Snowshoeing is one of the most effective ways to travel on foot across snow-covered terrain. Almost every indigenous Native American tribe has developed a snow “shoe” to expedite winter travel. Although snowshoes are still used frequently today for transport, snowshoeing has become a popular cold-weather activity for those that want to explore the outdoors even after fall has ended.
Tell me more about snowshoeing.
A snowshoe is a form of footwear that has been purposefully designed to distribute the weight of a person over a larger area so that the foot does not sink into the snow. This feature is called “flotation.” Therefore, in a very basic sense, snowshoes can sometimes resemble the head of a tennis racket. Traditional snowshoes are made with lacing made of rawhide and are comprised of a hardwood frame. More modern shoes are now made of lightweight materials such as plastic and synthetic fabric. The shoe itself must have a latticework design to prevent snow from accumulating on the top of the shoe. This also provides more traction in slippery areas. Snowshoeing is ideal for places that do not have groomed trails or pathways. A snowshoer can explore places that no vehicle can enter. Additionally, it is inexpensive and very safe and easy to learn.
Are there any tips or strategies I should be aware of when snowshoeing in New Hampshire?
- Make sure your bindings are fastened properly.
- If this is your first time, follow a more experienced snowshoer.
- Snowshoeing in fresh, powdered snow requires more energy than snowshoeing on packed snow.
- You will need to raise your legs a bit higher than normal walking to accommodate the snowshoe.
- Your stride should be wider than normal so you don’t trip over your own feet.
- Hiking poles are great for maintaining your balance on uneven terrain.
- When walking uphill, dig your toes into the snow and let the backs of your snowshoes rise into the air. You should also slightly bend your knees for balance.
- It is more difficult to step over objects than it is to side-step or go around them.
Here is a link that will help beginners more fully understand snowshoeing: Snowshoeing for First Timers
For other tips and advice, please check out this link: New Hampshire Guides and Outdoors Resources
This sounds fun! What do I need to get started?
- A good pair of winter boots (Anything waterproof and insulated is best. Examples of poor snowshoe choices are Uggs, dress boots or any kind of boot that absorbs water easily or is too thin. Do not use skiing or snowboarding boots as they are not designed for snowshoeing.)
- Warm, multilayered clothing including a jacket, an undershirt, insulated pants, etc.
- Backpack to carry your belongings
- Sunglasses if necessary
Where can I snowshoe in New Hampshire?
One of the benefits of snowshoeing is the fact that you are not limited to resort trails or other designated spots to participate in this activity. You could even snowshoe in someone’s backyard! However, for those who want to explore certain areas in New Hampshire by snowshoeing on recognized trails can check out this informational link: Snowshoe Trails
Is snowshoeing safe for small children?
Of course! It will be important to acquaint children with the mechanics of the shoe and the proper way to walk in them, but as far as winter outdoors activities go, this is one of the safest available!
What is the cost?
Snowshoes are less inexpensive to buy compared to other winter sports gear. If you are interested in purchasing a pair for yourself, please check out this link: Gear Shop There are many places in New Hampshire, such as sports outfitters and other winter gear shops, that will rent the snowshoes for roughly $20 a day. What a bargain!