Hiking is great for keeping fit, interacting with nature and socializing with friends. The beauty of the scenery in the autumn-winter period and the lack of heat are the main reasons for running into the mountains at this time, but it is recommended to prepare very well for the cold, snow, rain, wind …
Those who are just getting started or are not yet accustomed to walking the trails of Spanish geography can benefit most from the teachings offered by the tourist clubs. For Manila Raga, President of the Valencian Tourism Club, the key is to “have the best equipment” that allows you to wear lighter clothes and not carry your backpack too much.
What clothes to wear
What is commonly referred to as dressing like onions is a great example of how to cook. In general, technical fabrics are preferred over cotton or fibers that absorb water and are difficult to dry. Riga explains the different layers that must be switched on to be put on or taken off depending on the temperature:
the first leather will consist of technical fabric leggings and long-sleeved thermal underwear.
winter hiking pants and long-sleeved shirt, both in technical fabric.
It will consist, if possible, of two pieces of clothing: a fleece plus a waterproof jacket, windbreaker or raincoat.
The most suitable socks are mountain socks, but they can also cost wool. Hiking boots must have a waterproof membrane (Gore-Tex or equivalent) and a sole that adheres well to the ground (vibram or equivalent).
Clothes are complemented by a neck, a glove (which should be thicker for snow) and a hat. According to Ragi, the goal is to avoid the “chimney effect” so that “if you have warm feet and wear a hat and gloves, after all, the heat does not escape from any limb and you can maintain body temperature. »
First Aid Kit Needed
In the backpack of the traveler, the set should not be missed. “It’s more important in winter than at other times of the year because there are fewer people in the mountains,” warns Raga, stressing that in addition to bandages, bandages, disinfectants … you can take medicines that everyone takes for headaches or other discomforts. “This is a personal first aid kit.”
sunscreen and sunglasses should accompany us at any time of the year, as well as lip balm and moisturizer to apply at the end of the walk.
Don’t forget to take a mobile phone with a fully charged battery, poles, GPS (or a mobile app that allows us to navigate), water and something to eat (such as fruits or nuts).
The president of the Valencian club advises never to go to the mountains alone, least of all in winter. “Hiking is a very social sport,” he adds. And, if possible, go with experienced people. In this sense, he recommends for those looking to start winter hiking, “take easy routes that are not too far from civilization.
Discretion comes first
You don’t need to be afraid of the mountains, but you don’t need to “have a great adventure. If it is very cold and there are large slopes and shady areas, it is possible that there are ice sheets with the consequent risk of slipping. »
Clamps and snowshoes are very useful, but it is advisable for someone to teach us how to use them and guide us along the way.
Another key aspect is the schedule: in winter it is recommended to start walking very early and finish before eating. “It gets dark very early and when the sun goes down the temperature drops very quickly.” In the event of an emergency, it will be much more difficult at night to obtain the necessary assistance, as helicopters usually do not take off when the sun has already set.
It’s also worth checking out the weather forecast before heading out for a walk, and if it’s not too flattering it may be preferable to leave the route for another day.