Sunday, September 3, 2017

winter snowshoes

Snowshoeing in Virginia

Snowshoeing can be fun and be a way to get outside and enjoy hiking in the winter time. Snowshoes can make backpacking a safer way to walk in deep snow.  I have backpacked in a deep twenty inch snow without snowshoes and I was exhausted after three miles on the Appalachian Trail.   It snowed this past week with a twelve inch snow and I have been practicing walking in my new snowshoes.


A good pair of high gators should be worn to help keep the snow and debris from getting into your boots.

A pair of trekking poles.  Trekking poles will help you balance when you walk.

A pair of high top hiking boots will keep your socks dry and a pair of smart wool socks will keep your feet from getting cold.

The snowshoe should be lightweight and made of a strong metal/plastic design.  The snowshoes should not be too big and fit snug around your boot.  The frame should be made of an aluminum tubing.   Crampons on the bottom of the shoe should be made of a strong steel.   All front straps should be a fiber composition whereas the heel strap should be a flexible material.    Most snowshoes are designed for a left or a right foot.    I bought
Atlas snowshoes and have walked around my home to get used to hiking in deep snow.


Snowshoe use

When wearing snowshoes you should try to keep your weight centrally located above the shoe, especially when walking down hill.  Try not to lean back when going downhill, leaning back will create a snowboarding effect and you will lose your traction.   Try to keep the space between each foot wider than your normal walk.  This will keep you from walking on the other shoe. You will have to raise your foot a little higher than you normally walk. Remember that it will be harder to make sharp turns and you will have to plan each turn ahead of the time to turn.  Most snowshoes have quick release straps so you can easily slip your foot out of the shoe if you step in a deep hole or crevasse.   Snowshoes are designed to aid you in walking in deep snow.   Walking in deep snow can be exhausting and cause you to over heat and possibly get hypothermia and possibly die.