Sports Minister Alun Pugh has urged people venturing out for a Christmas walk in Welsh hills and mountains to take the necessary precautions.
Weather conditions can change quickly, says Mr Pugh
Mr Pugh, a qualified mountain leader, said inexperienced walkers have got into difficulties over the years, occasionally resulting in tragedy.
His plea follows one by mountain rescuers in north Wales urging people across the UK to "give them a break."
More than 150 people are killed or injured in Snowdonia every year.
Mr Pugh will be making his own annual Boxing Day walk up Snowdon later.
He said walking was a cheap and healthy way of combating the excess of Christmas, but festive walkers must take extra care before venturing out on the hills.
ALUN PUGH'S SAFETY ADVICE
Make sure your clothing is suitable - dress warmly and with appropriate footwear
Don't get fooled by winter sun and idyllic landscapes - climbing Wales' highest peaks can require winter mountaineering skills
Before leaving the house remember to check the weather conditions
Mr Pugh said: "I am passionate about the great Welsh outdoors and would like to see more people making full use of this natural resource in a sustainable way - and in safety.
"We have superb forests with sophisticated mountain biking trails, some of the best rock climbing, especially in Snowdonia, and a superb network of walking trails, not to mention a coastline that is second to none."
Most at risk
But the minister said that before leaving home, walkers have to think realistically about the challengers "no matter how tempting the scenery looks".
He said: "Everyone, from the casual stroller to the more experienced climber should observe some common sense safety tips at this time of year, when days are short, temperatures can plummet dramatically and the mist can descend on the hillside rapidly."
Mr Pugh added that the assembly government recognised the important of the outdoors and it wants to increase the percentage of Welsh people using the natural environment for outdoor activities from 36% to 60% - but only if it us used sensibly.
He pointed to the website www.mountainweatherwales.org, which is funded by the assembly government, for details of the weather conditions in the Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons National parks, including wind speed, visibility and temperature.
A recent study of mountain rescue statistics from the past five years shows that 82% of the casualties in Snowdonia were from outside the national park and Wales - the majority from the south and north-west of England.
Men between the ages of 21 and 30 were most at risk of having an accident, the research also found.