Consider Signing Up for a Class or a Tour Even though it’s a simple activity that you can do on your own, going with an instructor or a guide on your first snowshoe sojourn will make things even easier. Snowshoeing Tours in Ontario, Canada
Buy or Rent Suitable Snowshoes Wet, compact snow is best handled by smaller snowshoes (with less flotation) than you need in powder snow, which requires larger snowshoes (with more flotation). A snowshoe's "recommended load" refers to your weight plus the weight of your gear. Not sure? Buy or rent the smallest snowshoes that will support your load. Many outdoor stores rent snowshoes and can help you get the right pair for your weight, the terrain and snow conditions.
Carry a Larger Pack than Usual The extra clothing and gear you need for a winter day trip can equal as much as you'd take for a summer overnighter. A pack with an outer pocket is handy for carrying a snow shovel or for your snowshoes should you need to carry them in places.
Use Poles Poles help with balance and make crossing slopes easier. You can use snowshoe poles, ski poles or trekking poles. When using trekking poles, replace the standard baskets with larger snow baskets to improve performance in deep snow.
Bring a Repair Kit Wrap some duct tape around one of your snowshoe poles to secure broken binding straps or patch puncture holes. Carry a few plastic tie wraps (used for securing cables) or bailing wire to attach decking back to the frame.
Warm Up Your Muscles Walking on snowshoes requires that you take longer steps than normal, especially uphill. You also walk with your feet much wider apart than normal. Lightly stretching your hamstrings (muscles on the backs of the thighs) and hip flexors (muscles in front of the hips that lift the legs) will help your flexibility for snowshoeing.
Follow Backcountry Safety Practices It's a sad fact that most avalanche victims inadvertently triggered the snow slide that buried them. Take classes in avalanche safety and read our series of articles on Avalanche Basics before heading out to the mountains. Have every person in your party carry and know how to use an avalanche transceiver, probe and a shovel. This is not a real concern here in Ontario, however, watch for large snow drifts and over-hanging snow on the escarpment. It may seem like you are on solid ground, but you may be walking over the edge of it!
Drink Plenty of Fluids Just like on summer trips, you need to stay hydrated when you're active. To keep hydration systems flowing, use an insulated tube or fill the reservoir with warm water. Fill an insulated bottle with hot cocoa, tea or soup, too, because they’re great pick-me-ups in cold, wet conditions.
Take Turns Breaking in Fresh Snow This lets everyone in the group share the extra work. As soon as the leader is tired, he or she takes a break by moving to the back of the group. Then the next person in line kicks steps for a while, and so on. This is especially useful on steep slopes so that no one becomes exhausted.
Use Hand Warmers and Foot Warmers Hand warmers and foot warmers are small chemical packets that work wonders for keeping your digits happy. They are very useful in helping warm up a hypothermic hiker or you can also put them next to your camera or flashlight in cold weather to keep them working.
Carry an Extra Shirt and Socks Change your base-layer top at the turnaround point of your day trip. Having a dry top will help warm you up for the return trip. And change your socks immediately any time they happen to get wet.
Practice Good Etiquette Avoid snowshoeing in the groomed ski tracks used by cross-country skiers.
Remember: Safety is your responsibility. No internet article or video can replace proper instruction and experience—this article is intended solely as supplemental information. Be sure you’re practiced in proper techniques and safety requirements before you engage in any outdoors activity.
Written by Megan Green Wells for REI Expert Advice.
(Sunday, January 3, 2021)
It's time for Adventure Weekly, Volume 31.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! It is officially 2021, and that hellish 2020 is behind us now. 2021 promises to be better overall, but we are still "in the thick of it" for a while longer. It is my plan to begin the 2021 NAC Season on January 30th with our first event. However, this could change depending on the state of the world and the Province. So I am not going to post an event until January 16th, and it will be included in the January 17th, Adventure Weekly. 2021 members, we have new membership cards! I have purchased some new equipment that lets me print PVC ID Cards. Those of you that have already purchased 2021 memberships, your new membership card is on it's way! Watch for it in your mailbox. I was recently told that the website looks like it was created in 2003, and although it hurt my feelings just a little, it is, inevitably true. As you know, NAC does not have a budget for advertising and web design. So, for the next little while, I am going to spend some time calling WIX (NAC's web hosting platform), and bugging them to help me while I learn more about web creation on their platform. And with some luck, ingenuity, and dedication, I hope to have a new, modern, professional looking web page by mid-year! Memberships are still available! If you are planning on joining us in 2021, purchasing a membership is by far your best value! 2021 Niagara Adventure Club Membership! The membership fees are what keep this club operating, so please consider purchasing one! Your $35 membership comes with a years worth of free day hikes, discounted events, plus coupons and discounts at various vendors valued at over $50. See all the Member Benefits.
That's all the news for this week. As always, stay safe, and happy hiking! Lenny Burch Niagara Adventure Club P.S. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and wish you a Happy New Year! Please stay safe during this time!