Snow has a way of making the world look magical. We want to spend time outdoors enjoying it, but we also don’t want to get too chilled. Hiking in the snow is one of the best ways to stay warm while enjoying the winter snowfall. However, being poorly dressed for your winter hike can leave you chilled, cold, and wet. Read on for our guide to what to wear when hiking in the snow so you can enjoy all of the flakes without getting too frosty.
Having the right boots is paramount when hiking in the snow. Not only do the perfect snow hiking boots need to be warm, but it’s good for them to also be water-resistant and cut high enough to keep the snow out. Often, men’s or women’s snow boots will do the trick just fine. While they are heavier than regular hiking boots, they typically have enough support, grip, and insulation to keep out the snow and retain the heat. If you are worried about slipping or are planning to do some uphill snow hiking, perhaps strap on a set of crampons to your snow boots to give their soles added traction.
Regular hiking boots can also work for hiking in the snow. We recommend wearing a more heavy-duty pair with thick socks and higher tops. Keep the snow from falling into your boots by wearing gators that act as a lightweight barrier that prevents snow from getting into your shoes.
Layers are key when engaging in any winter activity. Hiking in the snow can expose your limbs and the rest of your body to cold temperatures for long periods, leaving you feeling chilled during and after your hike. Layers are a great way to add extra insulation to whatever you’re wearing without being weighted down. Layers are also easy to slip off if you get too warm at one point, and they’re just as easy to put back on if you get cooled down again.
Our favorite layers for hiking in the snow are without a doubt thermals and men’s and women’s long underwear. Thermals and long underwear are usually made of lightweight materials like silk that are also designed to keep heat in. Use thermals as your base layer and build on top.
Another great go-to layer is the right sweater. Cashmere sweaters or cashmere turtlenecks make a great layer to wear while hiking in the snow. Cashmere is super lightweight and warm, making it a perfect choice for any outdoor winter activity. If the weather allows, simply wear a cashmere turtleneck over your thermals and pull on a down vest for a cute hiking outfit that still gives you the mobility and warmth you need.
A warm yet lightweight jacket is key for snow hikes. Many winter jackets are a bit too bulky or heavy for hiking in, so be sure to opt for a coat that is lightweight while still being warm. We love something simple, compact, and light like a packable down coat. The down feathers are sure to keep you warm while the lightweight compactness of the jacket will give you the mobility and flexibility you need to make hiking through the snow comfortable.
The hands, neck, and head are all places where heat easily escapes from your body. Keep yourself extra warm and insulated while hiking in the snow by wearing some warm winter accessories. Simple items like gloves, mittens, neck warmers, scarves, and hats go a long way on cold, snowy days. The great thing about winter accessories is if are feeling too warm, you can easily slip them off and put them in your pockets or a bag until you need them again. Choose accessories that are primarily made of natural materials like wool and cashmere, which are perfect natural insulators.
Cold toes are sure to put a damper on your snowy hike. The remedy for this is quite easy: a good pair of socks. There are many cozy and fluffy winter socks designed with heat-trapping technology to ensure your feet don’t go cold while hiking in the snow. Choose thick wool socks that also moisture resistant to keep your paws toasty while enjoying a hike in the snow. If you are especially prone to cold, feel free to double up on your socks —just be sure to ditch the cotton sports socks and stick to some thick and insulating cold-weather hiking socks instead.
Hiking in the snow is a big part of what makes snowy winter days so enjoyable. Be sure to dress for the weather so you don’t get too chilly while enjoying the great outdoors.