Stay Warm & Dry While Snowshoeing
Just because the temps are dropping is no reason to hide inside. There are plenty of great outdoor activities that you can enjoy during the winter to stay active and have fun with friends and family.
Snowshoeing is one such activity that is not only great fun, but also great exercise. If you are new to snowshoeing, there are a few things you should know about staying warm on your adventures. There's more to this winter activity than wearing snowshoes. This quick guide will give you the tips you need to stay warm and comfortable while you are outdoors.
How to Stay Warm & Dry Snowshoeing
Snowshoeing is not as intensive as some types of winter outdoor activities, like skiing, but it can be physically demanding. So, it is always a good idea to start your snowshoe adventure with a really good, hot breakfast. Eating before your outing will ensure that your metabolism is warmed up and ready for the adventure. You will also need those calories to provide you with energy during the walk.
Layers Are Your Friend
Another important thing to remember during anytime of outdoor winter fun is to dress in layers. It is often recommended that you have at least three layers of clothing. The types of layers matter too. The first layer should keep you comfortable by keeping moisture off of your skin. The second layer is meant to insulate you and the third layer should be waterproofing. Here are some recommendations.
- First layer- light thermal underwear made from nylon, merino, wool, or Lycra
- Second layer- jacket made of fleece or down
- Third layer- waterproof shell such as a windbreaker preferably with a hood.
Your hands should stay covered as much as possible while outdoors. Fingers will cool off faster than other parts of your body, so make sure they are protected with waterproof gloves or mittens.
Layers For Feet Too
Layering up your feet properly inside your snowshoes and boots is not only important for your comfort, but also for your safety as well. Allowing very cold moisture onto your feet while out in the winter can actually hurt your toes. The toes do not receive the same warmth from blood flow as other parts of the body, so it is very important that you protect your toes with proper layers.
- First layer- light weight socks made of moisture wicking fabric.
- Second layer- thicker socks for insulation
- Third layer- insulated, waterproof hiking boots
Bring The Heat
You can keep yourself warm during your walk by bringing along a hot beverage. Use a lightweight insulated thermos that will keep drinks hot for long periods of time.
Snacking Warms You Up
The calories in your food are actually measures of heat and energy that the food will produce in your body. Eating a snack along the way can actually help you stay warm while out in the low winter temps. Your snack needs to be nutrient and carbohydrate dense. Empty calories like sugar will not take you very far.
Back Up Clothes
In the event that you get wet, or one of your layers does not keep the moisture out properly, have some back up socks, gloves, or mittens packed. This way, you can avoid long periods of skin exposure to cold moisture.
Hand warmers are a great item to have along in case you need to stop for a period. Any time you stop walking or hiking you will immediately get colder. Hand warmers can help out during your rest period.
Stay in Sunshine
Try to stay in the sunshine as much as possible during your activity. Any sunny spots will be warmer than shady spots. If possible, plan your outing on a sunny day rather than an overcast or drizzly day. Do not spend long amounts of time outdoors in the winter when it is raining or drizzling.
You’ll stay warmer as long as you are moving. Every time you stop, your body will start to cool down. Although you will probably need some rest stops along the way, keep moving as much as possible. This is where you'd really appreciate a lightweight pair of snowshoes.
You might be surprised to learn that drinking water can also help to keep you warm on your outing. Even though you might not be hot and sweaty, the exertion of your walk will dehydrate you just like it would in hot weather. Getting dehydrated while you are on your excursion could cause headaches, muscle spasms, and more serious health problems as well. So, bring along water and stay hydrated.
Although there might be a little more preparation needed for winter outdoor fun, it is definitely worth it in the long run. Getting outside in the winter to snowshoe is a great way to spend time with friends and family and stay in shape during those long winter months.
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