Safety Tips to Get Ready for Your Next Cold Outdoor Adventure

Cold weather has never been an excuse for adventurous people to go outdoors to find the next challenge. There is snow, freezing winds, and ice everywhere but the intrepid inner you do not really care about any of it, it just wants to discover new experiences out there, especially in countries where winter hits harder.

In North America, specifically in Canada and the northern part of the United States, there is no such thing as mild winter. Because being ready for an adventure between November and March is way different than getting ready during summer. That is why we have made a list of winter safety tips to help you prepare for your next winter adventure.

Check the weather forecast before going

It’s always important to check the weather in advance, even days before the trip. If it rains, snows, it’s extremely windy or cold, our clothes have to be different for each circumstance. Using hats, gloves, wool socks, winter boots and extra layers can protect us from the arduous circumstances out there.

Being ready is the first step and that’s why we have to dress accordingly but also be comfortable for a day trip. It’s key always to protect your skin, especially vulnerable areas such as fingers, toes, ears and nose. Also, if the weather is too bad, a good idea might be to re-schedule for next week. Nothing is worth your health and safety.

hiker looking out at frozen waterfall  

Stay well-nourished

Drink as much liquid as you can and eat enough food during the day. Drinking water will help you avoid dehydration, which can cause headaches, dizziness or fatigue. Any of them can be harmful mid-adventure. Food-wise, focus on fats and carbohydrates to help you stay warm and hot in cold temperatures.

Plan ahead

Knowing your adventure is important. We recommend downloading maps from the area you are planning to visit from the Avenza Map Store, using the different filters, to find the perfect one for your destination. It will help you to find places where you can eat, rest or use the washroom. Also, your energy is a key factor. Before the trip, it’s great to have a good rest. Having enough sleep will help you stay alert when the conditions can get dangerous.

Once out there, like any normal day, taking a break is necessary. Your body needs to rest from exercise and the cold, so warm-up breaks plan ahead can help you avoid physical problems such as numbness and shivers. Using the Avenza Map Store, some of the maps have all the information about one-day trips, camping sites or break houses in different trails all over the States and Canada.

Hikers climbing a snowy mountain 

Have a cold-weather safety kit accessible

What does a cold-weather safety kit look like? Well, mostly it will be made of items to help you increase your temperature in case of an emergency. Blankets, candles or matches can provide enough warmth to avoid hypothermia for a long period of time. Also, extra clothes, like a pair of socks, mittens or hats: if your clothes are wet, remove them quickly and use the new ones.

If your kit is in your car, think of how the weather can affect it. An ice scraper and snow brush are essential for winter, jumper cables for a worst-case scenario and compliment them with reflective warning triangles and road flares, so we don’t get lost on the road.

Following all these safety tips, your adventure should be successful. Always be extra careful, the weather is unpredictable, but you have everything ready to have a great time. Enjoy your trip!

Download Avenza Maps to be safe

Download the Avenza Maps App and explore the maps from our Map Store to help you stay outside dangerous areas, keep you tracked even without a cell signal, and help you navigate through the winter weather.