Snowshoeing is an incredible way to enjoy the winter months. When we first moved to Switzerland we received wild stares whenever we set out with our snowshoes, but over the years, the sport has gained popularity. If you are new to the snowshoeing world, we have a few tips to help you and your family get started.
Follow the pink winter trail markers. The pink trail markers are designated winter hiking paths that are used for snowshoeing and winter walking.
Be careful not to cross over cross country skiing routes should you be in close proximity to those paths. Oh boy, we made that mistake only once and trust us, it will NEVER happen again.
Try the sport before you buy the shoes. Snowshoes can be very expensive, so we advise that you borrow a pair or rent a pair for the season before you purchase them. We have very old (not wooden tennis racket old, but pretty close) snowshoes, but they still work.
Pace yourselves! This sport is exhausting! When starting out, select a relatively flat route and don't worry about the kilometers you will cover. Remember, slow and steady, especially with children!
Poles are super helpful! We have snowshoed with and without poles and poles are definitely the way to go. Poles provide better stability and movement when snowshoeing. We move through the snow and ice much better with hiking poles.
When the going gets rough....and it sometimes does, take your snowshoes off and see if you can simply hike through the snow. If you are on a well traveled, designated path, sometimes you can swap out snowshoeing or snow hiking. When we remove our snowshoes, we strap them to our backpacks and keep going.
Dress in layers. Layers, layers and more layers in winter. This sport is a fabulous workout, so you will work up a sweat. Remember layers are meant to be shed and put back on again. Winter boots are a must when snowshoeing and don't forget those warm, wool socks!
Don't forge hydration! Though it is cold, it is necessary to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water during this awesome activity!
Have fun! You will fall over and end up on your back like a turtle. Yes, it happens to the best of us. Try, or recruit the help of others and keep going! Winter is gorgeous and snowshoeing is a beautiful way to make the most of those snowy months.