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A layer-by-layer guide to 25 winter hiking essentials

Monday, January 24th 2022, 4:00 pm - Your next walk through the forest will feel like a breath of fresh air with this list of practical winter hiking products for adults. We have you covered with everything from cold weather apparel and accessories to what gear and snacks to pack.

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Nikola Mihajloski, Unsplash, Winter Hiking Photo: Nikola Mihajloski/Unsplash

With more Canadians than ever taking up outdoor activities during the pandemic, winter hiking has become a staple in daily routines across the country. Whether you’re venturing out for a leisurely stroll in the snow or heading to the backcountry for an icy adventure, we have you covered with this list of top hiking essentials for adults that will make your day safe and enjoyable.

APPAREL

The first step to staying warm outdoors is layering your clothing. This technique will help protect you from winter’s main elements like wind, freezing temperatures, and wet snow. Your apparel plan should include a base, mid, and outer layer.

Next, add your waterproof snow pants, wool socks, and quality boots to ensure you're dressed appropriately for the forecast.

1. Under Armour Women’s HeatGear Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Test sample women's base layer

Amazon.ca

Start with this breathable, fast-dry, 4-way stretch base layer to achieve winter warmth.

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2. Under Armour Men’s Crew-Neck Base Shirt

TEST Men's base layer 2

Amazon.ca

This performance enhancing base layer wicks away sweat to keep you dry and help you retain heat.

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3. Spyder Women's Bella Full Zip

Amazon, CANVA Women-s Mid Layer Winter Hiking Sweater

Amazon.ca

Build up your warmth with this mock-neck sweater perfect for skiing, snowshoeing, or hiking.

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4. Spyder Men’s Full Zip Sweater

Amazon CANVA Men-s mid layer Winter Hiking Sweater

Amazon.ca

Add soft fleece as your second layer, complete with zippered hand warmer pockets.

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5. Sunice Reanna Water Repellent, Windproof Women’s Winter Jacket

Amazon CANVA Women-s jacket Winter Hiking

Amazon.ca

This lightweight jacket is designed to take you through three seasons, making it a solid mid-winter investment.

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6. Sunice Rory Insulated Water Repellent, Windproof Men’s Winter Jacket

Amazon CANVA Men-s jacket winter hiking

Amazon.ca

A versatile three-season jacket that will provide you with continuous warmth in temperatures as low as -10°C.

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7. Columbia Women’s Bugaboo Oh Pant

Amazon CANVA women-s snow pants winter hiking

Amazon.ca

You’ll be ready to embrace fresh powder with these waterproof and breathable snow pants available in 11 colours.

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8. Columbia Men’s Snow Gun Pant

Amazon CANVA men-s snow pants winter hiking

Amazon.ca

These functional waterproof snow pants have added large cargo pockets to carry your snow gear in style.

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9. Smartwool Women’s Hike Classic Max Cushion Mountaineer Crew Socks

Amazon CANVA women-s socks winter hiking

Amazon.ca

Your toes will thank you when you’re hiking in subzero temperatures with these non-itch Merino wool and recycled nylon crew socks.

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10. Smartwool Men’s Hike Classic Edition Full Cushion Crew Socks

Amazon CANVA men-s socks winter hikin

Amazon.ca

Achieve peak performance on your hikes with this long-standing brand featuring non-itch Merino wool and recycled nylon to keep your feet at a regulated temperature.

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11. Sorel Women’s Joan of Arctic Boots

Amazon CANVA Women-s boots winter hiking

Amazon.ca

These trusted boots will make all of your winter activities more enjoyable with extra-grip traction, insulation, waterproof materials, and overall comfort.

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12. UGG Men’s Butte Snow Boots

Amazon CANVA men-s boots winter hiking

Amazon.ca

Weather rated to -20°C, these boots are crafted to handle the harshest winter elements and will take you stylishly through anything from gentle flurries to heavy snow.

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ACCESSORIES

Once you have your apparel layers on to retain warmth, it’s time to accessorize for the best winter hiking experience. You’ll need gloves, a neck warmer, and a hat as well as spikes, goggles, and poles depending on the conditions in your area.

The great thing about layering and accessorizing is you can always take something off if you work up a sweat on your walk.

13. Columbia Women’s Whirlibird Glove

Amazon CANVA Women-s gloves winter hiking

Amazon.ca

Plan on packing a snowball during your hike? These thermal gloves will get the job done with built-in waterproof durability to lock the snow and water out.

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14. Columbia Men’s Whirlibird Glove

Amazon CANVA Men-s gloves winter hiking

Amazon.ca

Handy features of these gloves include adjustable fit, omni-heat thermal reflective warmth, and an omni-tech waterproof breathable shell to keep you protected from the elements.

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15. Columbia Unisex Trail Shaker Gaiter

Amazon CANVA neck warmer winter hike

Amazon.ca

Shield your neck from cold temperatures and chilly wind so you can go the extra mile with this adjustable gaiter.

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16. Canada Knitwear Unisex Toque

Amazon CANVA winter hat winter hiking

Amazon.ca

Designed and made in Canada, this toque comes in a variety of colours and is produced with 3D knitting technology, which reduces waste.

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17. Oakley Line Miner Ski and Snowboard Goggles

Sport Chek CANVA goggles winter hiking

Sport Chek

Goggles aren’t only for skiing and snowboarding! For better visibility during active weather conditions on your hikes, swap out your shades for these protective goggles.

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18. Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction Device Unisex

MEC CANVA spikes winter hiking

MEC

If you’re venturing off the trails or hiking up hills, these spikes will secure your grip and reduce the risk of slipping on ice.

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19. Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles

Sport Chek CANVA poles winter hiking

Sport Chek

These poles will help you keep your footing on four-season hikes with adjustable height and a comfortable ergonomic grip.

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WHAT TO PACK

Bringing a small backpack on your hike will allow you to tote some items with you while leaving space for those extra layers you might need to take off. It’s reasonable to pack your cell phone, camera, snacks, and a few emergency items.

20. MEC Trail 24 Pack Unisex

MEC backpack updated

MEC

This backpack is touted as the perfect-sized bag to hold your gear and lunch on longer hikes and includes loops to attach your poles.

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21. HotHands 24 Pair of Hand Warmers & 8 Pair of Toe Warmers

Amazon CANVA hand and toe warmers winter hiking

Amazon.ca

Just in case it’s colder than you think, keep these warmers on hand for fast, long-lasting heat.

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22. Yeti Rambler Chug 18 oz Bottle

Atmosphere CANVA yeti bottle winter hiking

Atmosphere

Stave off dehydration with this reusable, leak-proof water bottle made with kitchen-grade stainless steel.

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23. Canon EOS M200 EF-M 15-45mm IS STM Kit Black

Amazon CANVA camera winter hiking

Amazon.ca

Capture all of nature’s best moments with high-quality photos, 4K video capability, and state-of-the-art self portrait mode.

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24. KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt

Amazon CANVA Snacks winter hiking

Amazon.ca

Hikers need sustenance! Be kind to your body and keep this gluten-free, low-sodium snack in your backpack. Available in a variety of flavours.

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25. Primacare Emergency Mylar Thermal Blanket (Pack of 10)

Amazon CANVA thermal blanket winter hiking

Amazon.ca

Be prepared for an outdoor emergency with this weatherproof thermal blanket used to retain or deflect heat.

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Alexandr Podvalny Pexels Should have bought the snow pants

Our trusted Product Specialists recommend high-quality items that we think will enhance your experience with Canadian weather conditions. Prices and availability of items are accurate at the time of publication and are subject to change.

Thumbnail image courtesy Alexandr Podvalny/Pexels

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