Tips and tricks for winter hiking in and around Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Tips and tricks for winter hiking in and around Kamloops

January 29, 2019 - 11:00 AM

KAMLOOPS — While it might seem natural to hibernate indoors during the cold winter months, longtime Kamloops hiker Doug Smith says there is still plenty to do outdoors to keep active during the cold season.

Although it’s been a bit of a mild winter throughout the city, there’s still some snow at higher elevations and some hiking trails across Kamloops making it ideal for winter hiking. Smith is the president of the Kamloops Hiking Club and manages his own blog dedicated to hiking trails around the city.

As long as you’re prepared and dressed properly, Smith says there are numerous hiking trails with spectacular views to check out around the city even with the chillier weather.

“The Kamloops area is blessed with grasslands everywhere around us,” Smith says. “We have grasslands and open forests, so it’s not like other parts of Canada where you can’t head off anywhere and you have to stay on trail.”

Smith first moved to Kamloops from North Vancouver in 1976 and has been hiking in and around Kamloops since he moved here.

“We can go to lots of different places off trail,” he says. “Off trail is handy in the winter time because you can just walk on the snow.”

Depending on the weather, the more established trails vary from being icy, muddy, bare or snowy. Smith recommends people to seek off trails at higher elevations for smoother hiking routes.

“It’s just beautiful hiking, it’s either bare or snowy,” he says.

“The snow doesn’t get up over your boot, so it’s just about perfect,” Smith says.

Smith says the Lac Du Bois Grasslands Protected Area gives people a wide variety of hiking trails to choose from.

“It’s a huge area, it’s mostly open forests and grasslands,” he says. “Anywhere you can park you can just start heading into the hills.”

Smith says the Lac Du Bois area is also connected to the Dewdrop trail area range.

“They are both south facing…so the snow has disappeared so it’s like walking on the frozen ground basically with moderate slopes with beautiful established trails,” he says.

For those looking to go on hikes within the city, Smith recommends traction devices that attach to footwear. He says popular hiking trails with high foot traffic are known to get icy and can become treacherous, especially if there are steep slopes.

“If you get into an icy patch and are afraid of falling you just stop for two minutes put your traction device on and leave them on for as long as you need them,” he says.

Some of the more established trails known to be icy this time of the year are Kenna Cartwright Nature Park, Peterson Creek Park, Pineview Valley, and the lower Lac Du Bois area.

“These areas are all very good for hiking most of the year,” he says. “Right now they are a little bit icy so it’s better to actually go elsewhere.”

Smith recommends people use proper footwear when out hiking to support their feet and keep dry when hiking in the snow.

"They can't be low shoes, they have to be boots...either waterproof or you waterproof them yourself with a spray."

Smith has been hiking since he was a teenager. He started his blog dedicated to Kamloops hiking trails and currently has more than 1,500 articles. He says hiking is a great way to get exercise and feel connected to the outdoors.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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