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A person snowshoeing.

The Ultimate Guide To A Snowshoe Day Trip

A snowshoe day trip can be an excellent way to get some exercise in the winter. Learn more about the ultimate snowshoe experience. 

If you’re planning your first snowshoe day trip, we’ve got you covered. This article will walk you through everything you need to know to get prepared for the most unique hiking experience of your life. We’re here to help you learn how to plan for your day trip, what to do to make it a success.

would you want to go on a Snowshoe day trip?

Snowshoeing is simple and requires no prior experience. Essentially, if you can walk, you can snowshoe. It is a winter activity that allows you to get up close and personal with nature. You’ll receive plenty of fresh winter air, get some unique exercise, and enjoy snowy landscapes all at the same time. If you are not confident on a pair of skis, snowshoeing is a great way to get out and enjoy the wintertime.

A person snowshoeing in the mountains

How To Plan For A Snowshoe Day Trip

When it comes to arranging a snowshoe day excursion, you must ensure that you have the necessary abilities to secure your safety. You must also be aware of the necessities that you must bring with you.

Where you choose to go for your trip is going to be a major factor in how you prepare. Consider how far you expect to travel, how remote the site is, and what the weather will be like for a snowshoeing day adventure when deciding what to bring. In general, the longer and more distant the trip is – as well as the more adverse weather – the more clothing, gear, food, and water you’ll require. If you’re new to snowshoeing, make sure to read our comprehensive guide to a snowshoe day trip before heading out.

Snowshoes from above.

What Level Of Skill Do You Need For A Snowshoe Day Trip

Snowshoeing is quite intuitive — and this is coming from someone who is notoriously awkward when it comes to physical pursuits!

Simply begin walking after securing your snowshoes on your feet. Because snowshoe frames are larger than conventional shoes, you may need to lift your feet higher and lengthen your natural stride to avoid treading on one shoe with another.

To avoid tripping, use broad bends when changing directions.

If you need to turn quickly, lift and twist your leading leg completely before lowering it to the ground. 

It may appear awkward at first, but it will quickly become second nature. However, the unusual walking position may cause some soreness after your first snowshoe.

The kick-step technique is effective for ascending slopes in soft, powdery snow. Steps are created by kicking into the snow with the toe of your boot.

Climb with crampons under the snowshoes when the snow is firmer, icy, or crusty. If the slope is too steep, use switchbacks to zigzag up the slope.

Keep in mind that a heel lift feature is available on several snowshoes. On long climbs, this simple bar behind the heel flips up and balances the foot, reducing fatigue.

Keep your knees bent and relaxed when descending a slope. Shift your weight backward, towards your heels. Slowly and steadily walk, ensuring that the crampons beneath your feet get traction on the snow with each stride.

A person's feet busy snowshoeing.

What Gear Do You Need For A Snowshoe Day Trip

Whether you’re new to snowshoeing or a seasoned winter hiker, having a solid checklist of equipment and supplies for the day is essential. What you pack will be determined by where you’re going, the weather, and how long you’ll be out—a few hours, the entire day, or overnight. We’ll look at the equipment you’ll need for a good day hike in the winter in this section.

Snowshoes. First and foremost, make sure you have your flotation gear. Snowshoes make snow travel easier and more efficient, whether you’re walking along flat neighborhood routes or hiking in remote terrain. Advanced traction for increased safety and grip, as well as strong, comfortable bindings, are required in snowshoes. The correct size and model for you depends on your weight, the weather, and the terrain you’ll be in.

Poles. They boost your stability and efficiency on uneven terrain, allowing you to save valuable energy. Comfortable pole grips go a long way on long walks. As a result, for your snowshoe day trip, make sure to get the correct hiking poles.

A man snowshoeing.

Clothing. It may take multiple visits to develop the correct layering method, as you learn which types of layers work best for you. Always check the weather prediction for the day and bring an additional layer of clothing just in case. Some essential clothes to take with you include:  

  • Breathable, long underwear (wool or synthetic)
  • Coats and vests made of insulating material
  • Waterproof ski pants and rain gear 
  • Gaiters (tall and waterproof)
  • Ski socks or hiking socks 
  • Ski gloves or mittens (waterproof and insulated)
  • Warm hat 
  • Neck gaiter or balaclava

Backpack. A sturdy and practical backpack can go a long way when it comes to a comfortable snowshoe day trip. As a result, consider investing in a snowshoe carry pack to store all of your needs in one spot.

Navigation. Keep your navigation tool with you at all times if you don’t want to end up wandering into dangerous or unknown territory.

A couple snowshoeing.

Snowshoe Day Trip (Checklist)

We’ve just gone through the necessary gear you’ll need on a snowshoe day trip. We’re going to provide you with a checklist now. This checklist will show you everything you’ll need for a snowy day trip.

  • Navigation (map, compass, GPS)
  • First aid kit
  • Headlamp
  • Sunscreen
  • Multitool/Knife
  • Firestarter
  • Food
  • Water
  • Insulating clothes
  • Emergency shelter/bivy