Beginner's Guide to Snowshoeing

Beginner's Guide to Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is a winter activity like skiing and snowboarding. First you need snowshoes, then it requires trekking in deep snow on soft surfaces. While skiers glide over the snow, snowshoers use specially equipped hiking boots to walk and glide over snow. 

Snowshoe outings are great activities for people of all ages and fitness levels. This outdoor winter sport is low-impact and it can be enjoyed by the whole family, making it an ideal winter outing.

Why Would Someone Want to Snowshoe?

People might choose to snowshoe because they live in an area with lots of deep snow, like Colorado, known for deep powder.

Snowshoe enthusiasts may enjoy the outdoors and be outside in cold weather, or they may have kids who love playing in the wintertime and need something safe for them to do. Whatever the reason, there's no wrong way to snowshoe.

Following are a few tips for first-time snowshoers and intermediate snowshoers.

How to Snowshoe: Basic Techniques

Snowshoes are hiking boots equipped with spikes on the bottom. Spikes on the bottom of snowshoe boots dig into the snow to help you walk.

They're great for walking in deep snow and skiing or snowboarding in powdery conditions. 

Recommended Clothing

Most people wear hiking clothes such as jeans, a sweatshirt or jacket, and boots. However, you can also snowshoe in casual clothing like shorts and a T-shirt if the weather is warm enough. Use your discretion.

It's essential to make sure you have adequate insulation, so bring along a coat or sweater even if you don't plan on staying out all day.

Poles or No Poles?

Most snowshoer do just fine without poles -- although some beginner snowshoers might find them helpful.

Snowshoeing has a lot of great benefits. It is a great way to exercise, improve balance and coordination, learn about nature, make new friends, and more!

The main thing for snowshoers to remember when snowshoeing is to stay safe.

Beginner's Guide to Snowshoeing

Basic snowshoeing techniques will help you enjoy the great outdoors while maintaining safety. Follow these tips to get started:

  • Walk straight, keeping your shoulders back and your hips level. Lean into the snowshoe as you walk to help maintain your balance and avoid sudden movements that could cause you to lose balance or trip.
  • Maintain an even momentum by planting each step solidly with the snowshoe's soles, avoiding sudden movements that might cause them to break loose from the snowpack's surface. Avoid walking on ice patches – they can easily crack.
  • Keep your snowshoes parallel to the ground to have a stable platform from which to stride. Do not lift your heels when walking – this can cause the snowshoes to break loose and cost you valuable time on the trails.
  • Probe to stay aware of obstacles in your path that may require extra care, such as steep slopes or moguls (small hills). If necessary, adjust your stride accordingly.

What to Pack 

When preparing to trek in deep snow, snowshoers must pack plenty of snacks and drinks. Of course, you'll need a quality pair of snowshoes. In addition, hydration is vital while cross-country skiing or snowshoeing across flat terrain or in the backcountry.

Snowshoers should also carry sunscreen, hats, gloves, and waterproof boots to prevent hypothermia.

Pack a small shovel that can fit into a backpack when hiking in the backcountry in case of an avalanche or other unexpected winter hazards.

Where to Snowshoe

There are many great places in the US to snowshoe in the U.S. Some of the most popular locations include hiking trails in the Rocky Mountains, ski resorts like Aspen and Copper Mountain.

Actually, snowshoeing is enjoyed all over the world from Germany to Japan you can find prime spots to venture anywhere!

Potential Dangers of Snowshoeing

There are a few dangers to be aware of while snowshoeing. One is called "snow blindness," caused by the snow glare overlapping your vision, making it difficult to see. 

When snowshoeing, keeping an eye on your footing and balance is essential. Be aware of the conditions around you - icy patches, deep snow drifts, steep inclines, or declines. Another danger is getting lost in the snow or an avalanche. Thanks to modern navigational equipment such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS), this is becoming less of an issue.

Finally, there's the chance of slipping and falling on icy terrain, so it's important to wear proper gear or use straps in snowy areas and stay safe while snowshoeing by following basic safety guidelines.

Overall, snowshoeing is a fun and safe outdoor activity for the entire family. Known as one of the least dangerous snow sports, as long as you're prepared you'll be good to go.

Shop top-rated, innovative snowshoes from Northern Lites, available in all sizes for the family!

Check out all of our snowshoes and snowshoe accessories.

Day Hiking / Beginner Snowshoes - Ultralight Trekking Series Snowshoes - Snowshoe Carry Bags

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.