Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Beat The Crowds... Try Snow Shoes

If you can walk - you can snowshoe, and this holds true for even the youngest members of the family. Think of snowshoeing as hiking or going for a walk. You are outside enjoying the fresh air and getting some exercise. But the trail you are hiking is a fantastic winter wonderland. A blanket of clean white snow muffles noises so you only hear the trail crunching underfoot. Snowshoeing is a natural family activity. There really is nothing to learn, and once you have walked 50 feet in snowshoes you are an expert. Snowshoeing is an active sport, and most beginners end up over dressing and getting hot. Boots should be, above all else, comfortable but they should also be fairly waterproof. Light synthetic socks inside wool socks are an excellent choice. Water and wind resistant pants are a good idea. Layering a fleece jacket with a water and wind resistant shell lets you ventilate and cool down as you go. But don't get hung up on equipment. Snowshoeing is by nature simple, which is one reason it so enjoyable. Don't forget plenty of water and snacks. For a greater commitment check out this stove. I carried one the whole way on my Appalacian Trail Hike. It is the coolest thing for fresh hot chocolate or soup. It also is great to have around if the power goes out.  Just strap on your snowshoes, walk off into the woods and enjoy yourself. Use Caution on Deep Creek Lake