A First Timer’s Guide to Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is the simple winter sport that requires some practice, but it is practice you will enjoy with breathtaking scenery.


Skiing, snowboarding and ice-skating require lots of practice to master. Snowshoeing is different. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. This simple winter sport does require some practice, but it is practice you will enjoy with breathtaking scenery. Go with a friend or take time alone – either way, get out there and try this fun and easy sport.

The first step to learning to snowshoe is finding the right snowshoes.

These shoes will make a firm base on which you can stand. Since this is something new, allowing an expert to fit you is best. A sports store will have people who can get snowshoes for your best fit. Resorts will sometimes rent snowshoes. They also have personnel to help you find a good fit.

The next step is stepping.

Practice walking around in the shoes. You will want to get the ‘feel’ of these shoes on your feet. Focus on digging your toes in to get a good grip. You may feel clumsy at first. Your shoe may fall off. This is just a part of the learning process. Keep a good attitude and remember to smile at your attempts.

Always check the weather…

After you find the right snowshoes, you will want to head out. Before you do that, check the weather. How awful would it be to start out on your first adventure and end up in a snow storm? That would probably end your snowshoeing days. Check the weather to see if it will be clear, if snow is in the forecast or if the temperature will be dropping or rising. This will help you be prepared with the right clothing.

Layers are always best in cold weather.

Good moisture-wicking base layers and socks are a good start. Add on a quality vest to keep your core warm. A hat, gloves and calf and arm sleeves are also good ideas. Take along a heavier jacket if it will be very cold. It’s better to have it than wish for it!

Be sure to take along a good pair of poles.

Ski poles will work just fine for starting out. Poles are wonderful to help you balance. If you are on a slope, they can help you maintain a slower speed.  They are especially helpful if you need to cross rocks or fallen trees on your path. You can also lean on them if you need a little break while on a strenuous trek.

Take along water and something to eat.

Even if you are an experienced hiker, snowshoeing will burn more calories and use new muscles. Replenish your water so you do not dehydrate, which is easy to do since it’s not hot. Quality carbs will provide the energy you need to finish your trail.

Finding a place to hike is the easy part of snowshoeing.

Do you like a particular walk around the lake in the summer? Strap on your shoes and see the trail covered with snow. You will gain a whole new appreciation of the view. Wooded areas, frozen lakes and even city parks are all fun places to explore while learning your new sport. National parks are spectacular places to see on foot. Be sure to bring your camera. Wildlife and wide-open views are sure to be shared with your friends on social media.

Be patient with yourself.

Yes, snowshoeing is an easier winter sport than skiing or snowboarding. Still, you are going to use new techniques, new gear and new muscles. Give yourself time to adjust. Practice when you can. Most importantly, enjoy yourself. After all, it’s all about having fun.


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