Snow has hit many parts of the country already, but it’s never too late to get prepared for the winter season. Even if your winter doesn’t include snow, it might include rain, mud, ice, sleet and other nastiness that can make your outdoor life miserable unless you’re prepared. Here are a couple of running and hiking accessory items that might mean the difference between getting outside and loving it, or getting beat by Mother Nature.
First, running or hiking can be a cartoon-like experience on icy, snowy roads and trails without some kind of traction device. Here are two great systems: The Kahtoola MicroSpikes and the Yaktrax. Both are very good and can prevent slipping and sliding on ice and snow.
Now that you’ve got your grip on, the next thing is to keep the outside elements from getting inside your shoe. The easiest way to do that is with a gaiter. It fits around the bottom of your shoe or boot, and raps around the upper in order to prevent material from getting into the shoe. One of the best gaiters on the market is the Outdoor Research Flex Tex gaiter. It’s flexible and easy to wear, very comfortable, and it works. This is a must-have for the winter runner or hiker.
If it seems like despite all your best efforts, or due to unforeseen circumstances / sudden rainstorms, your boots or shoes are wet after your day out in the Winter Wonderland, you might want to consider investing in a boot dryer or shoe dryer. Drying your shoes after a rainy or snowy workout can be tedious, but the Peet Power Cell portable footwear dryer makes it a snap. While your friends are stuffing wadded-up paper into their shoes and wondering if they’ll be dry in time for the next morning, you’re sitting by the fireplace, wine glass in hand, smiling and totally reassured that your shoes will be fully dried out.