Winter recreation is fun and exciting. It can also be challenging and dangerous. Whether you’re going for a hike, a ski, snowmobiling or ice fishing, Hike Smart NY can help you prepare with a list of 10 essentials, guidance on what to wear, and tips for planning your trip with safety and sustainability in mind.
Food & Water Storage
Proper nutrition and hydration are key to a safe and successful hike, but winter’s cold can bring challenges. In extremely cold temperatures food and water can freeze in your pack. This makes it hard or even impossible to consume what you need to stay hydrated and energized. To avoid food and water freezing, try the following:
- Insulate water bottles, hydration packs and tubes, and snacks to prevent freezing. You can use canisters designed specifically for the purpose or even wrap bottles and bladders in layers of extra clothing.
- Break food into small pieces so it’s easier to eat even if it does freeze. Bite-size pieces can thaw in your mouth until they are edible, but breaking a bite off a larger, frozen item might not be possible.
- Store food and water at the center of your pack to protect it from the elements. Organize your pack so items at the center are still easily accessible.
- Bring a small backpacking stove to melt water if needed. You’ll also need a small pot or metal cup that can go over the flames.
- Bring hot food or a hot drink in a thermos. Not only are items that start out hot less likely to freeze, but you can also reheat your body from within with warm food and drink.
- In every season, choose foods high in calories and nutrients that will easily convert to energy on the trail. Always bring more food than you think you’ll need in case your trip runs long.