Safety Tips for Snowshoeing
There are some good reasons for you to become involved with snowshoeing, beginning with the fact that when cold weather comes, you won’t have to scurry indoors and wait out the next several months for spring to come. It’s also easy to learn as opposed to skiing or snowboarding, and you won’t have to invest much in gear before you get started beside a quality pair of snowshoes.
Safety Tips for Snowshoeing
All you’ll have to buy is a pair of snowshoes, a couple of poles, and any cold-weather clothing you might need. Then you can look forward to a whole season of good exercise, maybe some worthwhile socializing, and a newfound appreciation of winter. However, it’s very important that you keep safety in mind when showshoeing, and in this article we’ll identify some of the best tips to keep you safe on the trails.
Potential dangers of snowshoeing
Snowshoeing can be a great deal of fun, and you’re always out in scenic countryside which is worthy of appreciation. However, there are a few pitfalls to be aware of before you start out, so your trip isn’t ruined by some kind of mishap or accident. Here are some of the most common dangers associated with the sport and how to avoid them:
Usually this can be avoided by checking the weather forecast, but there are times when a snow squall or worse might blow up unexpectedly and cause some real consternation while you’re out snowshoeing. Try to plan your outing such that you can stop at a base periodically, so you aren’t too far from shelter if something nasty hits.
Bad weather can disorient you, and sometimes just being in unfamiliar territory can do the same thing. The best way to avoid getting lost is to follow the trail closely, because it should always lead to safety. If there are trail markers, make sure to pay attention to them while you’re snowshoeing.
This sport does put some serious strain on your lower legs, and it’s always possible to take a bad fall and hurt yourself. The best way to avoid muscle strains and the like is to stretch before you start out, and make sure you’re wearing supportive boots. Also, ensure your snowshoes are strapped correctly and the right size. While you may not be able to avoid being injured by a fall, it will definitely help if you have a partner out snowshoeing with you, and this person can help you back to safety.
Preparing for a safe snowshoeing trip
You might encounter some built-in hazards with snowshoeing, before you even get out into the countryside. Here are some of the dangers associated with your gear, and how you can minimize them:
It’s best to wear waterproof footwear, coat, gloves, and pants, because it’s likely your clothing will be exposed to the snow and try to soak it up. You should also apply some sunscreen if it’s sunny out, because several hours in sunshine can get your face burned easily. For really cold days, your clothing should be insulated for warmth.
Wear the appropriate type of snowshoes for the kind of landscape you’ll be in. Snowshoes are divided into three main categories: rolling terrain, mountainous terrain, and flat terrain. If you don’t know what to expect from a new venue, call ahead and ask.
It’s entirely possible you’ll need your poles for balancing, regardless of the type of terrain you’ll be in, so it’s a good idea to bring them along every time. If you have adjustable poles, you’ll be able to adapt to whatever conditions you find on the trail.
Have a safe and enjoyable snowshoeing experience
The vast majority of people involved with snowshoeing have nothing but enjoyable experiences with it, and if you observe the safety tips above, you probably will too. However, there are a couple more things to be aware of, to make sure your outing is all positive, with no issues.
If you fall down, it will usually be while you’re descending a trail or slope. When you realize you’re about to fall, you should quickly try and lie down on your side or on your back, so as to reduce the momentum and force behind the fall. To get yourself back up, your poles can be great to provide the balance you need to get on your feet again.
It is definitely possible to run in snowshoes, particularly the type designed for running. If you do attempt this, be aware of your level of fitness and of the landscape. Once you’ve achieved a good level of fitness, this will be less of an issue, but don’t try to do too much too soon on the trail.
By keeping these general safety tips in mind, you should be able to have a really enjoyable outing on your favorite snowshoeing trail. And you’ll be very eager for the next outing!
The most vital part of your snowshoeing adventure is to get yourself a pair of high-quality, top-rated snowshoes before heading out from Northern Lites!
Check out all of our snowshoes and snowshoe accessories.
Day Hiking / Beginner Snowshoes - Ultralight Trekking Series Snowshoes - Snowshoe Carry Bags