|Interstate Hiking Club||
|Winter Hiking Advisory|
If you plan on hiking in the winter months, you should seriously consider investing in a pair of crampons or creepers. Recent mild winters in our region have actually resulted in an increased number of outings where ice has been a serious factor. This is due to a greater frequency of ice storms as well as run-off freezing on trails. Crampons can also be useful for traction in snow.
You do not need mountaineering crampons (10-12 point). A simple 4 - 6 point crampon is sufficient. Make sure it will fit on you boot before purchasing. The points should be distributed so that you can walk comfortably on hard surfaces.
Our leaders reserve the right to turn away participants without the proper gear in situations where ice mandates the use of crampons/creepers or where deep snow mandates the use of snowshoes. Call if in doubt.
Also keep in mind that despite the cooler winter temperatures, maintaining a safe level of hydration is important when participating in activities such as hiking, snowshoeing and skiing. A minimum of two quarts of water is suggested.
It is best to avoid cotton clothing. Wools and synthetics insulate when damp. Cotton does not. Synthetics in particular afford more efficient wicking of moisture away from the body. A series of breathable layers is preferred when you are active. A heavier layer should be carried in your pack for times when you are less active such as breaks and lunch stops.
You will probably consume more food on a winter hike than you do in other seasons.