It’s not about not seeing other people, but it’s more about losing yourself in the wildness of the natural world from which we came from and evolved from. When you’re in the forest in the winter, you can no longer hear cars, trains, planes, human voices, gun shots (hopefully), nor be bothered by all the sounds humans create. When you’re left with the natural sound of the wind creaking the trees, then a great peace can come over you, and if you meditate, there is no better place or time to reconnect with not only Nature, but with yourself.
After years of doing so, I despise living in a city, so it’s not a problem for me anymore, but when you do live in a city and your everyday is surrounded by the hustle and bustle of modern life then you never have a chance to be alone, with your thoughts, with peace, in tranquility. I am a firm believer that too much chaos leads to a full and clouded mind, which leads to a condition where it’s difficult to think clearer, to rise above emotions, and to be fully in control of your life, and feelings, and it’s possible your overall happiness level has dropped with being constantly surrounded by too much clutter.
So this winter, plan a trip, even if it’s only for a few hours and then you’re back again. I find hiking in the wilderness during winter to be one of the most worthwhile experiences. When you have time to fully disconnect, you allow yourself to recharge. I feel like every idiot on the road, and every loud sound, every advertisement, and every situation causes my heart to raise or my tension to boil, a little part of my soul is chipped off, and the only way to truly get it back is to recharge in Nature.
When you do plan a winter trip, I can’t stress enough how important it is to plan accordingly. Survival in the wilderness in any season can be dicy if you don’t have the proper experience. Survival is about understanding the situation you’re in with a level head and acting strategically, so for winter camping for instance, be sure you know how to make a fire in winter weather, and how to find your way back out, and how you will deal with a set back like an injury or a winter storm worsening your situation. You always want to come prepared with the right footwear and enough clothing to layer properly, a knife, water, and food, etc. The list goes on, but the point is that if you want to try this for yourself, you need to take some precautions. Study what you don’t already know and pack for whatever might come.
When choosing the best winter boots for you, consider the extremes you will endure, the terrain, and choose wisely. Don’t settle for a pretty price tag, because those boots could mean the difference in your survival. Personally, I look for an insulated boot that’s comfortable, yet sturdy, as well as for excellent grip and a strong build that will last, no matter what Mother Nature throws at me. 2019 has brought some wild weather to the US Midwest, and so for my trips, after much testing and research, I chose Garmont’s Momentum WP (or waterproof) boot.
Garmont is one of my favorite companies, because they never cut corners and always product a optimal shoe, be it for summer climbing, autumn trails, or winter extremes. Their quality is always there, and with it comes a longevity that can be trusted every time. Garmont’s Momentum series winter boot has a modern, sleek black design, with a very comfortable feel inside the shoe. Not only does it grip your foot as an extension of your own limb, it keeps you warm and dry when it matters most, while keeping you comfy. Most serious winter boots don’t mark off all of those checkmarks, but Garmont is special.
The upper of the Momentum boot offers a thick webbed fabric that lets air in but keeps moisture out. The Hypergrip outsole comes with IceLock technology, which has micro-glass filaments that offer excellent traction and stability, even when you’re on steep, icy or wet terrain. These are outfitted with a hard toe bumper for added protection. The inside of the shoe fits like a glove, as it’s cushioned and insulated with Primaloft Gold Insulation Eco, which is the best-in-class insulation that continues to trap body heat even under compression. The heel fits into its own heel pocket, which works well at preventing heel slips, as well as friction blisters, too. All in all, I came away very impressed with Garmont’s Momentum series and will continue to work with them on my winter trips.
If you would like to learn more about Garmont, click here.
(Photo by ross_vernal via Flickr)