Bryce Canyon during my winter road trip, for Ellen Blazer's travel blog To Travel and Bloom
United States

39 Things that Go Through Your Head When You Go Hiking & Camping in the Winter

I can’t be the only one counting down the days until warm weather… in my opinion, life seems to begin again with each springtime. 

The thing I look forward to most is making the shift from hanging with the TV and heater to spending as much time as possible out in the open air. Buuut…until that can finally be a reality, you will still find the most dedicated among us out on the trails in the dead of winter.

So here are some things that I know have gone through my head while hiking and camping in the winter months. I hope you can relate!

1. Okay, gotta keep an eye out for ice on the trail, I am not trying to slip and fall

2. Okay, now that we’re walking by a drop-off, I actually need to watch for ice on the trail

3. I should have spent more time looking for my gloves before leaving the house

4.  Are those hand warmers still in my backpack from last winter?

5. The air may hurt my face, but it is so so crisp and fresh out here  

6. This tiny patch of sunlight feels amazing on my cheeks!

7. At least the water in my bottle is the perfect drinking temperature

8. I love the smell of the evergreens — nothing else like it

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9. I think I should have worn four pairs of socks, instead of three

10. It’s nice having fewer people out here than the summer months — I love having the trail to myself

11. It’s so quiet, you can really hear all of the wildlife. This is peaceful

12. Welll there’s that ice I was supposed to be looking out for! Time to get back up.

13. Oh no, I forgot how early it gets dark now, better find a campsite soon

14. I would love to find a place with a view (no matter what the season)

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15. Gotta pick a place where it won’t get too windy – don’t want to blow off the mountain

16. My hands are sooo cold trying to set up these tent poles

17. Gotta get a campfire going asap

18. I have NEVER appreciated a simple fire so much

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19. How is it that 90° July days and these winter nights exist in the same dimension?

20. How is it possible that this fire is melting my face off while my back is still icy?

21. I have never been so grateful for a hot meal

22. Hmmm. I do NOT feel like venturing out into the cold darkness to hang a bear bag. odds are there won’t actually be any bears around tonight, right?

23. On second thought, I’ve heard one too many stories about bear encounters…

24. Well, what time is it – 9:00? 10:00? Better get ready for bed.

25. Ummmm okay…it’s 6:40. Well, if I go to sleep now, I could wake up for sunrise?

26. I’ll try to kill a little bit more time. Maybe I’ll read by the fire.

27. What was that?! A stick snapping? Something out there definitely wants to eat me

28. Okay, I should get into my tent. That way the nylon walls will protect me

29. At least I don’t have to worry about mosquitos getting into the tent this time of year

30. Alright, time to find every ounce of clothing I packed and put it on all at once, to stay warm through the night

31. I’ve always heard it’s warmer to sleep naked in your sleeping bag, but that just feels like the opposite of true to me. Someone needs to show me a scientific study

32. Oh my rain jacket! I’m not wearing my rain jacket yet, I should put that on!

33. Noooooo I have to pee. Of course.

34. Maybe I can hold it until the morning?

35. Definitely not. There is no way around emerging from my carefully-built cocoon. If only I had one of these

36. Okay, I’m back, and it’s time to store up my body heat again

37. Not hearing any weird noises…I think it’s safe to go to sleep

38. It may only be 7:00 pm, but that was a really long hike today, so I think I’m actually going to pass out

39. Well I’m still freezing, can’t wait for summer, and starting to hear noises again, but I sure do love it out here.

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Ellen Blazer

I am an avid traveler & I work as a Travel Agent for Dreamavoo Travel & Tours (CCRA-certified, registered with TPI, member of Ensemble). I specialize in the Caribbean, Mexico, honeymoons, Europe, and SE Asia travel. My travel blog To Travel and Bloom is designed to instill confidence in my clients & inspire them as they consider destinations around the world.

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