Health and FitnessSports

Snowshoeing for beginners: Tips and tricks

Snowshoeing is a great way to stay active in the winter. This is one of the most affordable types of winter recreation for those who do not like to stay at home. Snow mountain snowshoes will give you an unforgettable feeling during your winter holiday. The best part of this activity is that there are so many types of best quality snowshoes, and these snowshoe series will help you to choose the right one for you.

Snowshoes are inferior in popularity to skis, but at the same time, they have their advantages.

  • It’s simple. Unlike skiing, snowshoeing can be learned in two steps: take a step with your left foot, then a step with your right. And that’s it, you’re an expert.
  • It’s comfortable. Snowshoes are light and do not take up much space. They can be attached to a backpack and you can safely ride the train, the subway, and even the minibus – they will not interfere with anyone. They don’t need special shoes, so you don’t have to carry boots either.
  • It’s a budget. Snowshoeing requires only snowshoes, warm shoes, and suitable clothing – no ski passes or expensive equipment. And if you have already gone hiking or skiing, you probably have all the necessary clothes and basic equipment.
  • It’s universal. On snowshoes, you can go to the forest or go to the mountains on weekends, diversify your ski vacation or participate in snowshoeing competitions – there are many leisure options.

If you don’t know how to use snowshoes, here’s what you need to do to make your first snowshoeing fun:

  • Choose the right snowshoes
  • Dress properly
  • Put on the right shoes
  • Collect backpack
  • Choose a route
  • Learn movement technique
  • Remember about safety

Choose the right snowshoes.

Snowshoes vary in purpose, design, and size. To choose the right pair, you need to know where you will go most often and what characteristics to look for.

Dress properly.

Dressing for snowshoeing is the same as for any hike – layered. We have already talked in detail about the theory of layers, but here we will focus on the specifics of choosing clothes specifically for snowshoeing.

Beginners often make the mistake of dressing too warmly because they are afraid of freezing. As a result, they go wet and undress at rest. This is a direct path to colds. It is necessary on the contrary: on the route, it is easy to dress so that at first it is even a little cool, and in halts to warm up.

Put on the right shoes

  • Boots. Snowshoes do not require special footwear. These can be winter urban sports-style boots with thick non-slip soles or insulated trekking boots – the main thing is that they are comfortable, warm, and waterproof.
  • Socks. A good option for winter hiking is trekking socks with merino wool. They warm well, wick away moisture well, and dry quickly. It is worth taking spare socks for a walk in case you get your feet wet. If you are not sure about the waterproofness of the shoes, take membrane socks, your feet will be warm and dry in them, even if the shoes get wet.
  • Gaiters or “flashlights”. Needed to protect the boots from snow getting inside and help keep the feet dry.

Collect a backpack.

For one-day walks on snowshoes, a backpack with a volume of 25-30 liters is enough, where a daily snack, a thermos with tea, a puff for halts and personal trifles should be placed.

Take trekking or ski poles. It’s not the most obvious accessory for snowshoeing, but it’s very useful. Sticks make it much easier to move in deep snow and help to maintain balance.

There are special poles for snowshoes, but ordinary trekking poles with wide snow rings will suffice. And on the plain, where you do not need to adjust the length of the poles on the ascents and descents, both trekking and ski poles are equally suitable.

Choose a route.

For snowshoeing, the same routes are suitable for summer weekend hikes or cross-country skiing. Beginners should choose the nearest forests and not too long routes – walking on snowshoes on virgin soil is still not as easy as walking along trails, and not as fast as cross-country skiing.

Learn movement techniques.

To start snowshoeing, you just need to know how to walk. However, when the terrain becomes more difficult than forest roads, it is worth knowing the basic techniques of snowshoeing.

Driving on level ground. This is the simplest and most intuitive. The steps should be wider than for walking, so as not to step on the inside of the frame against each other. At first, this may be unusual (especially for girls), and after the first walk, the muscles of the inner thigh may hurt.

Remember about safety

  • Here are some tips to help you avoid trouble and accidents.
  • Learn about possible hazards. Find out what to fear in your hiking area and prepare for it. For example, on a winter hike, you can fall into a river, fall through the ice, suffer from bad weather, freeze, get lost in the forest, and get into an avalanche in the mountains. All this can be avoided if you plan the route correctly, take the right equipment, and do not overestimate your capabilities.
  • Check your gear. Always take a flashlight, warm clothes, a first aid kit, and a lighter with you – even if you go for a walk in the forest for a couple of hours.
  • Don’t overcool. Bring extra socks and thermal underwear so you can change if you get wet. Instead of plain water, take a thermos with hot tea – it will help to warm up on halts.



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