I'll admit it, I'm a fair-weather hiker. Once the temperatures dip in the Hudson Valley, I dip right back into bed.

The more I think about it, the more I realize I don't like winter hiking because I'm not properly prepared to be hiking for miles in cold weather and snow. I know I'm not alone so I did a little research and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation came through big time.

If you're like me and still trying to find the confidence to hit the trails when the white stuff falls, this list should be extremely helpful.

When it comes to hiking equipment there are a handful of local stores that can get you set up with what you need. Kenco Outfitters in Kingston and Thruway Sporting Goods in Walden are 2 amazing, locally owned, outdoor stores that have everything you could possibly think of when it comes to winter hiking.

Spikes. Trekking Poles. Water Bottles. Snacks. Bivy Sacks (think a onesie-type sleeping bag). These are all items the Department of Environmental Conservation recommends you have in your hiking backpack when hitting the trails this winter.

Are you prepared for a winter hike? Need some cold weather hiking tips and tricks? The DEC has it all. Who would have thought you'd need to keep your snacks and water in a specific spot to avoid freezing during your hike? Not me. We're learning something new every single day.

Stay safe this winter and share your beautiful Hudson Valley winter hiking photos with us through our mobile app.

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