Beginner’s Guide to Wearing Snowshoes
If you live in a place that receives a substantial amount of snowfall during the winter months, there is a good chance that you have already worn snowshoes at least once in your life. Snowshoes are the prescribed winter footwear for hikers, forest rangers and runners who need to do exterior activities even when the snow is deep on the ground. Snowshoes have also become popular in the past few years for its recreational use.
Wooden vs modern
Traditionally speaking, snowshoes are usually made up of wood. But in the past 50 years, manufacturers have successfully produced designs from different materials like the popular aluminum-framed models in the market.
Wooden snowshoes occupy a larger surface area and can support as much as 90 kilograms. They also make a lot less noise when used in the snow. However, wooden snowshoes typically need more maintenance because of the material used in making it.
Meanwhile, modern snowshoes have great aerodynamics, which makes it perfect for more difficult trails. A lot of accessories that make snow trailing and hiking safer are also available for modern snowshoe models.
There are three types of snowshoes. The aerobic/running type is small and is designed for lighter snow while the recreational model is crafted for walking up to 8 kilometers in the snow. The last type, the mountaineering type, is meant for long-distance walks and off-trail hiking and climbing.
Parts and Accessories
To know how to properly put snowshoes on, it is crucial for a person to know the basic anatomy of a snowshoe. A snowshoe has the following basic components: decking, bindings, traction system, and frame.
The frame forms the circumference of the snowshoe while the decking is the flat surface within the design. The bindings are the ones that help your walking shoe or boot hold on to the snowshoe. Lastly, the traction system prevents you from getting into slipping accidents.
You also have the option of putting an advanced traction system into your snowshoes. Crampons and heel-lifts bars are accessories that help you achieve this. Crampons provide extra traction through the use of teeth-like grips under the sole of the snowshoe. The heel-lift gives more stability when you are climbing up a hill.
How to Put On Snowshoes
Depending on the model that you bought, the snowshoes could either be universal or have left-or-right labels on them. If there are no labels on the shoes, it is most likely a universal model and could go on either foot. You should put the snowshoes on the outside of your house as the steel material could damage your floors.
Slide your foot inside the snowshoes. Put the ball of your foot in the binding. You need to make sure it is in the center. It is important that your foot is not located too far forward or too far back of the snowshoe, otherwise, it may feel uncomfortable.
Tighten the straps located on the top of the snowshoes. Tie and adjust the binding accordingly. Tuck in any excess and make sure that the entire thing fits just right.
Once you are done using the snowshoe, clean it properly. Otherwise, some snow particles and ice balls may get stuck in it.
When wearing and using snowshoes, it is essential that you feel mobile and comfortable. Otherwise, your safety while moving around in the snowy ground may be compromised.