Taking a hike might not seem like an appealing activity when it gets cold in Texas, but it can be a beautiful experience. With a little preparation you might be surprised at how comfortable it can be. Besides, there are no bugs and no crowds – what’s not to enjoy?
Winter trail hikes offer different challenges than summer hikes. Here are some tips to help you enjoy a safe, winter hike:
- Check the weather forecast. Always check the weather before you leave, even up until the moment you walk out the door. Texas weather can be very unpredictable.
- Wear proper gear. The simple rule of winter hiking is to stay dry and warm. Always wear thick, winter-weight socks, since your toes are the first place you’ll feel cold. Choose clothing layers that wick moisture, dry quickly, insulate and are waterproof and breathable. By adjusting these layers, you can regulate the amount of warmth you need.
- Start early. Be prepared for some early mornings. Don’t forget that the sun sets much earlier in the winter months. Plan to be off the trail before dark to avoid getting lost or having an accident.
- Stay hydrated. When you’re cold, it’s tempting to not drink as much, or only drink coffee and hot chocolate. But you’re still sweating under all those layers, and your body still needs water and electrolytes.
- Leave a trip plan. Let others know where you’ll be, when you’ll be there, when you’ll return, vehicle information and names and contact number for participants in your group.