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Snowshoeing 101: A Beginner's Guide

Group snowshoeing

Don’t let the winter weather keep you from your hikes! Embrace the winter wonderland with the timeless and family-friendly activity of snowshoeing.

If you're a beginner, eager to tread the snowy paths, this guide is your key to unlocking the joys of snowshoeing. From gear essentials to trail etiquette, let's dive into Snowshoeing 101 and get you started on your snowy adventure.

Gear Up!

  • Snowshoes: Begin your journey by selecting the right snowshoes. Consider factors such as your weight, the type of terrain you'll explore, and the snow conditions. Rental options are widely available, so check out for a spot near you!

  • Poles: Invest in a pair of adjustable trekking poles to enhance stability and balance. They'll provide extra support, especially on uneven terrain.

  • Apparel: Dress in layers to stay warm and dry. Opt for moisture-wicking base layers, an insulating mid-layer, and a waterproof outer layer. Don't forget waterproof boots and insulated socks.

  • Gaiters: Keep snow out of your boots by wearing gaiters. These protective covers wrap around your lower legs and prevent snow from entering, ensuring a more comfortable experience.

On the Trail

  • Start Simple: For your first snowshoeing adventure, choose well-marked and relatively flat trails. This allows you to focus on getting comfortable with your gear and the movement of snowshoeing.

  • Proper Technique: Walk naturally with a slightly wider stance to avoid stepping on the insides of your snowshoes. Take shorter steps initially, especially when navigating slopes.

  • Uphill and Downhill: Ascending? Use the crampons on your snowshoes for traction. Descending? Lean back slightly and use your poles for balance.

Safety First

  • Weather Check: Keep an eye on the weather forecast and trail conditions. Dress appropriately for the temperature and be prepared for changes in weather.

  • Tell Someone: Inform someone about your plans, including your route and estimated return time.

  • Navigation Tools: Bring a map, compass, or GPS device to stay oriented on the trail. Familiarize yourself with the route beforehand.

Pair of snowshoes

Snowshoeing is a fantastic activity for the whole family to enjoy. Many places, including Traverse Duluth in Duluth, MN and Cross Country Sports in Calumet, MI rent both youth and adult shoes.

Equip yourself with the right gear, embrace proper techniques, and you'll be ready to starting exploring. Check out for great rental options, lace up those snowshoes and hit the trails!


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