Trail Runner’s Guide to Winter Survival is a comprehensive, handy, and enjoyable snow trekking manual. In it, David LeBolt includes everything a hiker needs to know in order to survive in the cold months of the New Year. This comprehensive guidebook for winter treks covers a full range of topics from how to prepare for and survive in subzero temperatures to the proper equipment needed, including gloves, mittens, a headlamp, and water bottles, to how to avoid hypothermia and other hazardous winter conditions. The knowledge found within Trail Runner’s Guide to Winter Survival will prove invaluable to any serious or recreational hiker.
Trail Runner’s guides for winter are designed to provide users with all the necessary information they will need to survive the cold winter weather. Although it is not specifically a “snow white” book, it is definitely a “wintery” book. It tackles the most commonly asked questions regarding winter hiking and trekking and has the answers you are looking for.
One of the best features of this book is that it is broken down into three parts. Part one, called The Route, provides general instructions for preparing for and going on your trek. It gives useful tips such as making sure your food and supplies are properly stocked, how to prepare your tent, where you should go to camp, what clothes to bring, and so forth. Part two, known as The Skills, contains useful information such as using a compass and a map, snow removal procedures, how to light a fire, and how to carry your tent and other equipment.
Part three, called The Gear, contains the actual gear and safety gear you will need for your winter escapade. Trail Runner recommends that you pack a dependable sleeping bag, cold-weather clothing, a waterproof jacket, warm boots, a knife, and an emergency whistle and beacon. Some of the better brands available for these items include Coleman, North Face, Marmot, REI, Slingshot, and others. Each of these manufacturers offers some sort of selection in their products.
The Guide also includes some useful tips on how to deal with snow and ice. For instance, do not take heavy boots with you on your winter trek because these can melt if they get wet. Keep your extremities clean at all times and wash them with plain soap and water. You might also want to invest in a pair of waterproof, breathable socks to wear during your trek if the ground gets too wet from the snow or ice.
Trail Runner’s Guide also contains information about using the trails, safety precautions, what to bring, and other useful tips. As an example, you will find sections that explain why wearing a GPS or other tracking device is important, what to look for in a good hiking boot, and other useful pieces of information. In addition, the guide includes an excellent bibliography. For someone just starting out with hiking, this is a great resource.
I especially like the sections that address different safety concerns. For example, you will learn about how to avoid avalanche conditions (where large slides can be), and how to spot animal tracks that may indicate human tracks. The Guide also gives recommendations on what equipment to bring and what to do if you become injured. And there are sections on weather conditions for various climates. Very helpful!
Another thing that the Guide does very well is explain the historical background of hiking and trail running. It points out that this sport has been around for decades. Many people started taking hikes and journeys by car and horseback, and used the same pack list as the guides in this product. They were pioneers in outdoor recreation and helped establish many trails across America and the world! They helped make the backwoods trails accessible by automobile. They are definitely worth a read, and are definitely a must have for any serious hiker or runner.