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Bold: Why not try out some winter hikes during the holidays?

Ontario hiking blogger Lauren Yakiwchuk has ideas and suggestions for hikers and snowshoers who want to out of the house

If there is something that a lot of families like to do over the festive holidays, it's getting out of the house for a nice walk. Some more adventurous folks will actually set aside a few hours and make it a holiday hike.

Toronto-based hiking blogger Lauren Yakiwchuk is the author of the Hiking Ontario blog and website, where she provides extensive details on the best places to go hiking in Ontario.  

This has included the Sudbury area, which has a wealth of hiking options. She has also written about what she believes to be the best Christmas hiking trails in Ontario.

Another more recent blog post had Lauren writing about the best snowshoe trails in Ontario, which included a worthy mention of Sudbury's own Kivi Park

Lauren's blog does feature a lot of Southern Ontario hiking destinations, but it also features some solid advice for those who prefer to travel around Northern Ontario. One of her recent blog postings outlined a host of Northern hiking trips that included Sleeping Giant Provincial Park near Thunder Bay, Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park also near Thunder Bay, Bridal Veil Falls on Manitoulin Island and Killarney Provincial Park south of Sudbury.

The blog also included an online map showing the best winter locations for avid hikers in Ontario.

In one of her latest blogs, Lauren outlined details of some of the newest technology and accoutrement available to the hiking community. This included a write-up on the popular AllTrails app. The app is free, she wrote. But she has also upgraded to the paid version.

"One of the most popular hiking apps is AllTrails, without a doubt. After all, AllTrails has the most definitive collection of paths from around the world. There are over 400,000 curated trails on the app worldwide, both created and used by over 40 million users. It is also useful for a variety of outdoor activities, such as walking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, trail running and more. I recently took the plunge and upgraded from the AllTrails free version to AllTrails Pro," she said in her latest posting, which included a link to Lauren's review on AllTrails Pro.

Full disclosure here, Lauren revealed she could be compensated for some of the links in her review if anyone actually makes a purchase.

Getting back to holiday hiking, Lauren's blog offered advice on things you might want to bring along in your daypack. As it turns out many of the items would be excellent gifts or stocking-stuffers for the hikers in your household.  

"Your packing list for a winter hiking trip will look much different than one in the summer. Here are some important things to consider bringing with you on a winter day hike:"

  • Waterproof day pack.
  • Water bottle for cold drinks or insulated bottle for hot drinks.
  • Hand warmers / toe warmers.
  • Crampons.
  • Snowshoes.
  • Gaiters
  • 3-in-1 jacket (for men and for women).
  • Insulating layers (base layer top for women and for men).
  • Base layer tights (for men and for women).
  • Snow pants.
  • Swiss Army knife.
  • Warm hat, scarf, and mittens.
  • Waterproof hiking boots or winter boots.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Fast Mask neck gaiter.
  • Portable charger for cell phone (phone battery dies quicker in the cold!).
  • Flashlight or headlamp (the sun goes down more quickly).
  • Hiking poles.
  • Snacks / trail mix.
  • Whistle.
  • At least one change of hiking socks.

The Ontario Hiking group also has a popular Facebook page that prospective members can check out. 

Happy holiday hiking folks. 

Len Gillis is a reporter at Bold is made possible by our Community Leaders Program.