Winter weather has been making an appearance lately, and snow has begun to accumulate in many parks and forests.
If you are thinking of going out to enjoy some winter recreation, remember the following tips to keep warm, safe, and have an enjoyable time out in Penn’s Woods.
Know the area you will be going to and understand how long your planned route will take. Always leave extra time in the day in case conditions cause you to move slower than anticipated. Consider taking a map in the event your GPS or devices die or in case there is no cell service.
Check the current snow, trail, or parking conditions before going on your trip, as well as looking at the future weather forecast.
Some rural roads are not maintained in the winter. Drivers should watch for signage indicating if back roads are maintained and avoid roads that aren’t maintained when there is snow accumulation that could lead to dangerous situations.
Warm, waterproof boots with good traction are essential when moving through snow and icy conditions. Additional traction, like crampons or micro-spikes, can help you keep your grip on slippery surfaces.
Use a layering system to keep dry and comfortable no matter how steep the trail is. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add a warm medium layer, and make sure to have a wind and waterproof outer layer. Add and remove layers as you need to during your trip.
The health effects of dehydration can be deadly in the colder months and are harder to fend off. The body’s thirst response is diminished up to 40 percent, and extra winter clothing can make you work 10 to 40 percent harder. All the while, the dry air causes the loss of more fluids when breathing and making your sweat evaporate faster.