Winter hiking, advice and reflections.

Winter hiking, advice and reflections.

As the first snowfall approaches, when the woods and nature enter their usual winter standby, the mountain becomes an almost mystical environment. Savoring this great sensation of magic that you breathe while walking in a winter forest is certainly a situation to be experienced and enjoyed to the full, thus learning to take advantage of even the clear winter days to go trekking. So let's look at some tips to best tackle winter trekking and hiking, an extraordinary activity to which, however, careful and particular attention must be paid. A positive aspect of winter is certainly the stability of the weather, the changes in the weather tend to be less sudden, but there are still several very important aspects to consider. The days are decidedly shorter and this is certainly one of the points on which we absolutely must stop and reflect. As the sun goes down, during a winter day, temperatures plummet dramatically in a very short time and already in the afternoon the sun begins to weaken and most of the slopes, going into shade very early, begin to freeze. For these reasons it is useful to equip yourself not only with good clothing, but also with adequate equipment and obviously with the usual scrupulousness when planning.

Knowing how to dress

When we talk about clothing we are not only referring to the quality of the garments which we have already mentioned previously, but also how to wear them. One of the most common mistakes people make when preparing for a winter excursion is to cover up too much. Knowing how to dress is not always a given and if the key advice is always to dress in layers let's try to understand what these layers are. The outermost layer is called the shell (or hard-shell), it is a windproof and waterproof jacket which is very light and serves to isolate the body from the most insidious external agents such as rain and wind. Immediately under the shell, depending on the conditions, it is possible to wear a light down jacket or a soft-shell jacket, this layer has the function of keeping the upper part of the body warm and is usually used to avoid getting cold during breaks or during bivouacs , normally during the activity you always tend to keep it in your backpack, this is to avoid having excessive and useless sweating which would only further cool the body.

Going ever deeper we have an intermediate layer made up of fleece (or fleece), it is a fairly light but still warm technical sweatshirt, this is also an important layer, it must be comfortable enough to guarantee breathability and ease of use. in movements. Finally, we come to the last layer, namely the underwear. It also has the characteristic of being breathable, it is in fact essential that the heat and humidity produced by the body is expelled outwards in order to prevent condensation and humidity from creating on the skin. To close the "clothing" topic, let's finally talk about trousers: the main characteristic of good winter trousers is their water repellency, this important property allows you to always stay dry, once again avoiding heat loss, even when walking in soft snow or heavy.

Accessories and equipment

In addition to clothing, it is also a good idea to take stock of the equipment: both that necessary for progression, such as boots and snowshoes, and that for safety, such as avalanche transceivers, shovel and probe. All these objects become indispensable when we face excursions in heavy snow conditions where the presence of delicate points such as steep and icy passages could be very frequent.

Even the boots obviously must have the peculiarity of being waterproof and resistant, while for snowshoes it is possible to choose the model you prefer both based on the budget you want to invest and also considering the type of excursions you will be carrying out. The fact of having all this equipment obviously presupposes that there is also an ability to use it, on this topic we recommend attending one of the many dedicated courses which are very often organized during the winter by the numerous mountain guides.

Thanks to Davide Canil.



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