Snowshoeing is a wonderful winter outdoor activity to enjoy the beauty of the wilderness in the most majestic time of the year.
If you haven’t tried it yet, you must give it a try.
Snowshoeing is how I “hike” in the winter and enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of snow covered landscapes.
Snowshoe Shopping tips
- Figure out what weight the snowshoes can support. Snowshoes are designed to carry specific loads (you and your pack) over snow. The level of your “flotation” will vary with different snow conditions, but you should make sure that the weight specifications are suitable for your body weight and anything else you carry with you (ie, a backpack with your 10 Essentials, extra clothing layers, food, water, etc.) Some snowshoes have attachable “tails”, which you can add on if you are taking a heavier backpack with you on your snowshoe adventure.
- Where do you plan to go snowshoeing? If you plan to spend the majority of your time on relatively flat terrain, then you don’t need some of the bells and whistles that some higher end snowshoes have. However, if you are like me and enjoy snowshoeing up and down steep slopes, look for a pair with a heel lifter. It will greatly reduce the strain on your calves as you head up hills. Also, if you are going to be in icier, steeper conditions, make sure the “crampons” on the bottom of the snowshoe grip well.
- Women’s specific snowshoes. Snowshoe manufacturers are finally realizing that women have narrower feet than men and shorter strides. Therefore, they have decided to design a few women’s snowshoes that are specially designed to be narrower and lighter.
- Easy access bindings. Look for snowshoes that have step-on bindings that open wide so you can easily slip your boots in and strap in and begin your day of fun. Fumbling with tricky bindings is not how I like to spend my winter mornings.
Hiking Lady’s Favorite Snowshoes:
Women’s MSR Lightning Ascent 25 Snowshoes: I love these snowshoes! I’ve used them in the local Southern California mountains and in Yosemite. If you’re looking for bells and whistles, this pair has it. They are super light weight (you’ll be thankful of this after a day of snowshoeing!), have excellent crampons, a heel lift (MSR calls it the “Televator”), and they’re designed specifically for women. In the past I’ve always had unisex snowshoes, and have wondered why they feel so bulky and why I have had to force my stride to be much wider than comfortable. One of my friends bought these Lightning Ascents last season and when she let me borrow them I loved them so much I decided that this year I was going to buy myself a pair.
MSR Denali Evo Ascent Snowshoes: These snowshoes are technically men’s, but I’ve used them in the past and have several female friends who use them. The main benefit of these compared to the MSR Lightning Ascents is that you can add on “tails”, so if you want to go backpacking, you can simply snap on a tail and it will be able to handle the extra weight. They are heavier than the Lightning Ascents, but are less expensive and still highly durable.
MSR Denali Tyker Snowshoes: For the kiddies!
How I Store & Transport My Snowshoes:
MSR Snowshoe Bag: Since my Lightning Ascents have excellent traction, it also means they tend to snag on everything in the car and my closet. So I bought this bag and my snowshoes fit in perfectly, plus I can slip my trekking poles in the straps along the side.
After a long day of snowshoeing, my legs and feet are tired! Two things that I recommend:
- Check out Hiking Lady’s post-hike recovery tips.