Snowshoeing. Why it's for you and how to do it.

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  • By Dirtbag
Snowshoeing. Why it's for you and how to do it.

New activities can be intimidating, and usually the hardest part of trying something for the first time is just deciding that you are going to give it a go. If you live in a region that is lucky enough to get seasonal snow, then we are going to tell you why and how to give snowshoeing a try.

New sports or activities are almost always accompanied by an overwhelming amount of equipment and product options, as well as all kinds of skill and ability requirements. The actual or perceived demand of the activity can affect weather or not someone is likely to try it out. Fear of not being capable or maybe feeling inundated with equipment/product options is something I think we've all experienced.

 

Snowshoeing is not an activity without market saturation and equipment options, nor is it void of technique's, skill set, and physical demand. It is, however, a very accessible activity for beginners. The entry point skill level and physical requirements are quite low. It’s a perfect activity for families and can be done almost anywhere there is snow cover.  

 

Physical Prerequisite: Walking. If you can walk daily with comfort and no supports and you have the range and mobility to put on your own shoes, then you are ready to start your snowshoe adventure. Just choose a snow covered path or trail that matches the terrain you are comfortable with and away you go! As you get familiar with the snowshoes and become confident in them, you can start to explore different terrain, shoot for bigger distances and really have some fantastic adventures.

 

Equipment Requirements: When you think snowshoes, the large iconic wooden frame versions might come to mind. Some of you might have horrible elementary school memories of this, where you likely plotted a boring course around your school yard…. Wasn’t that fun?! While these traditional styles are still available and widely used by enthusiasts, they are not our immediate recommendation for beginners. We want you to try a modern version with an alloy frame or plastic composite. Such snowshoes are lighter and far more sleek in design. Their cut and shapes allow for a natural and balanced walking/hiking gait. The binding systems (differs between brands/models) are easy to use and fit a wide range of winter footwear styles. Just be careful with cheap brand snowshoes, as their binding systems often fail, or slip or are a nuisance to put on/off. This is the point where your foot attaches to the snowshoe. Your comfort and control is greatly based upon the design of the binding and this connection with your snowshoe will affect the confidence you have on different types of snowy terrain.

 

Where to Start: Try-before-you-Buy! Come rent a pair of snowshoes from us. Our rental fleet is made up of Louis Garneau Boreal 2’s snowshoes, and we believe this brand/model of snowshoe is perfect for the beginner or someone looking to get into this activity. Features include a sturdy, lightweight and sleek polymer decking that does not feel awkward to walk/hike on. A fixed pivot and V-track with multi-directional crampons means excellent traction and control on a variety of terrain and winter surfaces. Our favorite feature, is Louis Garneaus’ use of the BOA on their binding system. The boa allows for superb fit on almost any outdoor winter boot/hiker and fits snugly and secure, with no pressure points or sloppy feel. The best part is the snowshoes can be put on or taken off without having to remove your gloves or mitts. That means staying warmer and if you stay warm you are maximizing comfort and improving your snowshoe experience.

 

Check out our snowshoe talk video! We demonstrate that the LG Boreal 2’s can be put on/off with mittens. Snowshoe Talk - LG Boa Demo

 

Our rentals are $12/day. We’ll show you how to use them, and give you great suggestions on where to go and what to explore.

Email/call us to book or for inquiry - info@shbr.ca  587-404-1692