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Snowshoe Tips and Techniques

Snowshoe Tips and Techniques

Posted by Crescent Moon on Oct 30th 2020

One of the absolute joys of snowshoeing is the accessibility and simplicity of the pastime: As the old (and sturdy) saying goes, if you can walk, you can snowshoe. Snowshoeing is an all-age type of outdoor recreation that can span the full spectrum of experiences out in the natural world: from short (but sweet) day hikes on level front-country routes to deep backcountry adventures in the heart of the winter wilderness.

Every step of the way, Crescent Moon is there for you. For decades we’ve offered some of the very best snowshoes on the market, and we’ve kept to our high standards: Whether our aluminum snowshoes or our foam snowshoes, you can trust us to give you the best footwear for enjoying that snowbound wonderland to the fullest.

If you’re new to snowshoeing, here are six tips to get you rolling—or, should we say, get you floating over a pristine snowpack!

Aluminum Snowshoes

Snowshoe Tip 1: Use Poles

Using adjustable hiking/trekking poles while snowshoeing is a great idea. These aids take the strain off your lower body and stabilize you as you negotiate those rolling drifts, slushy trails, or ice-crusted traverses. (And we’ll point out that a given snowshoe route can incorporate all of the above.) If you haven’t used poles before, you might scoff at their value, but just give them a try: They’re game-changing in the best sense.

Snow and ice are inherently on the slippery, uneven end of the terrain spectrum, and those poles not only keep you balanced—they also roll you right into a more natural, free-flowing rhythm. Helpful on level terrain, poles become all the more vital when you’re climbing, descending, or side-hilling on snowy slopes.

Snowshoe Tip 2: Wear Gaiters

Strapping on tall gaiters can keep your feet and shins that much drier and warmer. These “leggings” provide both much-appreciated insulation and a barrier against snow getting into your boots; furthermore, if you’re doing off-trail snowshoeing, they serve as leg protection against those branches and logs you might be clambering through and over. We also carry neoprene booties to help protect your shoes or boots from snow and water, these are a great idea for everyone on snowshoes. Like trekking poles, gaiters are snowshoeing accessories that might seem superfluous until you try them out—then they become all-around essentials.

Snowshoe Tip 3: Carry Backcountry Essentials

Even in the heat of summer, even in the most accessible parks and forests, you should have outdoor emergency essentials in your daypack. That’s all the more true in winter, when unexpected delays, the weather turning lousy, or losing your way can have gnarlier consequences. Pack a topo map and compass, warm layers, extra water, and fire-making tools and supplies—for starters. You never know when a garden-variety, hourlong snowshoe might turn into a multi-day ordeal: Be prepared, and you’ll enjoy—besides the means to endure a night or two out—that much more peace of mind.

Snowshoe Tip 4: Heed the Weather

Winter weather can pack a punch—and it can do so all of a sudden. Plan your snowshoe adventure around the weather forecast, ditching plans if heavy-duty fronts might be rolling through, or even just high winds that can whip up nasty ground blizzards. Carry an NOAA weather radio in your pack so you can stay abreast of atmospheric developments.

Snowshoe Tip 5: Switch Trail Leader Duties

Whether you’re breaking trail on a route muffled under fresh snow or striking off into pristine backcountry snowpack, the person at the front of a snowshoeing party faces the lion’s share of the physical work. On a group walkabout, switch off leaders periodically, so you’re sharing that exertion.

Snowshoe Tip 6: Use Hand & Boot Warmers

Stuffing a warming packet into your gloves and your boots can make a significant difference when it comes to comfort out on the snowshoeing trail. Nothing spoils a winter outing faster than dastardly cold numbing your extremities. Keep those digits happy and limber, and you’ll find yourself that much more willing and able to pound out that many more miles (should you choose).

Winterscape Pleasures With Crescent Moon Snowshoes

Here’s to plenty of safe, sensational winter adventuring in a pair of Crescent Moons! Who’s getting excited about the first snowfall?

Check out all of our foam snowshoes, aluminum snowshoes and snowshoe accessories.

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