Winter can seemingly be the longest season of the four. But if you find interesting ways to pass the time, like taking up snowshoeing, you will soon find that you will be wishing that winter could last a little bit longer.
Experts say that snowshoeing is an excellent way to get out of the gym and cross train. Besides being a great workout, it also helps your body prepare for other physical activities. One hour of snowshoeing can burn from 400 to 1000 calories depending upon your pace, the terrain and your gear.
According to MSNBC.com not only is snowshoeing good exercise and a lot cheaper than hitting the slopes, it’s also an activity that the whole family can enjoy together. While snowshoeing with your family it’s easy to involve the kids by listening for different birds, looking for animal tracks or stopping for rest and a snack.
So, what do you need to get started?
First you need the best snowshoes to fit your needs. Snowshoes come in three different varieties: aerobic/running (small, light and not intended for backcountry use), recreational (larger, used for gentle to moderate walks up to five miles), and mountaineering (largest, used for serious hill climbing and back country off-trail use). Another general rule of thumb when choosing snowshoes is you should have one square inch of shoe per pound of body weight.
Trekking poles are not necessary for most people who would like to get started snowshoeing, but they can be beneficial and helpful to keep your balance.
Boots, specifically waterproof boots, are very important pieces of gear to get started snowshoeing. Hiking boots work in most cases, unless you plan on running in your snowshoes, then you would probably benefit from a more lightweight running or walking shoe.
Lastly, you may need to purchase some new outdoor clothing before you hit the trails. Because snow is constantly being thrust upwards from the shoes, your bottom may get wetter than the rest of your body. Wearing a pair of waterproof pants will keep your legs dry and you comfortable.
Make sure that you dress in layers, too, and dress accordingly to the weather. You can always take off layers if you get too hot.