Winter hiking 101: do’s and don’ts of snowshoeing

Do spell it “snowshoeing.” Not snowshoeng, snoshooing, or snowshuing. Think of Boeing. All those vowels together. It…it makes more sense in my head.

Don’t use snowshoes on well-trafficked terrain. I mean, you can if you want. But this is a waste of perfectly good snowshoes and is much slower. If you plan to go on a particular trail, just carry the shoes until you hit powder – THEN you can go to town.

Do use snowshoes in deep snow. When traversing straight-up powder, snowshoes are your best friend. Have you ever walked through powder in just hiking boots? The snow wedges its way in between your snowpants, boots, socks, and freezes right on your skin. It has formed a path for more snow. This is your life now.


But it doesn’t have to be this way if you wear snowshoes! It’s like walking on water in those rad boat-shoes Leonardo da Vinci wore in the movie Ever After. You sink slightly, but not all the way, and then you start trekking through forests and singing with birds and sweating with panache.

Don’t go overboard on the sunscreen. Yes, you should wear sunscreen. But speaking as someone who had puffy, stinging eyes that were more watery than the Titanic, use reservation. Accept that you might burn a little because it’s better to be burned than to suddenly channel your inner Toph. Maybe this isn’t something you need to remind yourself. This is definitely more for me.

Do go exploring. There is something so rad about going way, way beyond where other people are – although make sure you are within decent walking distance in case something happens. But go beyond – go to where humans disappear entirely and immerse yourself in the silence. And then panic slightly because whoa, what if you die out here?

Don’t stay in your comfort zone. Keep walking, sweat more, shed layers, discard your coat on the path because it’s likely nobody will steal it (no promises, though), and keep moving. And then when you’re done, pick up your coat, go home, and binge-watch Stranger Things again. That show’s awesome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s