5 Tips for First Time Snowshoers
Dress the Part
Layer, layer, layer is the key. Snowshoeing is not like downhill skiing or snowtubing, you will be exerting more energy and the thick warm jackets and pants are over kill.. First you’ll need a sweat-wicking base layer. These garments are worn tight to your skin and move sweat away from your core outwards, keeping you dry. A good base layer is your strongest defense against the cold on winter days. Choose either Merino wool or a synthetic-material base layer.
Next you’ll want a mid-layer to help create a barrier for air to become trapped between your body and the colder outside air. Warm fleece jackets and other light mid-layers create an area for non-circulating ‘dead air’ to remain trapped and become warm.
Wear either an outer shell or insulated jacket depending on the conditions. Shell jackets offer good defense against the wind and precipitation and likely won’t lead to overheating on warmer days. If the temperature is dropping and you need strong protection from wind, snow and the cold, wear an insulated jacket designed to trap warm air close to your body
Keep your head and hands covered to prevent loss of body heat. Waterproof ski gloves or mittens are a must to keep your hands dry and warm. You can also combine waterproof/breathable shells with wool liners or light fleece gloves. In milder conditions, glove liners may be all you need, but have a backup waterproof pair with you, just in case.
Just like hiking, the level of exertion you expend is up to you, but there’s a good chance you could break a sweat. Be prepared and pack a small backpack or fanny pack with a few essentials:
Water – Even though it’s cold, you still need to keep hydrated as you expend energy.
Snacks – Whether you’re out for an hour or an afternoon, make sure to bring snacks that will boost your energy—such as apples, trail mix, almond butter, or your favourite energy bar
Check the forecast in the area you plan to snowshoe – it can be very different from your location.
Bring a Camera
Getting outside and exploring all that winter has to offer on a pair of snowshoes is fantastic and you will want to share your stories and photos with us and your family and friends. The winter landscape can truly be magical.
A phone can also be used if needed in an emergency!
Bring a Friend
Snowshoeing can be rewarding when you solo trip, but sharing with family and friends is rewarding in its own way. Your safety should be top of mind too, and a friend can always help in an emergency if needed.
Snowshoeing is not just about the destination, but the journey! Shake that tree and watch the tree-a-lanch land on your partner, stop and listen to the sounds of the forest around you, it is alive. Have a snowball fight, make a snow angel, but most important have fun!