Safety Tips for Winter Walking in Montana

January 2, 2024

Montana's climate, large geographic area, and rugged terrain create unique challenges to getting around. Whether you choose to move by motor vehicle, bicycle, or on foot, safety should always be your top priority.

Walking during winter can be economical, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. Here are some essential walking tips to help you navigate Montana's winter landscape securely while enjoying the beauty of the season.

Before heading out, check the weather conditions as severe weather might mean changing plans. Local National Weather Service (NWS) weather radio stations or can alert to conditions and possible storms.

Dressing in layers is key to staying warm and dry. Start with a light, moisture-wicking fabric close to your skin, add an insulating layer like fleece or wool, and top it off with a waterproof or water-resistant outer layer to shield yourself from wind, rain, and snow. Ensure your footwear is both waterproof and insulated to keep your feet warm and dry. Pull on ice grippers stretched over the sole can provide additional traction when needed.

Pedestrians can mitigate low-light conditions making themselves as visible to motorists as possible. Low visibility at dawn, dusk, or night can reduce a driver's ability to see pedestrians. Be prepared by carrying a flashlight and wearing reflective materials or high-visibility colors, such as fluorescents or bright white.

While walking, avoid distractions like mobile devices and stay focused on your surroundings. Keeping your hands out of your pockets allows you to restore balance if you start to slip. Take small, careful steps, and be aware of your environment to prevent accidents.

Walking is a healthy mode of transportation and a fantastic way to immerse yourself in Montana's winter wonderland. By preparing adequately and following these safety tips, you can enjoy the crisp winter air and the scenic beauty of Montana while reaching your destination comfortably and securely.

Pedestrian travel offers a unique opportunity to experience the charm of Montana all year round. Stay safe, stay prepared, and make the most of your winter journeys while exploring the beauty of our great state. For additional pedestrian safety resources, visit our webpage. Safe travels, Montana!

close up of person putting on ice cleats on her walking shoes

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