Do you only go hiking in the summer? Stay with us to discover how hiking is not incompatible with the winter. On the contrary, you will discover some new thrills and practices!
Before setting off through the snow-covered expanses, you need to choose the equipment that will allow you to hike in comfort and in complete safety.
You need at least waterproof and non-slip shoes, gloves, a jacket and waterproof overtrousers, plus a warm hat. Remember that 30% of body heat escapes through the head ! Also, remember to dress in keeping with the three-layer method.
Now you're ready to set off on your winter walk!
Many groomed paths allow walkers to follow their usual routes in the winter, but only with hiking shoes that are suited to snow.
But you can also discover other forms of winter hiking.
Snowshoes, which are worn attached to your hiking shoes, help you to walk on snow, especially when it is powdery. By increasing the surface area of your feet in contact with the snow, they prevent you from sinking and give you the push-off that you need to move forwards.
Most snowshoes also have hooks at the front of the foot, which makes walking on slopes and frozen ice much easier.
The great thing about snowshoeing is that you can adapt it to whatever you want to do and to however fit you are, as long as you prepare your route carefully!
Many ski resorts now propose snowshoeing tours, so why not give it a try?
- Cross-country skiing:
How about a hike on skis ? Sounds good ? Then cross-country skiing is the thing for you.
Cross-country skiing covers three disciplines: Conventional cross-country skiing (also known as alternative), in which you simply glide and slide along the trails provided ! Skating, which is harder work, but more fun too. You ski forwards by imitating the movements of an ice skater and you can gently descend small slopes.
And finally Nordic back country skiing (or Nordic cruising), which allows you to escape from the beaten track and revel in the vast expanses of virgin snow. Obviously, suitable clothing is always recommended.
Do not hesitate to look up the ski resorts near you that offer cross-country skiing, even at low altitude, and always remember to warm up properly.
For more information: "7 good reasons to go cross-country skiing", "Techniques and best practices", "Which equipment for which type of Nordic cruising ?"
- Ski touring:
Or how to combine the pleasures of hiking and skiing. This is what ski touring does ! But be careful. You need to be well prepared and it is advisable to be accompanied by a guide.
When skiing uphill, you use the skins under the skis that prevent you from sliding. You can also fix your skis to your rucksack on the steepest sections. No need to use ski lifts and you can experience the joys of skiing downhill in the powdery snow !
For beginners, some resorts propose secure pistes that are clearly marked out. Contact your nearest tourist information office.
And finally, something original that will please the young and the old: snowshoeing with dogs !