Things will work out. If you keep trying and praying and working, things will work out. They always do. If you want to die at an early age, dwell on the negative. Accentuate the positive, and you’ll be around for a while. President Gordon B. Hinkley
Staying Warm and Comfortable on Winter Hikes and Snowshoe Outings
My goal every winter is to help people, no matter what sport they join me in, to have a positive memorable time in the outdoors. This is my goal year round but especially in the winter months. You can stay warm and comfortable EVEN in the coldest or snowiest conditions. However, some may need more help than others achieving that. You don’t have to spend a lot of money finding the right clothing.
I’ve been hiking, skiing and/or snowshoeing every week for over five years and here are a few things I've learned.
Dressing for Winter Sports: Getting dressed can be tricky so dress like an onion! It’s hard to predict if you will be warm enough so when in doubt, always wear more layers. Generally speaking, you will start out a little cold at the trailhead because you aren't moving too much. Within a few minutes after we get going, your body starts to warm up. I encourage everyone to move fast in the beginning just to get the heat generating throughout your body. Even in 10 degrees, after hiking for a little while, I find myself peeling my gloves and some clothes off because I’m too hot.
PREPARE FOR THE WORST CONDITIONS, NOT THE BEST Many outdoor enthusiasts make the mistake of preparing for the best winter weather conditions – NOT the worst. You should always prepare for harsh extreme weather conditions even though you may not experience it that often.
HOW TO GET STARTED:
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR WINTER CLOTHES/ACCESSORIES TOGETHER I have two sport bags that I keep all of my winter clothing/accessories in. Since I ski, snowshoe, and hike all winter long, they are ready to go when I am.
CLOTHES I BRING FOR WINTER SPORTS 2 pair long underwear, five fast wicking long sleeve tops, 1 pair nylon ski pants, 2 pair fast wicking stretch pants, 1 pair gators, four pair Smart Wool socks, 3 pair gloves/mittens, 2 ski hats, 1 face mask, 1 neck gator, 1 fleece headband, 1 pair yak trax, 2 non-lined nylon windbreaker jackets, 1 heavier non-lined winter jacket and 2 fleece vests. My gear i.e. snowshoes, skis, poles, sleds, hiking shoes and ski boots are kept in a separate area. This is WAY more than the average person needs. This type of clothing will keep me comfortable in "below 0 degree weather" or warmer.
WHERE TO KEEP YOUR CLOTHES I keep the sports bags with me in my car. I can adjust my clothing at the trailhead or ski resort if necessary. Weather conditions can often change quickly and it helps to have some extra dry clothing nearby. After any outdoor winter sport I can change into clean clothes if necessary.
BE PREPARED TO HELP OTHERS I like to try to help others who may not be dressed adequately. I know I have more clothes than any ONE person needs but it's good to know I can step in and help someone if necessary. I’ve seen plenty of people who were not prepared. I also carry an extra blanket in my car for emergency purposes. I try to be observant – keeping an eye out for people in trouble. I’ve been on the needy end before and someone has always been there to help me out when I was in trouble.
EXPERIENCE HELPS With more mountain experience in a variety of weather conditions, you have more respect for the mountains and begin to realize what you need for different occasions.
ITEMS I CARRY IN MY BACKPACK Water, nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter/honey sandwiches, bananas, freshly ground whole wheat oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, digital camera, LED headlamp, lip protection, lotion for face and hands, sunglasses, hard candy, whistle, cell phone, 2-way radio, pen, paper, GPS, etc.
Hiking and Snowshoeing are GREAT weight loss programs!
One more reason why you should hike with us in 2008... It's a great weight loss program!
Seven weight loss tips:
Give both eating habits and exercise top billing. You cannot, repeat cannot, lose weight without watching what you eat and getting your rear in gear. Most people who achieve long-term weight-loss success do so with a combination of changed eating habits and increased exercise. The National Weight Control Registry, a database that tracks thousands of successful losers, reports that 80 percent of those who drop pounds and keep them off long-term make significant changes in both food intake and activity levels.
Portion control is key. It's not what you eat but how much. Contrary to what some low-carb diet gurus will have you believe, it's not pasta that makes you fat, it's the fact that you eat enough of it at one sitting to feed a small village. By limiting portion sizes you can still indulge in the foods you love because you won't overindulge.
Walking works. In spite of its wimpy reputation, walking is an excellent weight-loss workout because it's easy to do, requires little equipment and is kind to your body. You burn roughly 100 calories a mile. To ignite your calorie burn even more, walk up hills, move faster, or alternate walking with brief periods of running.
Keep a journal. Most people underestimate how much they eat and overestimate how much they move. Writing it down in a daily journal keeps you honest and can be a real eye-opener as your health patterns emerge.
Drink up. We're referring to water, nature's original diet drink. No calories, very filling, tastes great. Sipping H2O before and during meals helps take the edge off of hunger and fills you up faster. On the flip side, stay away from high-calorie colas, sugary drinks and alcohol. Liquid calories can add up faster than you can say, "Supersize my Slurpee please."
Graze, don't gorge. Eating smaller, more frequent meals (four to six per day) keeps hunger under control and your blood sugar levels from dipping and spiking like a roller coaster ride. You're also less likely to pig out than when you eat three larger squares a day with long periods of time in between.
Lose the quick-fix mentality. Accept the fact that fad diets don't work and that there are no short cuts to permanent weight loss. Losing weight, like any other goal that means something, takes dedication and hard work. Sure you'll have setbacks and encounter stumbling blocks along the way, but that doesn't mean you can't do it. The end result is worth it.
Sheryl's Favorite Websites
http://www.snowlist.com/ - A free community classifieds site specifically for the Utah mountains. It's a great one stop, one shop for anyone playing and living in the Utah mountains.
http://www.meosphere.com/ - Open a FREE account. A fun way to keep track of where we've been and what we've done. Great way to learn about someone. Keep track of what you want to do and where you want to go before you die!