Tips to stay safe and warm
There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. It’s a saying I learned in Iceland, and it is well worth taking it home to the Berkshires. Jen Cherosnick, owner of Sportsmen’s, an outfitter in Bantam, Connecticut, adds some cogent advice: “Hats and socks. You can’t have fun if you’re cold.”
Wear layers so you can adjust your clothing if you get hot from exertion or cold from standing still.
Synthetics are your friends. So is wool. But avoid cotton. Search and rescue workers call it “dead-man’s clothing” because it holds moisture close to your skin.
Wear a hat to prevent heat loss from your head.
Wear gloves and a neck gaiter, not a scarf, especially if you are doing anything fast and active like sledding, snowmobiling, skiing, fat-biking, or tubing.
Bring chemical toe and hand warmers, just in case. Breaking open a packet provides emergency warmth for several hours.
Stay hydrated, one of the commandments of winter hiking. You might not be aware of thirst in cold weather, but start the day with a hot drink in an insulated water bottle. And bring snacks.
Don't Forget your wheels. If you’ll be driving on side roads to get to a favorite hiking spot, be sure your car is snow-ready: Four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles are the gold standard, but snow tires with studs will help a front-wheel drive. Keep a shovel, battery-charge cables, a bucket of road salt or sand, and extra warm clothing in your car. And stay aware of where cell-phone coverage is and isn’t available.