Guide to Hiking National Parks in the Winter

If you’ve never gone hiking in the winter before, this is your year!

Hiking in the winter is an exhilarating experience that pushes you out of your comfort zone while allowing you to soak in the amazing sights of snow-covered mountain tops and frozen lakes.

This winter, head out to a national park near you and hop onto a hiking trail.

Packing wisely is crucial for every hiking trip, but it’s that much more important when you’re going hiking in a national park in the winter.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind:


Surprised that food comes so high on the list? In the winter you need to carry high-energy snacks alongside salty foods to prevent your blood pressure from dropping. You should also consider having a hefty meal before you head out for your hike.


Just because it’s colder outside doesn’t mean you’re not going to sweat. You MUST carry water with you whenever you go for a hike, regardless of how cold or warm it is outside. Drink at least 2 liters of water a day.

If you’re taking on more strenuous trails, take a pack of water treatment tablets with you.


Your phone is not a sufficient navigational tool when you’re hiking! On a hiking trail, it’s best to stick to the old methods of navigation instead of relying on GPS and mobile devices. Carry a printed map and a compass with you and make sure you know how to use both.

Sunscreen and Sunglasses

It may be winter, but that doesn’t mean the sun won’t appear at all. The snow and ice blanketing the landscape will reflect sunlight in all directions, which is why you need to pack sunscreen and sunglasses with you for protection.

Spare Batteries, Headlamp, and Flashlights

It’s always better to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances when you go hiking. In the winter there’s less sunlight during the day so take headlamps, flashlights, and batteries with you. This way, if it does get dark, you’ll have handy sources of light with you.

Warm Clothing

It’s kind of obvious that you should be covered in layers of warm clothing. However, what many don’t realize is that you shouldn’t wear cotton t-shirts on hikes no matter what time of the year you’re traveling. Cotton absorbs water, so wearing cotton clothing on a hike is a bad idea!

Hiking Poles

Hiking poles are designed to help you balance on rough and icy terrain. If you’re hiking in a national park that’s blanketed by snow, taking hiking poles with you is important.

Whenever you leave for a hike, carry a durable backpack from Light Hiking Gear.

Light Hiking Gear offers a wide selection of scientifically-designed backpacks that were made to reduce stress on hikers’ backs and joints as they take on the most challenging trails. Our backpacks offer space for your belongings; they’re made of moisture-wicking fabrics and help balance large loads without impacting balance.

Check out our daypacks, StrongLites, and UltraLites online and place your order today.

There’s free shipping for everyone in the US!


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