posted by: LIT First Aid on: November 30, 2019

Photo by Todd Diemer


Hiking on snow-capped mountains is a remarkable experience, which is no wonder why so many people love hiking during the winter season. While snow and cold make most hikes more challenging, it shouldn't stop you from a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Staying smart and well-prepared will ensure you're ready for an outdoor winter excursion. 


Here are three tips to keep you safe during your winter hike:


Never walk alone

Even the most experienced hikers should be cautious of taking a solo trip up a mountain. The consequences and stakes are too high to risk going alone. If you must take this journey by yourself, make sure a friend knows where you're going, what route you're taking, and approximately when you should be back. 


Don't rely on GPS

Intense snow coverage may cover trail markings and signs. Bring a compass and a topographical map and be sure to know how to use them in any condition. The weather may obstruct your GPS signal and point you in all sorts of directions. 


Be prepared to stay overnight

Your hike might only take two hours but with treacherous conditions, an accident can mean having to spend the night. An unprepared vs. prepared overnight stay during the wintertime can be the difference between life or death. Most likely nothing will happen, but in case it does, know the risks and plan for them and bring: 

  • thermal blanket (or a sleeping bag)
  • extra food
  • water
  • hand warmers
  • head lamp
  • compass
  • map
  • first-aid kit
  • multi-tool or knife
  • waterproof boots and pants
  • snowshoes or YakTrax if necessary
  • insulated coat with a wind-breaking outer layer
  • lightweight backpack
  • hat
  • neck warmer
  • wrap-around sunglasses or goggles
  • hiking poles
  • wool socks with sock liners

That's a long list but it can make all the difference.


The best thing to do for any potentially risky situation is to be prepared. Taking a class, like the L.I.T. First Aid and Lifeguarding Training Course, can ensure that you're ready for any scenario. Sign-up for a class and take comfort in knowing you're well prepared to cope with the precarious mountain conditions and focus on the beautiful snowy hike ahead of you.

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