Winter hike

The basic function of clothing is to keep you dry, warm and protected. By dressing in several thin layers, you can easily adjust your clothing when the weather changes. It is usually called the multi-layer principle, or the layer-on-layer principle.

How should you prepare?

Are you not a seasoned winter farer – our first tip is to start by taking a day-hike for a few hours. When going for a day hike, you’ll need to mostly prepare the right clothing and food supplies.

Dress in layers during cold temperatures

Putting layers on is nothing new, but which layer is most important?

  • Base layer. If cold outside, wool will be a warmer isolation layer compared to other materials.
  • Middle layer. A fleece or knitted sweater are good middle layer if you are a mid-, to cold person. A tip if you are a warm person, use a vest or wool T-shirt instead over your base layer – this way you’ll protect your upper body who needs keeping warm but let’s your arms regulate to a cooler temperature.
  • Top layer. A jacket, suitable for the weather forecast. Whether it’ll be a shell jacket, down jacket, or warmer hiking jacket.
  • Additional layers. Like gloves, neck tube and hat.

And don’t forget when you start to walk your body produces a lot of heat. When you feel warm stop and take some layers of . If u sweat to much, this will in the end make you cold.

Eating outdoors during colder temperatures

You need to plan both how many meals as well as equipment and supplies. Depending on how long you plan to hike, different ways of cooking and preparing food is suitable. E,g, if you plan to only walk a shorter distance, then it might be nice to bring wood for a fire or wood stove but are you planning to hike longer, then you may not want to bring a lot of weighted packing and a power stove might be a better choice.

Different cooking alternatives:

  • Thermos – e.g with warm soup
  • Wood for fire or a wood stove (make sure you plan your fire in accordance with nature and select a place that is prepared for fire)
  • Outdoor kitchen with gas burner
  • Power stove for boiling water


When you pack for winter hiking, make sure to bring:

Sleeping outdoors during colder temperatures

Have you already taken day-hikes during winter and want to take it a step further and also sleep outdoors during winter? Here are some advice and tips when planning the right accommodations.

Different accommodations

  • Cottages or mountain station. If cold outside, wool will be a warmer isolation layer compared to other materials.
  • Tents. Depending on topography you are planning to camp, different tents are more suitable for sleeping in. You should always choose a place where you are protected from wind since this is harder to manage in winter time. For sleeping in the mountains (above the tree line) you will need a 4-season rated tent. If you stay in the forest, you can use a 3-season rated tent. If you plane to stake your tent in snow buy some ground pegs made for snow. This will help you a lot!

Sleeping equipment

  • Sleeping pad. Choosing the right sleeping pad is important since this is often the layer that makes the most difference when keeping the cold at bay. Therefore, make sure to look for a sleeping pad that has insulated layers and high R-Value.
  • Sleeping bag. A sleeping bag can be made with synthetic materials or down. The different materials have different characteristics so make sure to read the different qualities and recommended temperatures for each sleeping bag before choosing.

Enjoy your winter hiking!