Snowshoeing – easy adventure
In my previous post I have told you about Colorado Springs’ Parks where your winter fun is guaranteed. However, I have been remiss in talking about the gear that you need for snowshoeing.
The great part: You don’t really need much to snowshoe besides the snowshoes themselves, everything else you will most likely have already in your closet. If the snow really isn’t that deep, where you want to hike, then good winter boots will do the job. We’ve bought our snowshoes used off season and have had them now for several years.
There are different kinds of snowshoes, REI (off Woodmen), Mountain Recyclers Off Nevada or Mountain Chalet (on Tejon) will be happy to explain the differences to you.
Generally, snowshoe sizes break out in the following way:
>100 to 150 pounds = 20- to 22-inch snowshoe
140 to 200 pounds = 25- to 26-inch snowshoe
200 to 230 pounds = 30-inch snowshoe
230+ pounds = 35- to 36-inch snowshoe
If you don’t want to buy you can rent them for about $15 – however, it’s a great investment.
It’s just like walking
Call it snowshoeing and it has a very adventurous ring to it, others call it winter hiking, which sounds not quite as daring. Either way it’s the same and it is what you make it. Since snowshoes are wider than your foot , you will also have a wider stance as you walk. Since you will actually have to lift your feet up higher compared to regular walking as you step forward, your hip-flexers will get a very nice workout.
It is courteous to stay off cross country ski trail tracks. Cross country skiers have the right of way as it is much easier for snowshoers to step out of the way.
Poles are optional on flat terrain, but when climbing uphill, it will give you additional stability. Your upper body will get a workout too. Get adjustable poles, this way you can shorten the poles when you ascend and short then them when you descend.
Bring water to stay hydrated!
It’s best to dress in layers. You’ll be surprised just how hot you’ll get, once you have a good pace going – especially hiking uphill you’ll warm up quickly.
If you have gloves that have inserts it allows you to take the outer layer off when you get cold and just hike with your inner, thin layer. Bonus if your outer glove or mitt has a strap or string to keep them dangling on your wrist when you don’t want them on. You can stuff a handwarmer in a mitt, which is really nice on very cold days.
Usually no helmet is necessary when snowshoeing. Depending where you snowshoe, consider taking an avalanche beacon along and get training before your trip. REI offers avalanche training. Don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses if you are enjoying a sunny day.
A hat is a great idea or headband – again, you might get warmer than you think. A downjacket might get too warm for you, consider just a softshell jacket and winter running/exercise pants – also made of softshell material.
Use comfortable winterboots and if the snow is deep, maybe some gaiters to keep the snow from getting into your boots. Gaiters and GoreTex running shoes have been the shoe gear of choice, of many
The 20 Colorado Nordic centers, 41-plus state parks and 11 national parks and national monuments are a sure way to get snowshoeing quickly and start discovering winter in Colorado.
It’s beautiful to live in Colorado Springs, I am proud of my city- call me if you have any questions about snowshoeing, but also if you’ve decided to live here and are looking to move to this adventurous place! Call/text: 719-321-0800 or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year I snowshoed to Janets Cabin, this year I AT ski’d to it. I would have enjoyed snowshoeing more! *Note to self.* However, loved, loved, loved our time out there.