Preparation for the activity An enjoyable hike instead of a forced march

Photo copyright Max Seigal,

To ensure that your planned winter tour does not turn into a forced march, you need to follow some advice and make certain compromises. There are a number of specifics to planning a winter hiking tour. Snow-covered trails and paths are much more strenuous to negotiate than in the summer. Snow and ice also transform many a familiar forest trail into an unpleasant sliding experience. An early sunset – it often gets dark at 4 pm – also reduces the time buffer available if you take a wrong turn or make a detour. The distances that you are planning to cover during the tour also need to be matched to local circum­stances and to your own physical fitness – and be signi­ficantly reduced. Here it’s worth being honest with yourself! You’re better off reaching your destination faster than planned on your first tour, and then you can plan to cover a greater distance the next time. A good starting point for all winter hiking novices is to select a route that is roughly half the distance that you would hike during the summer.