Finally, you can throw a pine cone on a Colorado trail without touching five other hikers.
As tourism increases and the population of northern Colorado increases, it sometimes seems that the best way to escape the outdoor crowds is to wait for the cold to come.
In addition, these mountain panoramas look quite spectacular at this time of year.
However, hiking and camping in the cold is not without its dangers. Here are some tips from my own experience and from several outdoor recruiters to consider for your next cold outdoor adventure:
- Dress well.
Say yes to diapers, not cotton. You will need a warm base coat, such as a thermal or long sleeve shirt, a comfortable middle layer such as a fleece or jacket, and a waterproof outer layer. All these layers keep you warm and allow you to correct your mistakes if the temperature increases.
Do not forget a hat, warm socks, something to cover your neck and gloves / mittens. Bring a pair of extra socks and gloves, even if you think you do not need them. It is also a good idea to pack plastic zippered bags or grocery bags to wrap your feet in case of emergencies with wet shoes.
Vaseline can be removed in skin exposure tips to prevent gales and freezing.
- Plan ahead and plan for the worst
Adopt an apocalyptic mentality while preparing your trip. Suppose it will be colder, windier and wetter than expected. Suppose you are hungrier and thirsty than expected.
See some different weather forecasts for the area in case the forecasts vary. And for the good of all that winter, tell him where he is going and when he plans to return, even if he is planning a quick trip. This is not the time to go to all the “mysterious explorers” to their loved ones.
Better yet, bring a friend (prepared) too.
- Prepare your camp.
First light your fire, as it may take longer than expected and you do not want to work in a fire in the dark.
Then place your tent You should place your tent for maximum exposure to the sun and minimal exposure to the wind. You can check predictions of the prevailing wind direction and hang a tarp to protect yourself from the worst.
Pack all the snow under your tent by stepping on it with your boots or snowshoes for a uniform surface.
- Leave early.
Now that summer time is over, consider the first sunsets and plan accordingly. Check the time of sunrise and sunset so you can absorb as much sun as possible.
- Be careful with electronics.
Lithium-ion batteries work better than other types in cold weather, but any battery will empty faster when it is cold. Prepare yourself with extra batteries and keep your batteries and electronic products warm by bringing them close to your body.
- Sleep intelligently.
Continuing the theme “Prepare for the worst”, bring a sleeping bag classified for cooler temperatures than expected. Especially for winter camping, pack a carpet with an R value (an insulation measure) of 3.5 or more.
Eat a snack before going to bed, because the digestive process will generate body heat.
And if your full bladder wakes you up in the dark of night, get out of bed and relax. Keep it in the heat of the body (and make your night miserable).
- Have a pull.
Wear winter hiking boots with good traction and bring sticks for extra support. If you are in a place with snow or ice, consider packing a traction device to be able to walk safely. Three options are microspikes, crampons and rackets, and your best bet will depend on the conditions of the area. Whatever you bring, avoid using them throughout the trek to save energy.
- Do not forget the basics.
You know the exercise: sunscreen, water, snacks, first aid kit, heaters or feet, a lighthouse, a map of the area and any other essential element that your friends in the open air will swear. Make a list and double-check it.