4 Navigation Hazards To Watch Out For When Backpacking in Winter
There are some standard run-of-the-mill navigation hazards that you can run into when backpacking. This is irrespective of whether you’re an experienced backpacker or just starting out as a beginner.
Navigating, even on a well-known and familiar trail can be even more challenging in the winter weather. One of the many mistakes you can make on your backpacking trip is taking the road less traveled (and not staying hydrated enough). This means you can easily get lost and also isolate yourself from a group, if you came with one.
Some of the things you have to look out for are trails at the risk of being buried in snow, amidst the route for an avalanche and other weather-related hazards.
Here are some of the most common navigation challenges you should be prepared for.
Not being able to see through winter clothes
You need to cover up properly during winter hikes and camping trips. But the layers of ski masks and caps can obstruct your vision.
Even breathing in your mask can cause it to fog up too often.
Don’t let this stop you, just opt to hike in a group so you don’t get lost on your own.
Trails buried in snow
You might know a trail like the back of your hand but when it’s buried deep in snow, you won’t be able to see fallen branches and other obstructions.
Hidden trail signs are helpful during other seasons, but there is a high probability you won’t be able to see it during the winter.
Your gear could also get damaged during the hike which is why you should look for a trail that others have already used. This way, the signs would be more visible, and you have a better idea of what the trail looks like.
Too dark to see
Shorter days in the winter season mean that you have fewer hours of precious sunlight to keep you warm and light the way.
This is why you should aim to cover most of your trail during the day so you can reach your camp spot and set up camp in due time.
Hiking after the sun has set comes with greater risks of getting lost and accidents, that you most definitely want to avoid.
Unable to pass through
It can be difficult to hike in the snow even if you’re wearing the right shoes for it. You also need a lot more strength in your legs and energy to cover shorter distances. You also have more gear to carry and too much baggage weighing you down.
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