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Snowshoes ready for a day of fun!The beauty of snowshoeing is that it's easy to learn.

A trip on snowshoes may be as easy as a casual walk around the yard or as difficult as a winter mountain hike. No special skills and only warm winter clothing is required. One of the finest aspects of snowshoeing is its simplicity. The great thing about snowshoeing is you can snowshoe the same trails you hike in the summer. The banks of streams and rivers are always interesting with their open views and potential for seeing wildlife. Start with shorter hikes and work your way up to longer hikes to the peaks. Be sure to check our snow report for trails particularly suited to snowshoeing.

What follows here is a few or our recommendations for making your introduction to snowshoeing an easy and rewarding experience.

Read about . . .
What to Wear Equipment Technique Snowshoe Don'ts

 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

     

Before you leave, be sure you are
prepared with...

  Pack or Fanny Pack
  Guidebook
  Map and Compass
  Flashlight or Headlamp
  Dry Matches
  Lunch or Snack Food
  Sunscreen
  Sunglasses
  Water or Hot
Drink
  Extra Hat, Gloves and Socks
  Whistle, Knife and
   Nylon Cord

Have a Safe Day!

 
 
 
 
 
 
       
What to Wear ...
Footwear: This is where it all begins. Warm, waterproof footwear is very important. Try to find footwear that is warm, provides ankle support and is flexible enough to allow comfort and mobility for your feet. Gaiters are a definite plus. Besides keeping the snow out of your boots, they will waterproof your legs below the knees.

Top and Bottom:
Lightweight breathable synthetic or wool underwear covered with insulating layers of warm sweaters or fleece clothing topped off with windproof, water repellent or waterproof-breathable clothing is the ideal arrangement for snowshoeing. If you are too warm, stop snowshoeing and take off extra layers. Too cool, reverse the process. Maintain your comfort level, don't allow yourself to become too hot or too cold.

Equipment: Snowshoes generally fall into two general categories, "traditional" snowshoes and "sport" (or western) snowshoes.

The first decision one should consider is size. You will want to select the smallest and lightest weight snowshoe that will provide the best flotation in the type of snow and terrain you'll be traveling in. Traditional shoes are made of wood and will require frame and binding maintenance. The newer sport snowshoes are made of aluminum, rubber, plastic and other lightweight materials that are durable, require no maintenance, and are easy to use. Click HERE for more information about what type of snowshoe is right for you!

Snowshoe Technique ...
Snowshoeing is basically walking with big feet, you just strap on the snowshoes and walk away. When starting out for the first time on snowshoes try a flat trail until you are comfortable with tackling steeper terrain. Depending on the snow, dry or powdery, wet, hard or slippery, the snow will move. The footing will feel inconsistent. Walk gently, take shorter strides, don't lunge, or leap from step to step. Click HERE for illustrations.

Snowshoe Don'ts! ...
We don't all have to learn the hard way! You'll benefit by our experiences if you follow these basics

Never step on a moving snowshoe:
If you step on the rear of your forward snowshoe with your forward-moving snowshoe, you will almost always plant your face in a nose dive!


Never back up.
Snowshoes do not back up well. Frequently, if you step back, your snowshoe tails will drive down into the snow usually causing a fall. Instead of backing up use small U-turns or step turns to change directions.

Avoid traversing slopes.
Snowshoes are not well designed to grip with their sides. Traverse at an angle up or down but not straight across if possible.
 
 
 
   
   
   
   
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
             
      Snowshoeing can be lots of fun for all ages and abilities and we hope our tips prove to be helpful. If you are looking for more information on snowshoeing and the area, stop by the Ski Touring and Snowshoe Foundation in Intervale.  
       
       
             
 

Mt. Washington Valley Ski Touring & Snowshoe Foundation PO Box 646 Intervale, NH 03845
A Nonprofit (501 (C)(3) Organization
603-356-9920 (seasonal) E-mail: ski@MWVSkiTouring.org

A member of the White Mountain Nordic Ski Association
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