This was my first real winter shooting off-trail and in the snow and ice. My primary goals were to keep dry, comfortable and everything (both me and my equipment) in one piece. Several items helped accomplish this: long underwear, good boots, winter socks, gaiters and "Yak Trax".
The Yak Trax are basically snow chains for your feet, easy to put on and comfortable to walk in. They stretch easily around your shoe (various sizes are available) and secure firmly in place to give you increased traction in snow and ice. I've put them to good use this past season and never once had a problem with them - work very well, as advertised.
The traction they provide on pure ice is incredible! With these things in place, I was able to traverse solid sheets of ice with minimal effort and keep both my gear and myself safe. I highly recommend them as a great addition to your winter hiking kit or as part of your winter emergency kit. They're also pretty easy on the wallet and can be found at many locations for around twenty dollars. Two thumbs up from me!!