Some are actually brave enough to face the conditions during the coldest months of the year and go backpacking. It is more difficult during the winter with the added weight as well as more limited mobility do to the layers of clothing to keep one warm. If done right, it can be a good experience. Before going out make sure that you have considered all the possibilities so that you can be properly prepared.
The first thing to be aware of is that trails at times are closed during the winter or have winter routes. If you have a trail map that doesn’t indicate this, you still should find out if there are any differences during the winter. It’s almost more important during the winter months to have a clearly marked path than it is during the other times of the year.
Get rid of cotton as much as possible. While cotton can keep you warm when it gets wet, it’s a miserable material to work with. Wet cotton will make you cold. It may be fine to include some cotton but be sure to have other materials as an alternative or backup.
Make sure your fire making abilities are in shape. Have more than a few methods to start a fire and consider even having some kindling and tinder on your person in some plastic. The reason for this is that one slip at times can land you in the water. You have limited time to get out of the water, get out of the wet clothes, and get a fire going. This is the only measure there is to save your life so be sure that it’s all ready to go as fast as possible.
Always be sure that you have told people where you are going and they have a general idea of where you will be each day. This way if anything happens, they will have an idea of where to look to find you.