In the warmer months there is not much more enjoyable to me than to get outside and into the woods for a nice long hike. I also enjoy hiking in the colder months when there is a little snow on the ground, but where I live we can get a large amount of snow during the winter months. I don’t know if you have ever tried hiking in deep snow before or not but it can be tiring. That’s when I turn to the Snowshoes.
Snowshoes are thought to be one of the first inventions of man and there is evidence of them being used as far back as 4000 B.C. They helped the aboriginal peoples migration expand and inhabit the northern hemisphere. Along with the invention and use of the ski they have helped a many number of pioneers, hunters and adventurers navigate their way through the expanses of cold and deep snow.
Snowshoes have a history of being made from wood and sinew. They have also been made from tree branches and bark or leather. In more recent times you can find them in a variety of man made materials such as aluminum and plastic. You can spend the time to make your own from kits you find on line or simply pop down to your favorite box store and pick up a set for around $50. If you do not know if you will enjoy them or just do not have the space to store them, there are a number of places you can find that will rent them to you by the hour or for the day. This is a great way to test them out so you don’t buy something you wont use.
The way snowshoes work is by distributing your weight so that you don’t sink into the snow too far. This doest mean you will float on top of the snow necessarily, just that it will keep you near to the top of the accumulated snow creating less resistance of snow against your legs.
Walking with snowshoes is not the same as walking without them. Your walking stance is wider and you have to keep it in the back of your head that the shoes are wider than your feet so that you keep from setting one shoe down and landing it on top of the other shoe. This is where poles come in handy much like hiking or skiing poles they help you keep your balance. I recommend using them when you are getting started. I am positive that you will use them. As you get used to wearing snowshoes you may not need them as much, but I still like use poles when I am out. They might save you from a tumble into a snow drift.
I also recommend a good stretch before and after a good adventure with snowshoes. You may be surprised to feel different muscles that you normally don’t use, start to fatigue and you may end up with a little soreness the next day as a result. I always stretch before I hike anyways, I want to do all I can to avoid injury and keep hiking!
If you are heading out on your first snowshoeing adventure, please be smart. Seek instruction if needed. Make sure you know how to put the shoe on properly. Always dress for the weather, I recommend dressing in layers and bringing a small backpack to store these layers as you shed them. Its also a good idea to keep a rain jacket, first aid and emergency kit as well as drinkable water in that backpack. Above all get out, get a little exercise and enjoy the day out in nature.
by Dick from TentCampingHQ
Have you ever been snowshoeing?
Do you have any tips or concerns when it comes to snowshoeing?
If so please leave a comment below!
Written By: Dick