Any weekend that I try something new is a good weekend! Snowshoeing has been on my winter bucket list year after year. It’s always appealed to me, maybe because I heard it burned major calories and didn’t seem as hard as downhill skiing. The chance of having small children zooming by me as I’ve fallen for the 10th time seems a lot less when just walking on the snow, am I right? This weekend I can proudly say I crossed it off my bucket list and even though we are literally in the middle of the wettest winter on record the weather was absolutely perfect.
What to Expect Snowshoeing for the First Time
So what did this beginner learn from her first snow-trek?
Dress in layers, but prepare to be hot.
Similar to skiing you can really work up a sweat, and there is nothing fun about sweating profusely under thick layers of clothes. Unless the weather is really frigid I would forgo the super thick ski jacket and wear more of a shell. Start with an insulating base (everyone loves attractive long underwear), and then add layer that is easy to take off or unzip as needed. Some people wore snow pants but I wore heavy leggings with wool socks and did just fine.
The snowshoes matter.
The good news is that snowshoes are one size fits all so these boats had no trouble fitting right on in! I did learn that the bottoms of the snowshoes matter and some of the discounted shoes don’t have as much grip. You want them to look very claw-like on the underside. As far as what shoes to wear in the snowshoe, go for thick-soled and rubber-tipped if possible.
It feels different from you might expect.
Your ankle is strapped in from behind, but has what seems like a full range of motion up and down. I expected my ankles to feel bound in like cross-country skiing, but that is not the case. At first, that free feeling felt unstable but as I learned to trust the shoe I got used to it. If you make sure you are strapped in, know that you are secure!
Tip: When going downhill try to step fully on your toes to gain traction.
Guided tours can enrich your experience.
We had a great tour guide that added a layer of information that I wouldn’t have learned if I was going by myself. For example, did you know that a woodpecker has a tongue that gets up to 6 inches and has a place in the back of its head where the tongue goes when retracted? True story!
You do burn a lot of calories (650-700 if 150 lbs), and even more if you use poles! Which means if you do it long enough you’ll also get very hungry. I packed a lunch and lots of liquid to replenish with.
Be camera ready:).
Snow falling off branches, streams of sunlight, snow hares, and of course, selfies:). There are many opportunities for pictures. I packed my point and click since I didn’t want to carry around the big guns.
What else did my weekend have in store? Some sweet treats after dinner with a friend, and a night in by myself! E was out for a guys night and so I got to play hermit crab by watching girl movies like Thelma and Louise. I may have even thrown a Lifetime movie in there just for old time’s sake. I love my husband with all of my heart but every once in a while it feels good to just have a “me night”.
What did you do this weekend? Have you been snowshoeing before? Any tips you have for it?
Have a great week ahead!
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