How to Snowshoe: The Basics
If you live anywhere near TETON Headquarters, you may notice we experience a little cabin fever about ever 4-5 hours. However, we know of a great adventure for the whole family to get everyone outdoors to see the sights winter has to offer. Snowshoeing is growing in popularity all over the world. It’s a fairly inexpensive sport to invest in and we concur: if you can walk, you can snowshoe. Take the whole family!
- Waterproof Boots
- Warm outerwear
There are different types of snowshoes depending on the terrain you plan to cover and how you plan to cover it. If you’re just starting out, you’ll want a pair of flat or rolling terrain shoes. Shoe sizes depend on the adventurer’s weight, so be sure to get the right amount of shoe for your stature.
Make sure your boots are compatible with your shoe. Some are snap-in style like a ski boot-to-ski. Others have bindings of leather, nylon, or other lashings. Try your boots on with your shoes before you buy. The good news is just about any winter-ready boot can be made to work with your snowshoes—it may take some looking, but the options are available.
Poles help with balance and are recommended for anyone just starting out. They help you distribute your weight more efficiently and come in really handy if you find yourself wrong end in the snow. It could happen.
To keep the snow from packing down into your boots, a good pair of gaiters are inexpensive and indispensable. Purchase longer gaiters for deeper snow.
Most anything you would wear skiing or snowboarding will work here (ie. waterproof, breathable jacket and pants). There are a number of good choices at your nearest sporting goods store.
Don’t forget the water and bring lots of it! You can burn up to 1000 calories an hour snowshoeing and dehydrate quickly. To keep your water from freezing, use an insulating sleeve.
You can master the basics of snowshoeing in a matter of minutes with a good guide and a little ambition. Keep in mind that moving in reverse is a bit more precarious since you’ll need to step in a circle to backtrack. Backing up the old fashioned way will dig the heel of your snowshoe in the snow and flip you over.
Stick to fairly flat terrain your first time out and work your way up to more adventurous topography. Straight up or down the hill will be easier than walking gradually up sideways.
You’ll soon discover a whole new, previously uncharted winter wonderland—perhaps in your own community’s backyard.