Expert tips for hiking in snow

winter

Photo Credit: maygutyak

Snow has already started to fall all over the United States, and whether you’re a knowledgeable veteran of handfuls of harsh winters or you’re recent transplant from some of the warmer and dryer parts of the country, there is still always more to learn about getting from place to place in the snow and ice.

Snow and ice can be make even the easiest things – like walking down your driveway to get the mail – incredible difficult. Whether it’s a foot of soft snow or an inch of slick ice, it can be truly dangerous.

Knowing that, let’s break down some helpful hints when walking on snow or ice.

Plan ahead and give yourself sufficient time to reach your destination

Both street and foot traffic move slowly in snow conditions. Keep that in mind and give yourself some extra time in order to ensure that you can both get where you need to go on time and not have to rush and risk slipping or causing others to lose their own ‘footing.’

Wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice

Footwear is incredibly important in the winter. Not only do you want to be able to keep your feet nice and warm, you also want to make sure that you have fantastic traction. While boots are undeniably great, they can also be quite cumbersome and unsightly once you actually get back indoors. If you are looking for a shoe that both looks great and works great in winter, consider the Altama OTB Boot, which looks like a Converse sneaker and acts like a off-the-beaten-path hiking boot.

Be extra careful when entering and exiting vehicles

Driving on snow and ice isn’t the only car-related hazard you will face during the winter months. Entering and exiting the car can actually be especially dangerous. The reason why is because we simply don’t realize how unbalanced we are while entering or exiting a vehicle. Typically we put one leg down first and then swing the rest of our body around. On dry and steady ground, that move is no problem. If there is slippery snow, slush or ice on the ground, however, you can end up really hurting yourself. To avoid this, make sure to exit or enter slowly, remove snow or water from shoes when you can, use handrails for supports, and keep your hands out of your pockets so that you can grab on to something – or worst case scenario – break your fall.

Walk safely and slowly

This is really the one rule to follow at all times. Look where you’re going, watch your step and for the sake of all things you hold dear don’t run (unless you are being chased by the police)! Walking in a winter wonderland can be a truly fantastic and enchanting experience, but not if you fall and dislocated your hip!

Luckily, if you follow all of these rules, that is a very unlikely thing to happen to you. Good luck and stay warm!

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