Adventure Clothing

How to Stay Warm and Toasty During Cold Weather Hiking

February 22, 2021

Hiking is a great way to reduce stress, calm anxiety, and boost your mood. It provides essential exercise and lets you reconnect with nature. Wondering how to stay warm on a cold hike in Florida? Read on to learn more.

You don’t have to think of it as a summer activity. If you prepare properly you can still enjoy these benefits in the depths of winter.

representing how to stay warm during a hike

Osprey Packs has credit of this image.

Choose the Right Fabrics

Wear fabrics that keep moisture away from your skin. Wool and certain manmade materials do this, helping to keep you warm because they dry out fast.

Although cotton wicks well, it is a poor choice because it doesn’t dry quickly potentially staying wet. Damp fabric will make you cold and uncomfortable.

Remember that fabric also gets wet when you sweat. If you start feeling too warm, be sure to vent the excess heat or even take off a layer. You can put it back on later and it’ll be more comfortable if it’s dry.

Wear Layers to Stay Warm

Temperatures here in Florida can drop as low as 40°F in the winter. So you should dress in layers because you can add more to stay warm and remove them if you’re too hot.

An easy system for your upper body includes:

  • Your base layer, which is what wear next to your skin consisting of quick dry material (either wool or synthetic).
  • An insulating jacket (sweater or puffy jackets made with synthetics or down)
  • A rain jacket to protect from wind and rain.

On your lower body, you might wear leggings under your pants. Rain pants are available to protect from wind and rain.

Hats and hoods are a great way to keep your head warm. This applies both while hiking and also in your sleeping bag.

Keep Your Camping Gear Dry

The last thing you need when you’re camping in cold weather is for your gear to get wet. You won’t be able to stay warm in a wet sleeping bag.

Carry your sleeping gear in a waterproof bag. At the very least wrap it in a trash bag inside the pack. Even if you get wet hiking, you’ll have dry clothes to change into.

Some people carry a separate set of dry clothes to get changed into as soon as you make camp. You’ll be able to stay warm while setting up your camp and it gives your day clothes a chance to dry.

Choose Stopping Places with Care

Cold weather hiking needs a different approach to where you stop for breaks and to make camp. Sunny spots are an obvious choice to keep you warmer during breaks on cold days.

When you pick your campsite, choose somewhere sheltered from the wind. Trees or rocks make great windbreaks.

For best results, choose a site that gets sunlight early in the morning. It makes waking up more pleasant when you’re not stepping out into ice-cold air.

Enjoy Winter Hiking

Now you know some easy ways to stay warm when you hit the trail in winter. These tips apply no matter where you are, but they’re a good rule of thumb here in Central Florida.

Remember the key points: wear layers, keep clothing dry, and pick the right fabrics.

Need to stock up on some hiking essentials? Drop by our store and pick out your favorites before you hit the trail.