Bored of the same old winter routine? Has cabin fever set in and left you desperately searching for an escape? Perhaps snowshoeing may be the cure for your winter woes. Not only is it a ton of fun, it also gives you an excuse to pack a flask of warm-up whiskey. If that's not enough, here are five more reasons you should try snowshoeing:
1. It gets you outside.
When winter rolls around, it can be tempting to make like a bear and hibernate (powder hounds excluded, of course), but those cold-weather days are some of the best for getting outside. The hot humid days of summer can be stifling, so take advantage of those blue-sky, sun-shining, crisp, clear days of winter and strap on your snowshoes for some fresh air and adventure.
2. It Increases your exploring opportunities.
If you’re a hiking junkie but find yourself held hostage by the snow, give snowshoeing a try. It’s basically just hiking with a big shoe and it gives you the chance to explore and blaze trails in areas buried under the frosty white stuff. You can trek up your favorite summer hiking path or explore new ones – frozen waterfalls are pretty epic, not to mention open the door for a little ice climbing (if you’re into that kind of thing). Basically, snowshoeing will expand your exploring radius, getting you to places you wouldn’t make it to without the shoes or a whole lot more effort.
3. There’s not much of a learning curve.
In terms of skill level, snowshoeing doesn’t take a whole lot – if you can walk, you can snowshoe. The hardest part is figuring out how to strap your feet in but even that’s pretty simple. Whether you’re at your local snow-bound city park or at your favorite trail head, just strap in and start snowshoeing. It is worth noting, however, that backing up or turning sharply is an easy way to get tripped up – just make sure to lift your knees high and always know the position of each shoe.
4. It’s affordable.
When compared to other winter-time activities like skiing, snowboarding or snowmobiling, snowshoeing is ridiculously affordable. You can get a solid pair of shoes for around $100 and you’re good to go. Strap in with the hiking shoes you already have and wear whatever winter gear you have handy. If you don’t have them, I would definitely advise investing in a pair of Gators to keep your pants dry and the snow out.
5. It’s great exercise.
If you’re looking for a way to stay fit throughout the winter, snowshoeing could be just the ticket. Like hiking, it’s great for the legs and lungs; add a pack or a kid and your upper body will get a great workout too. If you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge, put a little pep in your step and jog – that’ll get the ‘ol ticker going. Did I mention snowshoeing is a fantastic leg workout? The exaggerated steps you take to clear the shoes of the snow will get the glutes and hip flexors fired up.
Cover photo: Chaney Swiney
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