Snowshoeing 101: A Beginner’s Guide to the Popular Winter Sport

In Adventure, snowshoeing, Winter Sports by Aaron KindallLeave a Comment

Well, whether you are ready or not, it’s that time of year again…

The time of year when the holidays approach, the leaves change to vibrant colors of orange, yellow , and red.  Temperatures drop, and inevitably the snow comes, and if last year was any indication of what we’ll see this year then we are in for another winter of heavy snowfall.  To some this may be discouraging, come across as a disappointment however we have just the activity to heal your troubled mind and aching heart.

Winter offers an abundance of activities to get you outdoors and into the back-country.  And out of all of them, Nordic skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, etc. we suggest giving snowshoeing a shot (unintended tongue twister there).  If you are an avid hiker or backpacker like us, and love getting off the beaten path in search of mind bending scenery and heavy doses of solitude, then we’re pretty confident that snowshoeing is the cure for your winter ails.

What follows is more of beginners guide to get you out and going, hitting some of the high points that will ensure you have a successful and enjoyable time. If you have more questions after reading please contact us via our contact page and we’ll get back to you right away.

Hydration

Similar to any other sport or outdoor activity water consumption cannot be overlooked. As you will see below, maybe even more so when it comes to snowshoeing.  A good rule of thumb to combat dehydration through the inevitable perspiration fest that is about to occur is to start hydrating the evening before, perhaps a full day before.

Consider this when contemplating water intake before any activity:

  • 60% of your total body weight is water
  • 75% of your muscles is water
  • Water protects and cushions vital organs
  • Aids in digestion

Dependent on your comfort level and experience with hydration techniques, I’d recommend getting in at least a half gallon (2 liters) of water in you by the time you are ready to turn in for the night.  I’m not a big fan of water first thing in the morning, just doesn’t taste right and I need something in my stomach before I start pounding my hydrogen and oxygen concoction.  After breakfast I’ll begin the water cycle slowly, and start with one water bottle, slowly taking sips, working to consume at least one liter (on average 2, 17 oz. water bottles) by the time I’m ready to pull off the road and strap on the shoes.

You may be making a pit stop or two before you hit the trail, and even a few more along the way, but this will  ensure that you’ve done more than your part to combat dehydration.  As with anything strenuous endeavor performance is key and that starts with something as simple as increasing your water intake prior and during an activity.

Now if you want to take this up a notch, you can look at adding electrolytes into your performance regimen.  I’ll do this along the trail, adding in a flavored electrolyte based tablet to dissolve in my water, or by simply mixing in Gatorade 1 to 1 with my water (this is a great option that also helps to stave off the thought of drinking copious amounts of plain old water).  Not to mention, just adding in a Propel or Gatorade packet to your water is convenient, light, and tasty so kick it up a notch with a little flavor and some energy inducing, lactic acid buffering agents!

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