To help ensure winter hiking is not too difficult, a few little helpers can be useful. For example, no winter sports fans should travel through the winter landscape without snowshoes, crampons and poles.
- Snowshoes: Big bear paws are true helpers. Of course, it depends on which hike you are tackling and how much snow is lying. In principle they make it easier to stomp through deep snow and prevent sinking. Tip: many winter sports shops also offer snowshoe rental.
- Crampons: The simple shape of crampons make it easier to walk on ice and frozen snow. Additionally, crampons are relatively light, cheap and fit in every backpack. Just pop them over the show and there’s nothing standing in the way of a sure-footed winter experience.
- Poles with snow plates: Ski poles make winter hiking much easier. Especially when going uphill, these two helpers are virtually indispensable. But only if you use the correct plates! If the plates are too small they don’t keep the sticks from sinking into the snow.
The perfect footwear
Cold and wet feet are most unpleasant when hiking. Particularly in winter, footwear should be waterproof and provide a stable grip. When buying winter shoes look out for warm lining, a good profile, ankle height and good material.
Heat from within
Despite steady movement, the body cools down in freezing temperatures. Therefore, it is essential to provide heat from within. A well-insulated bottle with a hot drink is essential. You’ll quickly realise at the next stop a sip of warm tea or coffee can work wonders.
The perfect winter hiking regions
Peaceful forests, narrow paths and craggy rocks accompany you on the Rheinsteig. The challenging hikes in the Rhineland are recommended in every season. In the cold months, however, the landscape turns into a true winter wonderland. Advent markets, cosy inns and culinary delights are waiting to be discovered.
But it’s not only Germany that’s worth hiking in winter. The Salzkammergut in Austria could not be more beautiful in winter. Whether in St. Wolfgang, St. Gilgen or Strobl – each Christmas market is more idyllic and magical than the last. Floating candles on the lake, a view of sugar-topped mountain peaks and a steaming mug of mulled wine in hand: that’s the wonderful cold season!