by Diane Spicer
Warm feet hiking tips put you in a position of absolute control over your own health and well being on a cold weather hike or snow shoeing adventure.
Being proactive by reading - and then deploying - these best warm feet hiking tips will protect your margin of outdoor safety.
Plus increase the chances of enjoying your hike even when temperatures plummet and your cold feet start talking to you.
Let's get started. Because if we stand around, your feet will get cold ;)
It's a mistake I see being made over and over again.
As in, "It won't be that cold and my boots won't get that wet and I won't be out that long."
Feel free to fill in your own personal favorites.
But here's the thing: if you're heading out into wet, windy, cold, unpredictable conditions, who's in charge of your health and safety?
Your mirror knows the answer!
So use your brain to remember these important warm feet hiking tips when in fact you DO get that cold and that wet.
If your sock drawer is anything like mine, certain pairs of socks tend to float up to the top with great regularity, including my hiking socks.
And it's easy to get complacent and reach for lightweight or midweight hiking socks, when in fact, for cold weather hiking, you need to go big or stay home.
Also, you absolutely need moisture wicking socks for cold trails. Wet feet can get that way from moisture in the environment, or the moisture you create inside your boots.
Either way, choose socks which are engineered to absorb moisture and allow your body temperature to remain constant.
Here are my recommendations:
Did we just stray from warm feet hiking tips?
It means that your summer boots and low cut trail shoes are not a good choice for muddy, snowy trails.
You'll need a pair of boots with a higher cut, and waterproof exterior.
So allow your brain to take charge and say no way to feather weight, absorbent trail footwear.
My winter boot recommendations are here.
Tip: Make sure you have enough room in your boots for those thick, wicking hiking socks AND your toes.
Calories are worth more than gold to you during a cold hike. They are your cellular fuel, and running out of them means your gas tank -well, tanks.
If you're used to rabbit food in your hiking lunch sack, think again.
Include calorie dense, satisfying foods with high quality fats, and snack every hour or so if you're working hard on the trail.
Tip: Buy yourself a durable double wall insulated bottle like this one, and fill it to the brim with hot chocolate. Bring something fun and caloric to toss in, just before you drink it.
As a hiker, you know the importance of keeping your wits about you.
But do you know the signs and symptoms of cold related tissue damage? One of them is becoming dim witted.
Get up to speed quickly:
As a solo hiker, be ruthless about spotting when you're heading into trouble.
Hiking in a group?
Forget about sitting down while you snack and enjoy your hot beverage, unless you take a few precautions:
When you stepped onto the trail, you presumably had normal body temperature and adequate circulation to your limbs and digits.
Keep that wonderful trend going by staying warm, rather than reacting to a sensation of being chilled.
These warm feet hiking tips that may not seem directly related to your feet, but will keep them toasty warm:
If you're overnighting during winter, you need to have a "get warm fast" strategy in your mental toolkit.
Include smart moves like these:
Tent tip: Toss mildly damp (not wringing wet) socks between your sleeping bag and sleeping pad, to absorb body heat before the dawn's early light.
Don't go cold weather hiking or snowshoeing without thinking carefully about preserving the ability of your feet to get you back home.
The first, and worst, mistake you can make: complacency.
It's my sincere hope that you'll stop reading right now and do two things:
1. Look carefully at the socks and boots you plan to hike in during the cold weather hiking season.
2. Consider adding a few things to your backpack:
Here's wishing you warm feet - and amazing winter adventures - on the trail.
Now let's tackle how to prevent cold hands!
Warm Feet Hiking Tips
About the author
Diane is the founder of Hiking For Her.
She's been on a hiking trail somewhere in the world for 5+ decades & loves to share her best hiking tips right here.
Some links on this page take you to Hiking For Her affiliates, meaning companies and products that I trust with my own life when hiking in cold weather.
You pay nothing extra to purchase using these links, but it results in a small amount of money to flow into the HFH coffers.
The best result? More free trustworthy hiking tips for hikers around the globe. Thanks for your support of HFH's mission.
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Photo credits: All photos on this website were taken by David Midkiff or Diane Spicer except where noted.
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