Winter walking can be truly wonderful given the right gear and the right route. I lived in Minnesota for over 25 years so I know of what I speak! Here’s my winter walking guidelines for good gear and the right routes.
Good gear isn’t necessarily expensive or super high tech. To me good gear is gear that fits well and does the job you need done. For winter walking you need gear that holds your body heat comfortably and also breathes. I recommend a “grounds up” approach starting with what you’ll put on your feet. If the snow cover is fairly light (less than 3 or 4 inches) well insulated hiking boots and wool socks will keep your toes toasty for your 25-minute brisk walk. Layer on some long underwear and wind pants or jeans to keep your legs warm and for your torso take the same approach— a long underwear top and a fleece or wool sweater. I like an insulated but light weight coat to cover my core; the main thing I want is wind protection. My final good gear suggestions are mittens or gloves, a neck gaiter and a good warm hat. There you go—you’re ready to walk!
The right route is one that’s easily accessible, safe, and beautiful. Easy access for some of us is right out the door, which is ideal. If your neighborhood is walkable, you can’t beat “out-the-door” for time management! If your right route is not in your immediate neighborhood, make sure it’s well-lit, has little to no ice, is well trafficked by fellow walkers, and is easy to get to so that you will indeed get there on a regular basis. My main right route criteria is no ice—one slip on a hidden patch of ice and your winter walk turns into a winter spill. Avoid this by walking routes that have full sun during the day and are walked frequently.
Keep it simple, easy and doable walking women and you’ll fall in love with wonderful winter walking.
P.S. Through the One Million Women Walking movement, I help you get the exercise you want in just minutes per day so your Self-care and your TO DO list both get handled! Join 1MWW on Patreon for $1/month to get the exercise you want, the accountability, support, motivation and encouragement you need, and the life transformation you yearn for! See you there—I can’t wait to walk with you!