Snowshoeing for Beginners
Where To Go. - Even when beginning, you can snowshoe almost anywhere that is covered in snow. You don’t need to look for broken, pre-made trail. You can snowshoe in areas around ski resorts, hiking trails, backcountry areas, and there are even snowshoeing races popping up all over the country!
You can snowshoe into areas for other activities – for example you can snowshoe into an area with broken ski trails, or snowshoe into a frozen lake for ice fishing. Wherever you go, be sure to bring a partner, GPS, compass and map of the area.
Equipment and Gear. - You will need a pair of snowshoes, good quality waterproof hiking boots or trail running shoes, wool or wool winter blend socks, good layered winter clothing that wicks moisture, and you may want to have snowshoeing poles.
Today’s snowshoes have gone high-tech, being made of lightweight metal alloys and synthetic fabrics. A new pair will cost between $100 and $300, depending on the manufacturer.
Adult women’s snowshoes usually come in three lengths – 25, 30, and 36 inches long. The length is usually determined by your local snow conditions. Your local outdoor dealer will know what is best for your area.
If you want to try out snowshoeing before you invest in a pair of snowshoes, check for rentals at your local ski and snowboard rental stores. Used pairs of snowshoes may also be available at a sporting good resale shop, but check them over carefully to avoid split bindings, chipped frames, and any holes or rips. These little flaws can really affect the performance and safety of your snowshoes.
Getting started. - Make sure you are properly dressed in layers for the winter weather conditions you will be snowshoeing in. Even if it feels cold, be sure you dress in easy to remove layers, at 600 cal/ hour, you will be getting a lot of muscle warmth. You don’t want to be getting sweaty and then freezing inside your winter clothing. After you have already put on your good winter socks and boots - and you are already at the location you plan to snowshoe - put your snowshoes on, connecting them to your boots. Carefully stand up. You will need to walk forward in a marching pattern rather than a heel-toe fashion. The heel-toe manner will cause you to fall straight over. If you do fall over, get right back up, you will learn quickly how to lift your feet, move your foot forward, then place your foot down with out rocking.
That is really all you need to know to start snowshoeing. If you have poles, you can use them to help support you while you walk.
You will quickly find how many places are accessible to snowshoers. Without the need for broken trail, even beginners can go almost anywhere that is snow covered that isn’t too steep to walk on. Since snowshoeing is so simple, you can take your family with you on your adventures!
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