Winter hiking is probably the last thing on your mind. The weather has turned cold, the festive season is upon us, and all you want to do is sit cosy by the fire.
Hiking in winter certainly has its charms though. Dress for the weather, be prepared, and you’re ready to go. Winter hiking may be just as rewarding as hiking when the weather is nice out.
The Landscape Is Breathtaking
There’s something magical and mystical about a wintry landscape. Usual green fields are dashed with white frost. Previously hidden views are uncovered by bare trees. Winter happens differently in every country, with rain and wind playing a big part most times. When winter is wintry rather than rainy, it certainly is one of the best times to go hiking.
Avoid The Crowds
No one wants to go winter hiking, right? That’s exactly the charm. Hiking is a great social activity to do with family and friends, but it’s also a great time to get in touch with yourself. If no one else wants to go winter hiking, you can use it as the perfect opportunity to get some quality time with yourself.
You’ll rarely pass another soul on a trail during a winter hike. The people that you do will most likely be out there for the same reasons as you. It adds a great sense of camaraderie when you do pass someone, but you will be on your own for the majority of the time.
No Insects, No Problem
Midges don’t live in winter. Enough said.
The Winter Wildlife
It may seem that all of the animals will be hibernating for winter and that all the plants will be dead. Keep your eyes on the skies though, as you may spot birds of prey circling overhead on the hunt for their next meal. Fox, hare, and deer tracks are a lot easier to spot during winter too. They may leave footprints in the snow, or else in the sludgy mud.
Again, the bare shrubs and trees don’t make great hiding places for wildlife, so now’s the time to spot them!
Improve Your Mood, And Your Health
With modern work schedules, you may go to work when it’s dark and leave when it’s dark. Daylight is incredibly important for peoples’ mental health, not to mention invaluable vitamin D from the sun’s rays. It’s a great idea to get outdoors as much as you can during winter so that you can keep active and keep those winter blues away.
Take Advantage Of The Short Days
Shorter days mean less time to hike, right? That may be true, but it also gives you more opportunity to see beautiful sunrises and sunsets. You don’t need to stay out late to see the sunset – 5pm should do it in most places!
Wintry sunsets make the perfect Instagram photo too…