If you’re an outdoor enthusiast with a taste for winter activities, you have numerous choices at your disposal. You can enjoy the fun and excitement of downhill skiing, the peacefulness, and serenity of cross-country skiing through the backcountry, or the unique challenge of snowboarding. However, if you have grown tired of the same old thing, you might want to try a new challenge. The sport of snowshoeing is quickly gaining ground, as more and more people discover the many great things this sport has to offer. Whether you are looking for a great workout or want to get back to nature, snowshoeing might be for you.
What Makes Snowshoeing Unique?
Lovers of snow and cold crisp air have numerous activities to keep them engaged and fit throughout the winter, so what makes snowshoeing so unique? For one thing, snowshoeing gives outdoor enthusiasts a chance to be close to nature, as well as the opportunity to explore at their own pace.
Skiing and snowboarding might give you a chance to see nature, but when you go snowshoeing, you can slow down and get to know the world around you. If you are lucky, you might even come face to face with a grazing moose or a majestic elk as you wind your way down the many snowshoe trails in the United States and beyond.
Why Is Snowshoeing Becoming So Popular?
In many ways, snowshoeing represents a primal desire to return to a simpler time and a more straightforward way of life. In the busy modern world, finding time to decompress and get back to nature is priceless, and snowshoeing gives you the chance to do just that. Snowshoeing has been around for thousands of years, ever since our ancient ancestors first learned to move across the snow with ease. You can continue the tradition today by strapping on a pair of snowshoes and exploring the wilderness in your back yard.
Snowshoeing is also a perfect activity for families to enjoy together. Snowshoeing enthusiasts can find a variety of trails, from easy beginner trails to more challenging trails for experienced outdoor enthusiasts. An easy learning-curve and a wide range of terrain and trails available make snowshoeing the perfect way for the whole family to bond while enjoying the beauty of nature.
One of the great things about snowshoeing is that all ages and all skill levels can enjoy it. If you can walk, you can walk across the snow on a pair of quality snowshoes. Beginners can enjoy a stroll through their favorite ski resort. At the same time, more experienced snowshoers can head out to the backcountry to explore the wilderness on their own or with friends.
What Do I Need to Get Started?
If you would like to try snowshoeing on your own, you have a couple of options available. You can buy your own snowshoes and head out to your local parks, public lands, or wilderness. Indeed, many snowshoe enthusiasts got their start just that way. However, as your passion for the sport grows, you might want to find more suitable venues to snowshoe.
Fortunately, many ski and mountain resorts throughout the United States offer special packages designed for snowshoers. If you are booking a stay at one of the many popular ski resorts in the United States, be sure to ask about their snowshoe packages. Most ski resorts can rent snowshoes, allowing you to try the new sport even if you do not have your own gear.
The Three Types of Snowshoes
When it comes time to order snowshoes for your very first trip, keep in mind that there are three distinct types of snowshoes on the market. A good shop will have all three models available, making it easy to choose the gear that best meets your needs.
Recreational hiking snowshoes, as the name implies, are designed for simple hiking out in the backcountry or on the trails. These relatively inexpensive snowshoes are the perfect choice for first-timers since they work best on simple beginner terrain. Recreational hiking snowshoes are not designed for challenging terrain with numerous steep climbs and drops, but they are perfect for the relatively flat beginner trails that many parks and public lands have to offer.
Aerobic and fitness snowshoes are designed for active snowshoers who are looking for a good workout. You can spot these unique snowshoes by their sleek design, lightweight, and durable build.
Hiking and backpacking snowshoes are perfect for snowshoe enthusiasts who prefer powder to packed snow, and those who plan to explore the less traveled snowshoe trails of the backcountry. These snowshoes are built to last and built to endure even the harshest conditions out on the trail. Hiking and backpacking snowshoes combine lightweight aluminum frames with durable materials designed to float over the surface of the snow, all with a strong binding intended to support many kinds of boots.
When you shop for your first pair of snowshoes, you'll find packages that include the snowshoes themselves, as well as poles and a unique snowshoe bag. These kits are perfect for beginners who want to try their hand at the sport. Still, more experienced enthusiasts often prefer to purchase their gear separately to get the components that best fit their needs. Luckily, snowshoeing is a relatively inexpensive sport, with a good pair of snowshoes going for $100 - $300.
So, if you are looking for an exciting way to spend the cold months this winter, why not give snowshoeing a try. The great thing about snowshoeing is that it's as easy or challenging as you want it to be. If your goal is to stay in shape and avoid the winter pounds, you can walk off those holiday meals while exploring the beauty of nature. And if you are looking for a new sport and some friendly competition, you can find that as well. No matter what you are looking for in a sport, snowshoeing has it, and a lot more to boot.