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 the back of your SUV, at a picnic table or kneel down and strap your snowshoes on regardless of what the snow cover looks like.

Step 2: Strap on your snowshoes.

A good rule of thumb is to tighten the toe strap, heel strap and then instep strap.

Step 3: Put on your poles (if you choose to use them).

Adjust your poles, and slide them on just like as if you were cross-country skiing. We’ll talk about poles and snowshoeing next week so stay tuned!

Step 4: Start snowshoeing.

A few tips.

First, if you’re breaking trail through deep powder you’ll notice that you  have to lift up your legs higher than if you’re snowshoeing across a track that’s already been broken or on a packed trail.

Tips for Snowshoeing Through Deep Powder

Second, you may notice that you have to walk with your legs just a little bit wider apart than you usually do. This might be annoying for the first 2 minutes of your hike but after that you won’t even notice.

Snowshoes can alter your stance.

Third, if you’re climbing up a really steep hill you can really dig into the hill with the toe of your snowshoes, or side-step.

Descent on snowshoesLast, if you’re coming down a hill pay close attention to your center of balance and adjust as needed to keep your feet underneath your body. If it’s a steep hill ride the terrain just like you would if you were coming down a switchback.

Step 5. Have Fun!

What tips do you have for new snowshoers who may have never snowshoed before?

p.s. this is part of our ongoing ‘Snowshoeing’ series. You can check out our previous posts here.


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