One of the most accessible winter activities is snowshoeing, and here in Haliburton we have so much terrain to explore!
Snowshoeing is one of the oldest forms of winter transportation, with roots dating back over 6,000 years to indigenous peoples living in snow-covered regions. Initially, snowshoes were created for practical purposes: to hunt, travel, and gather food during the harsh winter months. These early designs were basic wooden frames with animal hide webbing.
Modern snowshoes now feature lightweight materials, metal crampons for traction, and ergonomic bindings for comfort.
It has become a recreational activity that brings joy to people of all ages and abilities.
Snowshoeing is an accessible and inclusive activity. Here's how to get started:
1. Choose the Right Snowshoes: When selecting snowshoes, consider your weight, the type of terrain you plan to explore, and the snow conditions. Snowshoes are designed for various purposes, including flat terrain, mountainous regions, and backcountry adventures.
At Delancey Sports, we carry Snowtrek and Faber Snowshoes.
Faber snowshoes are designed and manufactured in Canada. Their snowshoes are suitable for both recreational and expert snowshoers. Their quality materials, meticulous assembly and rigorous quality control enable them to create affordable and innovative snowshoes.
Snowtrek snowshoes are designed for beginners. They work best on flat to rolling terrain and include carrying bags. Their frames are made of lightweight and durable aluminum tubing and decks are made of long-lasting plastic material. They are equipped with a one pull adjustable harnesses for quick and easy fitting.
While it’s tempting to get that giant snowshoe that can handle bottomless powder, you’ll be much happier with a smaller size for the majority of your trips, and adding some tails for those deep, off-trail days.
The vast majority of people are served well with a pair of 22” or 25” snowshoes and tails.
That said, here is a sizing chart that will help you choose the right sized snowshoe.
2. Dress for Success: Layer your clothing to stay warm, dry, and comfortable. Don't forget to wear moisture-wicking base layers, insulated outerwear, waterproof boots, and accessories (gloves, hats, and scarves).
At Delancey Sports, we carry a range of outerwear that can help keep you warm while being active outdoors, including Craft apparel which will keep you warm and dry (since you'll be breaking out a sweat while snowshoeing!).
3. Master the Basics: Snowshoeing is relatively easy to learn. The basic technique involves walking naturally with a slightly wider stance to prevent the snowshoes from colliding. Practice on flat terrain before tackling more challenging trails.
The Benefits of Snowshoeing: Snowshoeing is more than just a beautiful winter pastime; it also offers a myriad of physical and mental health benefits:
Low Impact Exercise: Snowshoeing is gentle on your joints, making it accessible to a wide range of fitness levels. It's an excellent cardio workout that burns calories and helps improve cardiovascular health.
Mental Well-being: Immersing yourself in the winter wonderland while snowshoeing can have a calming and rejuvenating effect. The serene, snowy landscapes provide a perfect backdrop for mindfulness and stress relief.
Connection with Nature: Snowshoeing allows you to explore pristine winter environments that are often inaccessible by other means. It's an opportunity to connect with nature and appreciate its beauty.
Social Activity: Snowshoeing can be a fantastic group activity. Gather your friends and family, and share the joy of snow-covered adventures together.
Snowshoeing is a delightful way to embrace the beauty of winter while reaping numerous physical and mental health benefits. Whether you're a seasoned adventurer or a complete beginner, this accessible activity allows you to explore the tranquil and breathtaking landscapes that winter offers. So, put on your snowshoes, step outside, and experience the silent serenity of the snowy wilderness. Your winter adventure awaits!