In high school I loved a good Saturday spent up in the mountains snowboarding with friends. Now when I think of snowboarding, I think of being cold and spending too much money. So snowboarding hasn’t happened in a while. But I still have an itch to get outside in the winter and be active, so snowshoeing has hit the spot for me.
My husband and I first went snowshoeing a couple years ago for a fun date one Saturday afternoon. We were ambitious and decided to go on a decently steep trail we had hiked several times and love. Soon we found out that just because we had hiked it several times didn’t mean we could just snowshoe right up to the cove of trees that we had done so many times. Thankfully, after a lot of blood, sweat and tears – just kidding, mostly just a lot of sweat – we made it. And I think it was while I was sitting in that cove of trees on a log eating the lunch we packed, I realized just how much I love snowshoeing.
Growing up my dad made an effort to teach us kids about the importance of being in nature, and I can tell you now that I really hope I can teach that same importance to my kids. There is something peaceful and special about being in the mountains and I truly love it. So that’s one of the main reasons I find snowshoeing to be so great – it gets me outside in nature during a time of year that it doesn’t always happen much.
Here are a few other reasons you should try it:
- It’s easy! Pretty much if you can walk, you can snowshoe. Start by going walking through a flat park or big open areas. Then as you get more comfortable and experienced, try going on some trails that have some hills.
- It’s inexpensive! Especially comparing it to other winter sports. You have the cost of snowshoes, and then some winter gear if you don’t already have it, and then you can go over and over again!
- It’s a good workout! Snowshoeing really makes me break a sweat. Hence why I’m sitting on that log in the above picture with just a long sleeve shirt on – by the time we stopped for lunch I had taken my coat off! It’s also great because it is low impact so all fitness levels can enjoy it. According to Snowsports Industries America (SIA), snowshoers can burn up to 45% more calories than walking or running at the same speed.
Costco, REI, and backcountry.com are all great places to purchase snow shoes. There are also several stores that will rent snowshoes for you to use for a day. From there you will need to make sure you have some good snowpants, a coat, hat, gloves, and some sturdy boots. You can find more info about gear here.
So go ahead and get out there this weekend for some snowshoe fun!