Hiking in “Bad” Weather

A lot of folks shy away from hiking in bad weather.  They find it generally less pleasant when its too cold, too hot, too rainy, too windy or whatever.  While there are certainly extremes, I quite enjoy pushing the boundaries and getting out in all sorts of weather.  It gives me an opportunity to test my skills and my gear – making sure that I’m prepared.  Hiking is an unpredictable pursuit from a weather perspective.  Its never the same at the top of that mountain as it is at the base.  You have to move through various weather conditions with confidence – otherwise you’ll be miserable.

We had some recent snowfall in my neck of the woods – after a couple weeks of unseasonable warmth.  Mother Nature has reminded us that it is still March and it is still New England.  I got out my cold weather gear (it was well below freezing by my thermometer when I started out) and did a few miles on a local trail system.  The woods were absolutely beautiful.  It was a powdery snow that fell with almost no wind.  There are few things I love more than a forest lightly touched by snow.  I only had a little time for the hike and I spent a lot of it taking pictures!

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This hike gave me a chance to test out my new Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters.  I got them recently and hadn’t had a chance to try them out.  The snow was high enough to wash over the tops of my boots so I wanted some more protection than the bottom of my pant legs offered.  I also tend to soak the bottom of my pants when there’s snow so I wanted to defend against that as well.  Happy to say that these gaiters performed admirably.  They were fairly simple to get on and adjust – they hook under the boot as well as to the bottom of the laces.  They velcro up the from an have elastic around your lower calf.  They breathe well and added some warmth to my ankles.  They’re light and I didn’t notice any difference walking in them.  They kept the tops of my boots and my feet nice and dry.  I’ll definitely be taking them along on any longer hikes as well.

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Beaver dam got a little snow too

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