Here are some tips to get out and enjoy your hike:
The weather around here is variable on the best of days. This time of year you have to be even more mindful as blue bird skies can become snow laden clouds in a matter of minutes. Check the local forecast before you head out and be prepared for anything by dressing in layers. Wear a wicking base layer (marino wool or synthetic), a soft shell layer, and a waterproof layer (doubles as a wind breaker). In your pack bring a small "puffy" (down or synthetic jacket), tuque, and gloves. You might not need it when you are working up a sweat on your way up but you'll be glad you have it when you stop and get chilled.
Choose the Right Trail
Many trails in the area can have snow this time of year and some trails are closed. Research different trails and choose the day's destination carefully. Parks Canada provides trail reports that can assist you in your decision making.
Take Care of Your Feet
The right footwear can make the difference between a happy face and a very sad face that just wants to go home. Spend time trying on lots of different boots. Wear them around in the store, go up and down the stairs, kick a post to make sure your toes don't hit the end of the boot, and take the insole out and stand on it to ensure the boot is wide enough. Once you've found the holy grail, invest in a pair of marino wool socks (fit your boots while wearing these) to keep your little tootsies cozy.
There is safety in numbers - especially in bear country! Invite a friend to join you. If you get lost or hurt there will be someone to help. New to town or having trouble finding people to hike with? Try joining a meetup group, Calgary Outdoor Recreation Enthusiasts, Calgary Outdoor Recreation Association, or even the Alpine Club of Canada. If you decide to head out on your own, let someone know where you are going, when you expect to be back, and what to do if you don't return on time.
Share Your Favourite Hike
I hope you are inspired to get out and see what there is to be seen. See you on the trail!