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I get a lot of requests for snowshoe tips for beginners.
Here's an example of an email asking how to approach this great winter sport:
"Hello....I live in Australia and have never been snow shoeing and am considering it. What kind of snow shoes would you recommend - brand? How should I begin? What do you love about it, rather than cross country skiing?"
Which led to this answer:
Snowshoeing is amazing, so much better than cross country skiing because you have to go slowly (especially if you break trail and get into deep snow) and are more likely to spot animal tracks, birds flitting from tree to tree, or interesting crystals and patterns in the snow.
Some people get impatient with the slow, plodding pace, but I do my best thinking when I go slowly!
Need more reasons? Here they are!
The best snowshoe brands?
My first pair were Tubbs and I outgrew them (ability-wise) in one season.
I've used MSR shoes for 7 years and finally decided that they were too hard on my hips (they don't make a woman's model so my stride had to be a little bit wide and I found that my ligaments got tired).
I bought a pair of Atlas women's backcountry shoes and they have performed well over several years.
My husband has used Atlas shoes for over 10 years and loves them.
His left shoe, and guess what? The company repaired it free of charge, after 10 seasons of wear and tear.
So definitely look at the Atlas line of women's snowshoes - they have different "levels", depending on how rugged your conditions will be.
Here are the pair currently on my feet.
If you want to ease into the world of snowshoeing, try these discount gear stores for deals on all of these brands.
And REI always has great deals in their pre-season and end-of-season promotions.
If you are considering entering the wonderful world of snowshoeing, be smart about it.
Get the right gear, and use the right approach, to your outdoor time. Winter conditions are harsh, and your fair weather trail skill set has to be enlarged in order to keep your safe and comfortable.
Use my tips, based on decades of snowshoeing in all kinds of conditions, to get started:
That's what I'm here for!
Or send an email with your question, using this handy dandy green box and I'll send you an answer.
Because it's a shame to stay indoors when the snow piles up, right?
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