Tips for Teaching a Toddler to Snowshoe

I'm a big fan of teaching toddlers to do things early. Last winter we first strapped cross-country ski's on our son when he was 17 months old. The only reason we didn't start him on snowshoes last year was just because we didn't have any for him to use. This winter our 2 1/2 year old has had a fun time on both his cross-country skis and snowshoes. Here's what we've learned about teaching a toddler to snowshoe. Keep It Simple. If we say "Get ready, we're going snowshoeing" our toddler tends to pout. But, if we say "Let's go for a…

Snowshoeing with Babies & Toddlers

In our family it's either pay for a babysitter or bring the kids along on our outdoor adventures. Honestly, we'd rather have them explore with us than sit at home with a sitter. Today we're talking about the inevitable, snowshoeing with babies and toddlers. With a little bit of planning, snowshoeing with little kiddos can be in a cinch. Here's a few things we've learned along the way. 1. Clothing. We want our kids to have positive experiences and good memories of outdoor adventures, especially in the wintertime. This means dressing them appropriately for the weather.  We dress our kids…

How Long Should My Snowshoe Poles Be?

We left off of our snowshoe series last week talking about snowshoe poles and if they are really necessary. If you missed that post you can check it out here. One question that we get a lot is 'how long should my snowshoe poles be?' That's a great question.   Unlike regular old cross-country ski poles, snowshoe poles have that added advantage (or disadvantage depending on how you look at it) of being adjustable. This is cool because you can easily share poles between people of different heights and you can adjust your poles based on the terrain. The best…

All About Snowshoe Poles

If you've been following our snowshoe series you may have noticed that we haven't discussed snowshoe poles yet! I have mixed feelings about snowshoe poles so we're going to spend a few weeks talking about them. Today we're  asking the question: "Do I really need them?" First, a little description of snowshoe poles. Snowshoe poles differ from regular old ski poles in that they have a telescoping shaft which allows the snowshoer to adjust the length of the pole. Think trekking pole only with a basket. The components are as follows: grips with straps, telescoping shaft, baskets which allow the…

Should Snowshoeing Be An Olympic Sport?

This morning I was up very early with a sick kiddo. NBC just happened to be showing Olympic coverage of men's curling. So, I cuddled with a coughing trail toddler and watched stones glide down the ice. Curling gets a lot of grief for being an Olympic sport. So does ice dancing, rhythmic gymnastics and race walking, while snowshoe enthusiasts are left behind saying, "What about our sport?" After all there is a governing committee for snowshoeing in the United States, the USSSA. There is a National Team for men, women and juniors. There are nationally sanctioned races. There is…

5 Hot Outdoor Dates To Heat Up Your Love Life

It's almost Valentine's Day. Blah, blah, blah. If you're like me the most exciting part of Valentine's Day is actually the day after Valentine's Day when all of that amazing chocolate goes on sale. But, this year Valentine's Day coincides with a full moon! If that's not an excuse to take the love of your life on an outdoor date I don't know what is. Today we're sharing 5 local hot outdoor dates to heat up your love life. Trust me, they're awesome. Go night skiing or snowshoeing. Recently I wrote an article over at Seattle Backpackers Magazine on this…

How To Snowshoe

It seems silly writing a blog post titled "how to snowshoe," because in reality snowshoeing is as simple as walking. So, if you've never snowshoed before this post is for you, it's the basics of how to snowshoe. Step 1: Find a good place to put on your snowshoes. It's not good to put your snowshoes on in a dry parking lot or other non-snowy place since you can damage the crampons. But, let's be honest, if there's a little bit of snow on the ground and you're packing around a couple of kids sometimes it's easiest just to sit in…

How to Put on Snowshoes

The first time I went snowshoeing was a disaster. I remember standing in the parking lot at the trailhead trying to cinch up all of the annoying straps on my snowshoes in the freezing cold and thinking, "this is so dumb, my ski's would already be on my feet and I'd be halfway down the trail by now." It's actually pretty simple to put on snowshoes. Here's what we do: 1) If you have a new pair (or new-to-you) pair of snowshoes put your boots on, head to your garage or lay a few towels on your living room floor…

Etiquette on the Snowshoe Trails

We're big fans of sharing the trails. When we're hiking in the summer we've got no problem sharing trails with mountain bikers and horseback riders. In the winter we think there's plenty of room for cross-country skiers, snowshoers and cyclists on fat bikes (I almost called them fat bikers...) to coexist. But, the one thing about sharing the trails is remembering to follow certain guidelines so that everyone can enjoy their outdoor experience regardless of how they are moving down the trail. As part of our snowshoe series we've discussed the history of snowshoeing, why to snowshoe, how to choose…

Question: How do you stay warm during winter adventures?

As part of our Monday morning trail'logy series I thought I'd do something just a tad bit different. I was thinking about writing a post with our favorite tips for staying warm while we cross-country ski, snowshoe, hike or just wander around outside in frigid temperatures. As I was preparing the post I thought to myself, "I bet our readers have a ton of great ideas too!" So, if you've got a great tip, trick or way that you stay warm in the winter leave a comment below. We'll publish your tip next week with our big awesome post about…