If hiking is your favorite Summer pastime then you're going to love snowshoeing in the Winter. Hiking on snow-covered trails is incredibly peaceful, but requires more than just boots for footwear. Snowshoes slip over your boots and allow you to step on top of the snow, even when it's more than a foot deep. They have grippers on the bottom, and some even have metal spikes on the toes (called crampons), that allow you to dig into snow and ice and get up steeper trails.
Before buying a pair, it's a great idea to rent snowshoes first. Check out the activity before investing in the gear. If you love to snowshoe buying a pair will not only save you money in the long run, but also you'll be motivated to go if you own your own pair.
Here are some tips on choosing snowshoes:
- Know that they can be pretty expensive, ranging in price from $100 to $250.
- Deciding what kind to buy depends on where you'll be tromping. You can get snowshoes for easy and flat trails, steep and icy inclines, back country, and ones to run in.
- Snowshoes are also made with different materials. Most are made with light-weight aluminum, but you can also get traditional ones made out of wood and rawhide.
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- There are also different bindings. Some are made with durable fabric straps that adjust easily to any boot size. You can also find bindings made out of plastic, that mold to your toes and heels for even more of a custom fit. Some have buckles and some have cinches for easy entrance and exit. The easier they are to get on and off, the more expensive they'll be.
- Snowshoe size is based on your total weight (you and your gear).
- Whatever snowshoes you choose, make sure you have really supportive, warm boots to wear with them. Bring those boots to the store and try on all types of snowshoes so you can get a feel for what you like.
- Some popular brands to choose from are Tubbs and Atlas.
Snowshoeing is one of the best cardio workouts I've ever done. All that snow makes for great resistance, kind of like when you walk in waist-deep water. You're guaranteed to get an awesome lower-body workout and nothing beats the beauty of walking in a world covered in snow.