This is a compilation of hiking tips that have appeared on the home page of PA Hikes. I hope you find these usefull and beneficial when you go hiking. If you have any tips to share, please feel free to email them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Not only will we add your hiking tip to this page, but you'll also see it on our home page.

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Hiking during the winter requires you to dress appropriately. You’ll be surprised at how fast you get overheated and begin to sweat while hiking during these colder months.

The key to dressing for hikes when it’s cold is to dress in layers. Also, wearing a shirt or turtleneck that zippers in the front is a good idea. You can zipper up for warmth and unzipper to cool down. When you do start to get hot, start by taking off your hat (yes, make sure you wear a hat as that is where most of your body heat escapes), then open your shirt or jacket a little, then try unbuttoning and rolling up your shirt sleeves. This will allow cool air to circulate up your arms and down your torso.

Finally remember to bundle back up when you stop hiking. Dressing and undressing as your body warms and cools is the best way to keep comfortable during winter hikes.

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Winter is here and if you are like me, hikes during this time of the year are typically limited to day hikes. However, even if you aren’t using it over the winter, don’t neglect your sleeping bag.

This is the perfect time of the year to launder your sleeping bag. Ideally you would do this at a laundromat where they have those large, industrial size washers, specifically the ones without an agitator. If you don’t want to make a trip to the laundromat, then wash your bag by hand in a large tub of water (ie: bathtub). Make sure you use a mild, powdered soap and stay away from liquid detergents. When done washing, tumble dry your sleeping bag in your dryer using a no heat setting.

One last thing: don’t store your sleeping bag in it’s stuff sack. You can hang it from a hanger (best choice) or store it in a large breathable bag. Storing it this way keeps the fibers loose and not compressed, extending the life of your bag, and giving you continued warmth in the upcoming backpacking season.

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Did you know that you can dehydrate while hiking during the winter? Most people associate dehydration with hot summer days. Even though that is the most common time of the year that hikers dehydrate, dehydration can also occur during the winter months.

Even when you are hiking during the winter months, always remember to bring along an adequate supply of water. I always carry 2 liters of water with me; if I’m hiking 3 miles or 10 miles. If you are going to hike 10 miles or more, make sure you have a source of water at the end of your hike, or better yet, bring along a water filter so you can fill up along the way.

The best way to avoid dehydration on the trail during the winter is to make sure you’re hydrated before you start. Drink plenty of water on the morning of the hike. If you have an hour or two drive to the trailhead, bring along 20 ounces or more to drink on the way. And if you are doing an overnighter, make sure to drink at least a liter in the morning before you break camp and start your second day of hiking. You would be surprised at the amount of water your body gives off while you sleep.

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A lighter pack can make the world of difference on a hike. With a light pack you can enjoy your surroundings more and hike longer than with a heavy pack. You should try to trim ounces where you can because ounces will soon add up to pounds. Using plastic spoons, bowls and cups instead of metal is a good place to start.

If you are just starting out, try not to pack more than 1/5 to 1/4 of your body weight. More than this will tire you quickly. As you hike more and build up your body strength, you can pack up to 1/3 of your body weight.

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If you are planning on doing some hiking this winter, here’s a little tip to help keep your feet warmer.

To insulate your boots for winter hiking, trace your foot onto a piece of closed-cell foam. Cut out the trace and attach smaller pieces for arch support. Place these new insoles into your boots, and with time, they will mold to the shape of your foot, and provide additional insulation against the winter cold.