Recently, the best snowshoes with high quality have become a good alternative to skis. Fans of outdoor activities do not want to “sit on the stove” in winter. Snowshoeing outfits have not yet gained such popularity as regular skiing, but it has undeniable advantages.
Ease of learning to ride — it takes just a few minutes to learn the basics. The equipment itself is light and compact, attached to a backpack, and does not interfere with public transport. No special shoes are required, which allows you to save on the weight of the burden, and in money, of course. In general, this sport is quite budgetary. You do not have to buy expensive equipment, ski passes. In addition, snowshoes for men, women and kids are equally successful in the forest and in the mountains.
Equipment selection for snowshoeing.
Despite the general simplicity of the lesson, the mini-skis themselves differ in size, design and purpose. To make the right choice, you need to understand what characteristics you should focus on. Also, the model depends on the type of route — whether it is a pvd through a nearby forest, a long hike with different terrain or hiking in the mountains. A flat surface will tolerate an ordinary pair of snowshoes.
If you have an expedition to the mountains, you will need a model that is more reliable and designed for such a relief. Structurally, it is distinguished by the presence of a lift compensator and good grip. The first detail makes it easier to climb the slope thanks to the metal bracket that raises the heel. Grip with the surface is provided by crampons like mountaineers. Side spikes or similar elements also help.
The choice of types of snowshoe size is not influenced by the size of the hiker’s shoes, but by their weight and type of snow. For a heavy person and a loose cover, a larger area will be needed. However, it is better not to abuse such dimensions, the smaller size is distinguished by maneuverability and low weight.
As in any other trips, the principle of layering applies here. But this does not mean that you need to put on your entire wardrobe so as not to freeze — a common mistake for beginners. At first they sweat, and during a halt they undress and catch a cold. For snowshoeing, on the contrary, you need to dress lightly on the way and warm up during stops.
The base layer is thermal underwear for high activity. Then comes the warming layer — a fleece jacket or a warm sweater. Membrane clothing is suitable as a protective layer. Ideally, it is better to give preference to models with ventilation under the arms. On a halt, a warm puff will come in handy. Otherwise, it is easy for a person to freeze without movement.
At temperatures around zero, a hat is not so important, a headband will suffice. But gloves are a must. Usually the hands get cold the most. You need to protect them with waterproof gloves, ordinary ski ones will do.
Shoes for snowshoeing
You don’t need special shoes for snowshoeing. It doesn’t matter what you are wearing — winter sports boots with thick, stable soles or insulated trekking boots. The main requirements for shoes are warmth, comfort and waterproof materials. If there are doubts about the last factor, it is better to wear membrane socks underneath. Also, for dry feet, you should wear gaiters for tourism.
The contents of the backpack.
You do not need to take a bulky bag with you, 30 liters is enough. Just to fit a snack, a thermos of tea, a puff and the necessary little things. Sticks will become a useful accessory — trekking or ski poles will do. They will help you keep your balance and go through deep snow drifts. It makes sense to take a headlamp, even if you are planning a day trip. In winter, darkness sets in rather quickly.
Choice of an interesting route.
For beginners, it is better to start in the surrounding forests and short trails. Snowshoeing is still harder than walking, and not as fast as skiing. One possible option is to join a ski trip. This only applies to short trips. On longer expeditions, the difference in speed becomes critical. It is worth remembering that you need to move not along the ski track, but next to it — such is sports etiquette.
Upon reaching a certain skill, it’s time to think about going to the mountains — enough foothills or low peaks. First, a one-day outing is organized — at least every day, if you live in a hotel. A more difficult option is moving from shelter to shelter. You can find tourist and sports routes with a detailed description and a track on the map in the section of the same name.