I have wanted snow shoes for a while, but when the arrival of winter was delayed this year, I put off purchasing a pair at the beginning of the season. Bev introduced the topic of snowshoeing in her blog this week and even posted a movie of herself walking through the snow. She has classic, aesthetically pleasing snowshoes fashioned out of wood and rawhide strips. She advised me to consider the newer aluminum snowshoes for hills as they have ice picks for extra traction. I am not a skier or skater, and extra traction sounded very appealing to me.
I bought a basic pair of Atlas snowshoes today and tried them first in the backyard. They were easy to strap on with over my winter hiking boots and were very compact and lightweight.
This evening, The Becka, Dakota and I went for mini-hike in the local soccer and baseball park. While we did not get a huge snowfall this week, we have had snow squalls and flurries most days since mid-January. With no thaw, there is now a significant accumulation on the ground and the snow is at least two to three feet deep. Dakota charged off into the field, but the snow was deeper than his height and he had to work very hard to move ahead. I found it easy to walk with the snowshoes, but by the time I had circled the field at a brisk pace, my heart rate was likely at a training level. What a good cardio workout! By now, the dog had figured out that it was a lot easier to follow behind me after I broke the trail with the snowshoes.
I took a rest and my daughter had a turn with the new equipment. She was wearing jeans, and by the time she had crossed the field, this is what she looked like. Light snow is thrown against the back of the legs with each step by the snowshoes. Her wise, but unstylish mother had worn nylon snow pants and had dry, warm legs.
The snowshoes are keepers, and we may need another pair for family outings. Finally, a winter "sport" I can enjoy safely.
No special skills needed....good exercise...lots of fun.
Next morning update: I am a little stiff and obviously used my hip muscles differently yesterday. We had more powdery snow overnight so I will have to go out again today to loosen up. The Becka wrote about her thoughts on snowshoeing here.