Winter brings a special kind of magic to the outdoors, transforming landscapes into a wonderland of white. It's a season of exhilarating adventures, and snowshoeing is one of the most accessible and enjoyable ways to explore this frozen world. When it comes to selecting gear, the importance of lightweight and ultralight snowshoes cannot be overstated.
In this blog post, we'll delve into the reasons why having lightweight snowshoes is crucial for maximizing your enjoyment and performance in the winter wonderland. We’ll also show you how Northern Lites snowshoes will cut your snowshoe weight in half – a massive benefit for going further in a shorter amount of time.
The Energy Equation: Every Pound Counts
Snowshoeing involves lifting your feet higher and over a greater distance with each step due to the added weight and height of the snowshoes. Heavier snowshoes increase the energy required for each stride, which can lead to faster fatigue and slower average speeds.
It's a well-established fact that every pound of weight savings can result in a significant reduction in energy expenditure. Studies have shown that for each pound of additional weight on your feet, the energy cost of snowshoeing increases by roughly 10%. This means that even a modest reduction in snowshoe weight can translate to substantial energy savings over the course of a trek.
The great thing about Northern Lites snowshoes is that the weight savings is anything but modest. In fact, it's incredible! Let’s take a look at how much weight savings Northern Lites will bring you vs. the other popular makes and models.
25" Snowshoe Weight Showdown - Northern Lites vs. The Rest
The graph above compares our unisex 25" Elite All-Terrain snowshoe to the other popular 25" models. The Elite is our recommended ultralight snowshoe for men and women between 100-180lbs, and is a fantastic snowshoe with our new for 2023 Spin Binding.
The Elite is our most popular ultralight snowshoe for women.
You'll notice that the Elite comes in at 2.2lbs/pair, while the other models average over 4lbs/pair! What this means is that you save about 1lb per snowshoe. At 2,100 steps per mile on average, that means each mile you lift 2,100 less pounds of weight! This means you can snowshoe longer and faster as you will save your energy for forward movement instead of lifting up a heavy snowshoe.
There is an old saying that still rings true today: "A pound on the foot feels like 5 on your back". Do you want to feel like you're carrying 10 extra pounds around for no reason?
30" Snowshoe Weight Showdown - Northern Lites vs. The Rest
The second graph above compares our unisex 30" Backcountry All-Terrain snowshoe to the other popular 30" models. The Backcountry is our recommended ultralight snowshoe for men and women between 180-225lbs, and is a fantastic snowshoe with our new for 2023 Spin Binding.
The Backcountry is our most popular ultralight snowshoe for men.
As you can see, the Backcountry dominates the ultralight competition at 2.9lbs/pair, while the other models average about 4.5lbs/pair!
Now that you can see how truly lightweight Northern Lites snowshoes are, let's talk about the importance of keeping your snowshoes lightweight.
Enhanced Mobility and Maneuverability
Lightweight snowshoes provide a smoother, more natural walking experience. With less weight to lift, you'll find it easier to maintain a steady pace, ascend inclines, and navigate through varying terrains. This translates to greater mobility and a more enjoyable outing overall.
Heavier snowshoes can place unnecessary strain on your knees, hips, and ankles, particularly during extended treks. Lightweight snowshoes help to alleviate this burden, making your adventure more comfortable and minimizing the risk of fatigue-induced injuries.
Agility in Challenging Terrain
When venturing into mountainous or hilly areas, having lightweight snowshoes becomes even more critical. With less weight to carry, you'll find it easier to maintain your balance on steep inclines and descents. This added agility allows for a safer, more enjoyable experience on challenging terrain.
Navigating Dense Forests and Narrow Trails
In densely wooded areas or narrow trails, maneuverability can be a significant factor in your ability to explore. Lightweight snowshoes allow for quicker and more precise movements, enabling you to negotiate tight spaces and weave through the forest with ease.
Reduced Fatigue for Extended Adventures
For those planning longer excursions, the cumulative effects of carrying heavy gear can be a limiting factor. Lightweight snowshoes help to extend your endurance, allowing you to explore for more extended periods without succumbing to premature fatigue.
In the world of winter adventures, the weight of your gear can make all the difference. Choosing lightweight snowshoes not only conserves energy but also enhances mobility, agility, and overall enjoyment of the great outdoors. Remember, every pound of weight savings equates to a significant reduction in the energy expended, ultimately allowing you to venture further and experience more of the winter wonderland. So, invest in the right gear, and let the snow-covered landscapes become your playground of endless exploration.