Life is all about striking that perfect balance. Finding time for all the things that matter to you. And that can be tricky with work, raising kids, adult commitments and a busy schedule. But it still pays to find some leisure time – some time for yourself to get away to restore and recharge. After all, life’s no fun if it’s all work. And if you’re a keen outdoors person, an open sky and fresh air are just the ticket to jump-start your batteries.
In this helpful article, we’ll share some top tips for hiking and hunting during winter. From outdoor clothing to shoes, we’ll explain why cold weather shouldn’t dampen the adventure.
- A Suitable Jacket
- Hiking Boots
- Thermal Underwear
- Safety First
- Pack Food and Water
- Beginner? Start Small
- A Cozy Conclusion
- Hiking in the winter brings many benefits. Here they are!
- Many hunters love hunting in the winter. How come?
- What game can you hunt during winter?
- Frequently Asked Questions
A Suitable Jacket
If you’re planning on hiking or hunting during the cooler months, you will need a warm outdoor jacket. These are jackets specifically designed to insulate your core and chest from the cold. They are often polar fleece, or down-filled, and will keep you toasty while you tramp around the bush or hunt your prey.
Don’t neglect this important item of outdoor clothing, or you’ll find yourself shivering during your trips.
These are a must-have for any hiker, and they will suit hunters perfectly too. Hiking boots are designed to be rough, rugged and ready for abuse. They will keep your feet supported and comfortable while you clock up the kilometers. A tip – when trying hiking boots on, make sure that you wear big thick socks – the sort you’d wear while on a hiking or hunting trip. This will ensure that you get the perfect fit.
A must-have for outdoor adventures in winter is thermal underwear. These are undergarments that are designed to keep your body warm and insulated against the cold. Make sure that you get a set of pants and a thermal top.
Always play it safe when adventuring in the outdoors. Stick to known trails and walks, and don’t venture off the path. Make sure that you tell someone where you are going, and when you plan to return. Arrange to contact them when you are back, so they know that you are safe. If you fail to get in touch, they will be able to alert the authorities to begin a search for you.
Pack Food and Water
Your body will need fuel if you are hunting or hiking in winter. Make sure that you pack enough food and water to nourish your body and hydrate. A common misconception is you don’t need to drink as much water in winter. Your body will still require fluid if you hunt or hike – these activities exert you, after all. Pack 2 litres per day that you’re going to be outdoors.
Beginner? Start Small
If you are a newcomer to outdoor hiking and hunting, start small first. Don’t tackle a multi-day hike or long hunting trip. Start with small hikes or a short, single-day hunting trip. Then build your way up to longer endeavours.
A Cozy Conclusion
We’ve covered what you need to begin hiking and hunting in winter. Get a warm jacket and thermal underwear. Don’t forget your hiking boots, and play it safe as described above. Finally, pack food and water – and if you are new to the outdoors, start with some smaller, achievable adventures first.
Hiking in the winter brings many benefits. Here they are!
As long as you’re aware of the many challenges that hiking brings, it’s good to try some trails in the winter months. If you can’t see beyond the challenges, we present you with the essential benefits of hiking in the colder months.
It’s less crowded
Not many hikers will have the dedication to try the trails when the weather is cold. In warmer months, the tracks are pretty crowded, especially in the middle of the day. It’s different in the winter, though, when most people stay at home because of the cold. You can enjoy your favorite trail on your own.
It’s more demanding for your body
The ground is unstable and the deep snow is difficult to walk in, so you will do your “leg day” when hiking. If the snow is deep, you will be able to cover half as much ground as you usually do. Choose wisely your trail in the winter.
There are no more leaves in the trees and there’s only snow to weigh down their branches. When you hike in the winter, it all gets pretty quiet and you can finally take time out from all the stress in your life.
It’s great for photos
The glowing snow makes the most beautiful photos, even if you only take the pictures with your phone. In the winter, it’s best to start hiking early in the morning. The sunlight is clear and shiny and the bluebirds look amazing on the camera. You won’t need many filters when shooting your photos.
The backpack is lighter than the usual
Hiking requires a lot of effort and it’s crucial to have enough water on you. For one, you won’t need to pack much water when hiking in the winter. You only need to look for some white snow and get a handful for a water bottle refill. Of course, we’re talking about the short hikes. However, if you plan a whole day hunt, you need to pack enough water.
You see your favorite trail with new eyes
If you’ve been hiking for some time, you probably have favorite trails. Hiking in the winter can help you see it with new eyes and only makes you love hiking more. Pathways leading to waterfalls are incredibly dramatic in the winter. A frozen waterfall is one picture that stays with you for a long time.
Your dog loves it
Dogs love the snow and they don’t overheat thanks to the snow. Make sure it’s not below 35F degrees before you go hiking with your furry friend. Even if dogs love the snow, you still need to ensure that their paws don’t freeze.
There are no more bugs
With all the flies, bees, and insects flying around outside the colder months, it’s understandable why hiking in the winter can be a more peaceful experience. Even though it comes with its challenges, hiking in the winter means you don’t need to pack insect repellent.
Many hunters love hunting in the winter. How come?
Most people will worry when walking in freezing temperatures. It’s not the case for dedicated hunters who only see the benefits of hunting in the cold months. Cold weather can ease out the hunting, so keep reading to find out.
It’s easier to track in the snow
Animals will leave clear tracks in the snow, especially when the snow is fresh. You will be able to follow the trail and even identify the species of animal you’re pursuing by checking out the footprint left behind. Blood trails are easier to track in the winter than outside the cold weather. Blood is straightforward to notice against the white snow.
There’s less foliage to impede the line of sight
Most of us love the spring for all the lush grass, blooming flowers, and full trees. However, they can make the job for hunters really difficult because they can obstruct the line of sight. On the other hand, you won’t have this sort of problem in the winter as most bushes and trees are somewhat bare.
The skies are calm and great for calls
Many hunters use game calls to get their game animals. Apart from snow and ice storms, the winter days are pretty calm. Most animals bed down, the mating rituals are gone, and they forage for food only rarely. With ambient noises almost non-existent, your game calls will travel far, and animals will be able to hear them at a greater distance.
There’s a downside to the winter being so quiet. Any footstep you take, any zipper that you open, or any unwrap food will break the silence. Choose your moves wisely!
No insects and reptiles
Hunting in the summer comes its own challenges and keeping it all together with all insects flying around is one.They hibernate during winter, so you don’t need to worry about spiders, annoying flies and mosquitos, or poisonous snakes.
You don’t have much competition
Hunting in the winter is only for the truly dedicated hunters. There aren’t many hunters daring to pursue their game in freezing temperatures. The chances to get your shot are higher and you have less competition as well.
Also, there are fewer people on trails than in the summer. Not many hikers, campers, and anglers dare to enter your prey’s territory and scare it away.
The game stays chilled
Hunting outside the winter means that you have to gut and cool the game right after shooting. You don’t want to spoil your game and go home empty-handed. You don’t need to stress about it in the winter, as it’s cold enough to keep your game in perfect condition.
What game can you hunt during winter?
Always verify your local wildlife management restrictions before you go hunting in the winter. Some of the game animals that you can spot in the winter are:
- Antelope (Wyoming and Colorado are great)
- Boar (Tennessee and Florida don’t have a bag limit)
- Coyote – you don’t need a license to hunt it
- Duck- Louisiana has attractive rates for winter duck hunts
- Elk- lottery systems are available throughout many states
- Fox- there are restrictions
- Geese- some states have extensions outside the late fall
- Lynx- Alaska has the largest population
- Mountain lion- Montana has resident and non-resident tags during the winter
- Rabbit- there is no bag limit
- Raccoon- Texas, Washington, and Louisiana don’t have a bag limit
- Squirrel- it’s great to teach children to hunt
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it dangerous to hike in the winter?
Hiking or camping in the winter comes with many challenges, but adequate planning and preparation will make hiking safe. For one, you should never hike alone in the winter. We would like to remind you that the days are short in the winter as the sun goes down earlier than outside the winter months.
Is winter hiking more difficult than the rest of the year?
When you hike in the winter, you will most likely hike in the snow to walk slower than usual in ice and snow. Consider the length of your trail and think about how much you can cover until the sun goes down—the more snow and ice, the more hours you will need to finish your trail.
Does hunting in the winter beat hunting outside the cold months?
Deer don’t move during the day in warm weather. When you hunt deer, the morning makes for the best time to hunt. Therefore, hunting deer in the winter gives you the best chance for a shot.
Should you hunt when it’s snowing?
You have great chances for excellent deer hunting during a heavy snowfall. Experienced hunters know that hunting just before a heavy snowstorm can be a unique experience. Deer sense the snowstorm is coming and will start moving. Additionally, you will have great chances for a shot right after the weather clears out.
Is it a good idea to hunt mornings in December?
We recommend you think twice if you plan on hunting in the morning in the winter. Even though the chances for a reward aren’t null, it will be less likely to get a shot in the morning than in the evening in December.