Winter is a great time to spend time outside. A winter hike is a fun way to get exercise, and there are so many beautiful places to hike here in New England. Don’t let a little cold stop you! Here are some tips for how to stay warm on a winter hike.

Layer Up

When you go out for a winter hike, you need to make sure you’re dressed warm enough for the weather. When most people think of staying warm, they imagine a heavy winter coat doing most of the work. While a high-quality coat is an important part of your winter hiking gear, your base and middle layers are just as important. Before you put on your coat, make sure you choose a well-fitting thermal base layer and an insulating middle layer.

Don’t Forget Your Winter Accessories

Always remember to keep your head and extremities warm when you’re hiking in winter. Because your body must work to warm its core, these parts of your body tend to get cold more quickly than the rest. This means choosing a warm hat, scarf, gloves, socks, and boots. By the end of the hike, you’ll be glad you did!

Pack Nutritious Snacks

Since you’re burning more calories than usual while hiking, a long hike will tire you out. To replenish your energy, bring a snack for when you get hungry on the trail. Make sure it’s something you can eat quickly and easily, because you’ll get cold if you stop for too long. Some good choices are granola bars, trail mix, and nuts.

Bring a Warm Drink

To wash down your snack and warm up during your hike, pack a thermos full of a warm drink such as hot chocolate or tea. Any warm, tasty beverage will be welcome during a cold day of outdoor exercise. Make sure your warm drink isn’t the only one you have: it’s important to bring water with you to stay hydrated during your hike.

Hike on a Sunny Day

When deciding on a day for your hike, try to choose a day you know will be warm and sunny. Hiking in the sun will help you stay warmer than you would on a cloudy or snowy day.

Keep Moving

If you get cold mid-hike, try hiking uphill for a while or pausing to do some jumping jacks. This will get your blood flowing to make you feel warm again in no time.

Now that you know how to stay warm on a winter hike, gather the gear you need, go find a good hiking trail, and enjoy the outdoors!