The idea of crampons gets a whole lot sexier the more you slide down a hill.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
La Belle Province is blessed to get to experience the four seasons, although winter often feels never-ending. But, that's why we do outdoor activities during this time, to try and remind ourselves that the cold season doesn't suck entirely.
If you've ever been winter hiking in Quebec, you know that it's nothing like walking up a mountain during the summer. So when I hit up La Montagne Verte in the Laurentians this January, it's safe to say I learned a few lessons on my way up the mountain.
And now I'm here to share some tips with you that I wish someone had told me before I went out on my winter hiking adventure.
Snow pants are an adult's best friend
Anyone who says snow pants are lame is 100% incorrect — yeah I said it. We should learn from children who love playing in their snowsuits because they're the ones who have the most fun in the snow and rarely complain about getting wet.
If you plan on wandering through the great outdoors during the winter, you're going to want to make sure you've got some snow or slush pants on. If not, you'll be spending the whole day feeling damp and uncomfortable — and who wants that?
Also, don't forget gloves and a hat because frostbite is a real thing, folks.
You're going to sweat if you dress properly
When it comes to dressing for your winter hike, you basically have two options: underdress or overdress. It seems as though there's no in-between.
I'm no winter-dressing expert but I'd definitely have to say that overdressing is the way to go. That way, when you start sweating under your seven layers of clothing, which you will, you can just take parts off and put them in your bag.
The idea of sweating while being outside in -25 C may sound impossible, but I promise it's not. It's a whole workout.
Snacks are a necessity
Since you get such a good workout while hiking during the winter, you're going to get extremely hungry. That's just the way the body works.
So while you may think eating before your two-hour (or longer) hike will be enough to keep you going, you're probably wrong. That, or I'm just a hungry human.
To avoid getting hangry around whoever you decided to venture up a snowy hill with, you'll want to pack some snacks in your bag.
Burning all those calories is sure to have you working up an appetite.
Make sure your boots have grip — or get yourself some crampons
Although we Montrealers are used to venturing across icy roads during the winter, trying to hike on icy areas is a whole different ball game.
My friends and I learned the hard way that if your boots don't have grip, you'll spend half of your hike sliding down the mountain.
It was in those moments I realized crampons are way cooler than they sound.
A walking stick is a literal must
This goes for hiking during any season. If I've learned one thing from my adventures hiking near Montreal, it's that a walking stick — whether it be one you bought or a makeshift one you made — is a necessity.
Especially if you didn't follow the tip above... Your hiking stick can help you get the grip you wish your shoes had.
It's 10x harder than summer hiking
Honestly, even a walking stick won't save you.
Of course, everything depends on the level of difficulty, but trying to drag your legs through snow is not as easy as walking on grass when it's 30 C outside.
In the end, even if you totally mess up and don't follow any of these tips, the snowy views are absolutely worth every struggles you face along the way.