Nothing is really hard about snowshoeing. Everything is pretty much intuitive once you’re on the trailhead and strap those snowshoes of yours. After all, you just need to walk. Still, even the easiest sport needs some time before you can get used to it and enjoy it.
This guide aims to shorten that time. We’re going to tell you a few basic techniques of snowshoeing as well as what to expect when you’re first out with your new snowshoes.
Kicking it Off
If you’ve never been on a snowshoe outing before, it’s a good idea to start it on flat terrain. With no tricky slopes to deal with, you can focus your effort on getting used to walking with snowshoes. Try to stretch your legs wide enough to keep each snowshoe from bumping to another. The average width of modern snowshoes is 7-8 inches. You’d probably feel awkward even difficult to walk, but with more steps you make, you’ll learn to do it more efficiently.
There’s no need to rush yourself when you’re just starting. Take your time to figure out the best way to walk comfortably, instead of covering more distance. Snowshoeing is more about slow, quiet, and peaceful walks rather than downright competition.
Taking on an Ascent
Once you feel the most comfortable with your snowshoes, it’s time to get the going uphill. You may need the assistance of your trekking poles for this, especially if the slopes are steep. With poles, the pressure on your knees and back can be eased out and distributed evenly throughout your upper body.
Depending on the snow conditions, you can try a couple of different methods to effectively tackle a slope. For soft and fresh powder, the kicking technique works well. Just lift your foot, and strike it hard on the toe against the slope. That will plant your forefoot into the snow, while leaving the snowshoe tails hanging, making it easier to repeat the process. The snowshoes with the best toe crampons are Tubbs Mountaineer.
Now if the snow is hardpacked, you won’t be able to do that. Kicking your snowshoes against hard crusty snow repetitively may damage the toe crampons. In this situation, you will have to walk normally. Take your time with each step. Make sure the traction