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Surviving On The Appalachian Trail During The Sub-zero Months Of Winter

Updated on September 1, 2016

Large Snowflakes Effectively Cover The Frozen Ground

Seek Winter Survival Skills For Survival In Sub-Zero Weather Conditions

Hikers who are not familiar with the positive and negative aspects associated with winter hiking might consider waiting for spring before heading out onto the Appalachian Trail. The hiker who strongly desires to hike during the brutally cold months of winter must possess adequate winter survival knowledge. An extreme hiker must master the necessary winter training skills, be properally prepared for cold weather, and carry strong willpower to effectively survive in dangerous predicaments. In fact, the large snowflakes will continuously cover the frozen ground effectively in higher elevations. There are numerous sub-zero training classes currently available that can be mastered to gain knowledge about winter survival skills. Some extreme hikers often will learn more efficiently by taking a hands-on approach. There are several general winter survival skills that all hikers should familiarize themselves with prior to setting out onto the hiking trail during the cold winter months. The general winter survival skills commonly will include learning basic avalanche dynamics, have knowledge about proper dress attire used while hiking though cold weather, have a full understanding about the dangers of post-holing, and complete knowledge on successfully maintaining body core temperatures. There are numerous other helpful winter survival tips to gain knowledge about. Some often will include informative ideas on how to properly avoid the risk of hypothermia, solid information about frostbite treatment, and helpful tips on avoiding the trench-foot. All of the general winter survival skills can easily be researched online or some hikers often choose to pay a instructor to gain knowledge on survival skills during winter hiking. In the world today we live in a time where knowledge is highly abundant and often the information that we seek for is right at our fingertips. Any hiker who is serious about seeking solid information, gaining knowledge, and good understanding. The hiker can be certain to discover step by step instructions on general winter survival skills readily available on the worldwide web.

Hiking Through Steady Snowfall, Solid Ice, And Sub-Zero Weather Conditions

A Hikers Proper Dress Attire For Sub-Zero Conditions

A hiker who is properly dressed for brutal winter weather conditions can expect to go much farther on the Appalachian Trail than the uninformed hiker who is poorly dressed for winter hiking. Simply by wearing the proper clothing out in the backcountry is always the most important and crucial piece of information that every hiker needs to be thoroughly informed about. Dressing in multiple layers of synthetic clothing types is the proper method for hiking during the winter months. A hiker must always wear a moisture wicking base layer that is made from synthetic materials. Then add a lightweight wind breaker suit on top of the base layer to keep the blistering cold wind from penetrating. Wearing a lightweight hiking down jacket that is stuffed with duck feathers will keep a hiker sufficiently warm enough for hiking during the winter. Always be certain to avoid wearing any heavy wool clothing, bulky cotton coveralls, or heavy winter coats out in the wilderness during the winter. The wool and cotton materials are to never be worn out in the backcountry during any month of the year while hiking. Both materials typically take five to six times longer to dry out, when compared to polyester or other synthetic materials. A hiker should be sure to never overly dress and overheat themselves while hiking vigorously out in the winter weather conditions. In fact, a hikers body core temperatures will naturally rise while hiking along the trail. On average, any excessive sweating will commonly cause hypothermia to begin setting in for a hiker during the winter. In the winter months a hiker should always keep moving steadily to maintain there body core temperatures. A pair of well insulated winter gloves are highly important whenever hiking during the winter months to avoid developing frostbite on the fingers or hands. Remember to always wear waterproof hiking boots along with a pair of warm synthetic hiking socks to keep the feet warm and completely dry. A lightweight balaclava is also highly effective for a hiker in blistery winter weather conditions. The balaclava will help keep the head entirely covered and the face perfectly warm.

Proper Sleeping Methods In Sub-Zero Weather

The daylight hours during the winter months are naturally much shorter compared to the daylight hours during the summer months. A winter hiker sleeping outside in sub-zero temperatures must maintain proper body core temperatures during the brutally cold and often very windy nights. One simple method for gaining extra warmth is to assemble an all-season lightweight hikers tent inside of a three wall Appalachian Trail shelter to keep the blistery cold wind from penetrating. The hikers lightweight sleeping bag during the winter months must be scientifically rated and officially suitable for a minimum of zero degree weather. A sleeping bag liner is also very important and highly recommended for sleeping outside during the winter months. In fact, the sleeping bag liner will commonly add an additional five to fifteen degrees of warmth to a sleeping bags scientific degree rating. An official zero degree rated sleeping bag with an additional liner added inside can then keep a hiker warm in temperatures as low as negative fifteen degrees. Often times the wind chill factors on the top of high elevated mountains will be significantly colder than the temperatures in the concrete covered city way down below in modern civilization. A lightweight sleeping pad will outstandingly aid the hiker in maintaining the bodies core temperatures and effectively keep the entire body off the cold frozen ground while sleeping during sub-zero weather conditions. Normally sleeping without a sleeping pad in freezing temperatures is never advised for anyone out in the wilderness. The cold frozen ground will significantly subtract from a persons core body temperatures and will often cause a hiker to freeze to death while sleeping during the night. On average, it is highly recommended for a hiker to sleep in there base layer at night to add additional heat while sleeping in freezing winter conditions. There are many different tricks for adding extra heat inside of a sleeping bag during the freezing temperatures of winter. A winter hiker must always remember to keep there drinking water bottle inside of there warm sleeping bag each night. This simple trick will help to prevent the risk of drinking water freezing overnight while sleeping.

Birds Are Everywhere No Black Bears, Pesky Bugs, Or Slithering Snakes In The Winter

The Positive Aspects And Advantages Of Winter Hiking

One positive aspect associated with winter hiking is the luxury of not being tormented profusely by the pesky insects, wasp stings, biting black flies, deer tick bites, bumble bee stings, or the disease-transmitting mosquitoes. Another positive advantage of winter hiking that hikers normally enjoy is the complete absence of poisonous and non-poisonous snake species that slither around abundantly in warmer weather. During the brutally cold winter there are naturally no American black bears to encounter while hiking. The black bears have there normal hibernation process during the winter. Although, when all of the snow melts and the temperatures steadily become much milder during the daylight hours. The American black bears are often known to come out of there hibernation caves for brief periods of time and generally will only roam near there caves in a desperate search of edible food sources. On average, many hikers often prefer hiking the Appalachian Trail during the cold winter months because of the many positive aspects associated with winter hiking. Regardless of how brutally cold the winter weather conditions become out in the backcountry. The numerous bird species living out in nature will always thrive exceedingly.

Nearly Four Feet Of Snow In The Appalachian Mountains

Hiking The Trail With Four Feet Of Snow

Hiking along the Appalachian Trail during sub-zero weather conditions can be difficult. Attempting to hike with nearly four feet of snow covering the frozen ground is a challenging task for hikers without proper equipment. When hiking in nearly four feet of snow it can quickly become impossible for any hiker to walk without a pair of snow shoes. The proper snow shoes will substantially prevent a hiker from constantly post-holing in the deep snow with every taken step. One basic method for this particular problem is creating your own makeshift set of snow shoes while in the backcountry. Designing a pair of snow shoes in the wilderness is a fairly simple task that first consist of locating the nearest pine tree available. When a pine tree has been spotted nearby to your location, cut a very large bundle of pine branches, and be sure each of the tree branches measure about three feet in total length. After cutting a decent amount of pine branches that measure three feet in length. Use strong paracord to simply tie all of the pine branches tightly together in a large bundle. After successfully tying two individual pine branch bundles together tightly, then tie one pine bundle tightly around your left hiking boot, and afterwards tie the remaining pine bundle tightly around your right hiking boot. Be certain the pine branch bundles are tied snuggly around each hiking boots. This winter survival skill will easily help a hiker to effectively walk across the top of the snows surface rather than post-holing with every step. No hiker ever desires to continuously post-hole and sink in waist deep snow with every step taken while attempting to hike. A hiker on the Appalachian Trail during the winter might strongly consider a pair of lightweight trekking poles while hiking. The poles will help hikers to balance themselves more effectively while walking over many slippery ice covered rocks.

Numerous Frozen Mountain Streams During The Winter

Effectively Obtaining Water In Freezing Conditions

During sub-zero winter weather conditions out in the backcountry a hiker will often encounter frozen streams on a daily basis. Trying to obtain fresh drinking water through ice that is frozen solid can be difficult. A bottle of fresh drinking water is always critical to possess out in the wilderness. Regardless of the current weather patterns a hiker must obtain fresh water to avoid severe dehydration. The human body is naturally capable of surviving for upwards of three weeks without any type of food source. Without drinking water the body will only survive for a few hours without any type of fluids being administered. A handy ice pick is a crucial tool for every hiker on the Appalachian Trail to carry during the cold months of winter. The light weight aluminum hikers pick with a sturdy handle will work wonders for busting a hole out of the frozen ice large enough to get access to drinking water. Any Appalachian Trail hiker carrying the proper tools, proper dress attire, basic knowledge of winter survival skills, and proper equipment can certainly survive in the wilderness. Regardless of the type of weather conditions mother nature chooses to offer. The prepared hiker will always hike much further on the Appalachian Trail than that of the unprepared hiker.

The Scientifically Zero Degree Rated Sleeping Bag Used For Winter Hiking

A Short Video Clip About Winter Weather On The Appalachian Trail

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