trails and do not let the chill dissuade you: The right gear will keep you perfectly warm and comfortable throughout any winter adventure. Protecting your feet from the cold is particularly crucial. Icy feet and wooden toes will…

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If you’re out winter camping or backcountry skiing, you need to carry a snow shovel. Among other uses, it’s essential for setting up camp, constructing a snow cave, excavating snow pits to evaluate avalanche hazard, and digging out an avalanche victim should the worst come to pass. When it comes to choosing an option, there are…

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When you’re out in the winter cold, one of the fastest ways to lose body heat is to come into contact with a cold surface. Physics being physics, heat will begin flowing from the warmer object (you) to the colder object, a process known as conduction. And more often than not, your rear end is the chilly recipient of…

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Part 1: You are the leader on a 4-day winter backpacking trip in the White Mountains. Your group consists of seven participants of varied skill level. All have some experience winter camping. Your co-leader has Wilderness First Aid (WFA) and winter backpacking experience. This is day 3 of the trip. Today’s plan is to summit a…

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It can happen to even the most seasoned hiker. You casually duck into the woods to relieve yourself, zip up your pants, and—uh, oh. Which way was the trail? If you’re a solo hiker who becomes disoriented—or, worse, injured—nobody is there to help. Don’t panic! You’ve got options. Before You Go Getting found starts before…

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Magnetic declination refers to the angle between the geographic North Pole and the magnetic pole located in the Arctic Ocean. You will discover that good hiking and topographic maps always indicate the local magnetic declination via a declination diagram, which includes one arrow pointing to geographic north (commonly labeled as True North, or TN) and…

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